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Lions to give Calvin Johnson time, but the clock is still ticking

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The Lions want receiver Calvin Johnson to take his time regarding his decision to retire. But even though they have yet to say it, their patience can’t be open-ended.

“Right now I want him to come to his own conclusion and decide what he wants to do,” team president Rod Wood told reporters on Friday in San Francisco, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. “I wouldn’t want to try to convince him to play, if that’s not what he wants to do. But obviously if he wants to play, we want him back. . . . We’re going to give him time to kind of go through all the decision processes, and hopefully come to the conclusion that’s right for him. Whatever that is, we’ll support it.”

They likely won’t support it if the decision is, “I’ll play in 2016 but I want my full $16 million salary and full $24 million cap number.” Which means that they’d surely like to know what he’d like to do before March 9, when his cap number for 2016 must be wedged along with all other player salaries under the reconfigured spending limit.

Maybe, in a weird sort of way, Johnson has threatened pre-emptively to retire in order to make his otherwise prohibitive compensation package a non-issue. Last year, when Vikings running back Adrian Peterson started making noise through his agent about wanting out of Minnesota, it became a given that the team wouldn’t try to chop down his salary. If he hadn’t been so coy about staying, maybe the Vikings would have made a run at getting him to take less money.

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32 Responses to “Lions to give Calvin Johnson time, but the clock is still ticking”
  1. patsxsaintsfan says: Feb 6, 2016 1:46 PM

    As a fan of football I want to see him keep going probably my favorite nonpatriot in the NFL he’s touchdown over 3 bengals 2 years ago is still one of the best catches EVER. Either way I’m happy to watch an all time great

  2. poorcalvinisstuckonthecrappylions says: Feb 6, 2016 2:02 PM

    Run Calvin Run!!!!!

  3. postintelligence says: Feb 6, 2016 2:10 PM

    I’m not a Lions fan, but from what I have read about Calvin Johnson I doubt his thinking re: retirement has much if anything to do with the contract situation. He is a great competitor who has taken a lot of punishment over the years. Maybe he just wants to walk away with his body still relatively intact.

  4. floratiotime says: Feb 6, 2016 2:20 PM

    It’s funny that some people think he’s actually retiring.

  5. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Feb 6, 2016 2:28 PM

    He’ll return to play for Seattle.

  6. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 6, 2016 2:32 PM

    The Lions can’t logically afford to pay Calvin his current salary. But neither can they risk the fan backlash that would accompany releasing Calvin. If Calvin decides to retire he’s obviously gone.

    But by allowing time to go by, they’re allowing Calvin time to heal. Retirement may look much differently to him if he’s ready to suit up again. Now should he publicly announce he’s chosen to continue to play (which I don’t think he’d do, at least not publicly), the Lions may be in a spot. They’d have no choice but to extend and renegotiate his contract at a more palatable number or appear ungrateful and greedy to the fan base should they decide to cut him.

  7. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 6, 2016 2:34 PM

    poorcalvinisstuckonthecrappylions says:
    Feb 6, 2016 2:02 PM

    Run Calvin Run!!!!!
    ___________________

    If he’s running, it’ll be routes for the Lions.

  8. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 6, 2016 2:38 PM

    ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Feb 6, 2016 2:28 PM

    He’ll return to play for Seattle.
    __________________

    There’s always some slappy more or less begging on behalf his team. As if Calvin Johnson is reading this or even cares.

  9. suhmonster90 says: Feb 6, 2016 2:41 PM

    He’s not going to another team.

    If the Lions have to eat the full salary they likely will to keep one of the franchises best and most recognizable players.

  10. purplengold says: Feb 6, 2016 2:54 PM

    He’ll be cut. He doesn’t want to pay back 3 million of his pro-rated signing bonus if he retires before March 9.

  11. firejerry says: Feb 6, 2016 3:12 PM

    As a Bears fan, I hope he plays so the Bears and Lions can fight it out for third place in the NFC North.

  12. jerryskidssite says: Feb 6, 2016 3:20 PM

    Foxborough is nice in the Fall.

  13. lionsfan0and16forever says: Feb 6, 2016 3:24 PM

    senatorblutarsky says:
    Feb 6, 2016 2:38 PM

    ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Feb 6, 2016 2:28 PM

    He’ll return to play for Seattle.
    __________________

    There’s always some slappy more or less begging on behalf his team. As if Calvin Johnson is reading this or even cares.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Same as there is some slappy that acts like he’s the moderator for his team’s articles on here! As if you have any clue what you’re talking about. You’re just a fan that thinks you know everything going on with your team because you root for them, lol talk about delusion…..

  14. laffers says: Feb 6, 2016 3:39 PM

    It’s funny that Rod Wood and the Lions are being quoted as taking the high road here. They are secretly freaking out that if he doesn’t retire and refuses a cheaper salary for next year, they almost certainly must cut him due to his Cap number; and of course he gets to keep the unearned portion of his last signing bonus.
    Johnson should do absolutely NOTHING; take his money and run to a winning team as a free agent OR retire, if he wishes, AFTER they dump him.
    It’s quite clear the ball is in his court either way.

  15. babygaga19 says: Feb 6, 2016 4:03 PM

    Great player, great guy. Lions couldn’t win with him, let him go. Save your cap.

  16. spartyistheclassofthenationinfootballandbasketball says: Feb 6, 2016 4:06 PM

    In other words absolutely nothing has changed in reguard to his situation

  17. mazenblue says: Feb 6, 2016 4:10 PM

    Hope he retires and keeps his body. None of us fans are worth his health to fill our own greedy needs. Dude has had many injuries unlike Barry Sanders. Both went out on the top of their game. Cant say that for many “Greats” can ya???

  18. edavidberg says: Feb 6, 2016 4:19 PM

    I think Johnson just wants the team to let him keep his enitre signing bonus (which he is entitled to since they would likely be releasing him). If they think he should pay back part of the signing bonus he should wait as long as possible and even give the suggestion he’ll play another year.

    I don’t think this is all that big of a deal, if he wants to retire Detroit will let him keep the whole bonus.

  19. anarchopurplism says: Feb 6, 2016 4:27 PM

    Got to know when to hold ’em & when to fold ’em. Clearly, if he has to pay back $3 million if he retires by March 9, he is not retiring by March 9. Anything the Lions say publically, is just noise. Hold ’em Calvin!

    I think he gets cut & ends up signing after training camp with a contender. I’d be considering NE, Carolina, MN, GB, Sea-town, AZ & Pittsburgh.

    Perhaps geography & how studious he needs to be with the playbook will factor in as well.

    Lions should consider $3 million sunk & see what they can quietly do to ensure he does not comeback within the Division.

  20. allseeingone says: Feb 6, 2016 4:45 PM

    Everyone’s clock is ticking Mike.

  21. ron69 says: Feb 6, 2016 4:51 PM

    CJ has been targeted since he first arrived few years back, i could hear all db’s coaches telling about the only thing they could do to slow him down is to hit him as hard as you can. It’s time to hang the cleats.
    Sadly my boy Amari Cooper will go the same way, at the end hits will take their toll.

  22. babygaga19 says: Feb 6, 2016 5:04 PM

    Hope he retires and keeps his body. None of us fans are worth his health to fill our own greedy needs. Dude has had many injuries unlike Barry Sanders. Both went out on the top of their game. Cant say that for many “Greats” can ya???
    ___________________________________

    Sanders, Suh, Calvin. See the pattern? Nobody digs ya baby!

  23. rrhoe says: Feb 6, 2016 5:06 PM

    Detroit shouldn’t want a player who’s heart isn’t in it and probably doesn’t want to be there, that will have a vast effect on how/if he prepares for next season. I don’t see them asking for part of a bonus back either and I don’t see CJ having an issue if they did. It’s not like the Lions are a playoff team with him anyway.

  24. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Feb 6, 2016 5:28 PM

    That’s very nice of the Lions to be patient and give him time, especially since they have absolutely ZERO leverage on this issue.

    Other than cutting him, which would a) allow him to do whatever he wanted to do and b) allow him to avoid having to repay his prorated signing bonus if he chooses not to play anymore, what exactly can they threaten him with?

  25. revren10 says: Feb 6, 2016 5:31 PM

    should demand a trade to play with the GOAT TOM BRADY

  26. trustno1 says: Feb 6, 2016 5:43 PM

    floratiotime says:
    Feb 6, 2016 2:20 PM
    It’s funny that some people think he’s actually retiring.

    its even funnier that you think you know what he’s going to do

  27. purpleandgoldforever says: Feb 6, 2016 5:49 PM

    He would rather retire than play for a team that is almost a non contender every single year.

    Watch for a trade involving Dallas, Seattle, New England or the Vikings.

  28. Dave Fouchey says: Feb 6, 2016 6:04 PM

    Not a Panthers Fan, I’m a Lions Homer, but can you imagine Carolina with Cam having Megatron as a target? It would be freaking scary.

  29. solo681 says: Feb 6, 2016 6:25 PM

    Calvin,
    You gave your entire career to the Lions, now ask them to release you so that you can play in the Super Bowl with the Patriots.

  30. ariani1985 says: Feb 6, 2016 6:37 PM

    Come to the Patriots! We love losing prime time playoff games!

  31. skolvike says: Feb 6, 2016 6:59 PM

    senatorblutarsky says:
    Feb 6, 2016 2:32 PM
    The Lions can’t logically afford to pay Calvin his current salary. But neither can they risk the fan backlash that would accompany releasing Calvin. If Calvin decides to retire he’s obviously gone.

    But by allowing time to go by, they’re allowing Calvin time to heal. Retirement may look much differently to him if he’s ready to suit up again. Now should he publicly announce he’s chosen to continue to play (which I don’t think he’d do, at least not publicly), the Lions may be in a spot. They’d have no choice but to extend and renegotiate his contract at a more palatable number or appear ungrateful and greedy to the fan base should they decide to cut him.

    Wow. Just wow. The team would appear greedy if they want to save cap space for other players but Megatron won’t be greedy to demand $24 mil in cap space. Wow.

  32. torebear says: Feb 7, 2016 9:36 AM

    The cap hit is really not an issue. The Lions had Suh on a cap hit of 22 million in 2014 when the total cap was 20 million less than 2016.

    Also the Lions can convert some of his 16 million salary into bonus money and take the cap hit in 2017. Though they have plenty of capspace, so I don’t really see any need for that unless Quinn goes berserk in free agency.

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