Less than three weeks before receiver Calvin Johnson hits the books for $24 million in 2016, the Lions still don’t know whether Johnson will be on the roster.
Team president Rod Wood, appearing on 105.1 FM in Detroit on Thursday, said the Johnson has not yet made a decision on his future.
“It’s still in Calvin’s camp to make a decision,” Wood said, vila Mike O’Hara of the team’s official website. “I talked to him on Monday. [G.M.] Bob Quinn talked to him. Calvin has not made a decision.”
This conflicts with a report from ESPN that Johnson has decided to retire, and that coach Jim Caldwell advised Johnson to take some more time.
“If he wants to come back, we’d love to have him back,” Wood added. “If he decides to retire, we’re going to support that, too. . . . He needs to decide what’s fight for him. The worst thing we could do is put pressure on him.”
While the Lions may not want to pressure Johnson as to whether he’ll play, they’ll undoubtedly at some point pressure him to take less than his $16 million compensation package for 2016 — unless they become so entrenched in their position that they want him back that they decide not to ask for a reduction.
It’s a twist on the Adrian Peterson concept, who at a time many believed the Vikings would be squeezing Peterson to take less he somehow finagled everything he was due in 2015 and more.