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Lions still don’t have clarity from Calvin Johnson

calvinjohnson AP

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.

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40 Responses to “Lions still don’t have clarity from Calvin Johnson”
  1. duanethomas33 says: Feb 18, 2016 10:38 AM

    I appreciate all that Calvin Johnson has done on and off the field for the Lions, but in all fairness he has to let them know his plans. Right now they are in limbo and its not fair to the other players or the organization. The Lions need to give him a drop dead date..soon.

  2. blowpackblow says: Feb 18, 2016 10:42 AM

    We need more Calvins and less guys named Dez and Johnny in the NFL

  3. boltfan29 says: Feb 18, 2016 10:42 AM

    “…He needs to decide what’s fight for him. The worst thing we could do is put pressure on him.”

    Indeed, he does need to decide what’s Fight for him.

  4. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Feb 18, 2016 10:43 AM

    “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.”

    Shocking.

  5. purpleandgoldforever says: Feb 18, 2016 10:49 AM

    While I don’t think Peterson should be playing for ANY NFL team, since he is, I’m happy he is playing for the Vikings.

    That said, Peterson (child abuse aside) has proven he is worth the money the Vikings are paying him. He was number 1 in yards and was a major part of the Vikings winning the NFC North.

    The question is: Is Megatron worth the money he is due this year (and years following)? He is absolutely still worth a large chunk of money, but no way is he worth 16M salary and 24M cap space.

    Instead, resign him to a new contract, make it more incentive based. That way he could still earn the 16M, and could also clear space for the Lions to sign other players.

    Holy crap, what am I saying……better idea – ditch the Lions and come play for the Vikings! :)

  6. tavisteelersfan says: Feb 18, 2016 10:55 AM

    I think if you push him to decide today he says retire. If you give him a couple of months, he may decide he wants to play. Anyone saying he needs to answer right now, best be prepared.

  7. beavertonsteve says: Feb 18, 2016 10:56 AM

    I don’t think he would do this, but what happens if Johnson “retires” the Lions spend his salary and then he un-retires? Wouldn’t that suddenly throw the Lions salary cap number into disarray?

  8. azcactus says: Feb 18, 2016 10:56 AM

    Calvin Johnson: I’m retiring
    Detroit Lions: We’re going to need some more clarification on that.
    Calvin Johnson: I’m done
    Detroit Lions: Look, you’re going to hit the books for 24M in less than 3 weeks. We’re going to need a decision here.

  9. corporatemediaprostitute says: Feb 18, 2016 11:13 AM

    This story hasn’t changed a bit since the end of the season. Still, the corporate media continues to just make stuff up. Mike O’Hara knows something about retiring and un-retiring.

  10. lingsun54 says: Feb 18, 2016 11:21 AM

    I’m a Lions fan. Yes, the Lions need Calvin Johnson but they need the cap space a lot more. $24 million would go far in free agency.

  11. squeakywheeler says: Feb 18, 2016 11:24 AM

    Hard to compare Calvin’s possible retirement decision to a situation where an organization like the Vikings decide to fully guarantee A.P.’s salary for beating a child.

    Irresponsible article – let the Vikings rot in hell for the way they run their brand down the tubes supporting child abusers. They are still number one (#1) in the league over the last decade for most arrests on roster, that’s their montra.

    Calvin has a real decision to make and he has earned the right to take his time. Believe me, the Lions already have every contingency plan thought of. Once Calvin makes the call, the Lions will act quickly & not be put out whatsoever.

  12. manderson4150 says: Feb 18, 2016 11:32 AM

    Most of the pundits in the Detroit media are blaming the Lions if Johnson retires, saying they are forcing him out and instead should beg him to return. Being a fan, I struggle to stay positive, but how can you blame the Lions in this case. If he doesn’t want to play let him go.

  13. skoobyfl says: Feb 18, 2016 11:35 AM

    He probably heard his income is going to go from millions a month to $0, that scared him straight.

  14. jwcarlson says: Feb 18, 2016 11:35 AM

    Seems like maybe he wants to be released? Tony Gonzalez did something similar during his last season, right? I mean if he get $24MM guaranteed why not force the Lions hand into releasing him. That way if halfway through the season he gets a call from a Super Bowl bound team he can come back without having to deal with Detroit holding his rights.

  15. metrocritical says: Feb 18, 2016 11:37 AM

    The place is fine. Clean. Seems like a good location. Weather is clear but not getting out of the fifties today. Not sure what our plan is yet. Chloe is still sleeping.

    I love you, too!

  16. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Feb 18, 2016 11:38 AM

    tavisteelersfan says:
    Feb 18, 2016 10:55 AM

    I think if you push him to decide today he says retire. If you give him a couple of months, he may decide he wants to play. Anyone saying he needs to answer right now, best be prepared.

    —————————————-

    Unfortunately the Lions don’t have a couple months. While they don’t need an answer today, they do have to do something prior to March 9th.

  17. metrocritical says: Feb 18, 2016 11:39 AM

    Please omit last post. Major wire cross!

  18. ariani1985 says: Feb 18, 2016 11:45 AM

    come to Green bay! we thrive at playoff failure!!

  19. mightymightylafootball says: Feb 18, 2016 11:47 AM

    ‘The worst thing we could do is put pressure on him.”

    That’s hardly the worst thing the Lions could do.

    Ya know, because…Lions

  20. vikingf0rlife says: Feb 18, 2016 11:50 AM

    Lions, Bears and Packers are all much more respected teams than my lowly, hapless, embarrassing Vikes!

  21. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Feb 18, 2016 12:30 PM

    The Chiefs could use him. Pair him with McClin will only improve that offense and make legitimate contenders for the AFC. The only question is can Andy Reid manage the clock in the playoffs to win?

  22. pixelito says: Feb 18, 2016 12:53 PM

    He’ll be remembered for his nickname more than anything else.

  23. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 18, 2016 1:03 PM

    azcactus says:
    Feb 18, 2016 10:56 AM

    Calvin Johnson: I’m retiring
    Detroit Lions: We’re going to need some more clarification on that.
    Calvin Johnson: I’m done
    Detroit Lions: Look, you’re going to hit the books for 24M in less than 3 weeks. We’re going to need a decision here.
    ______________________

    Uhhh, don’t players have to officially sign retirement papers to be considered “retired” from the NFL? He hasn’t signed anything yet. I still think this is s ploy hatched by his agent. And I’m sure the Lions would like him to extend and renegotiate his contract. I think he still has three or four excellent years left as long as the Lions bolster the receiving corps to keep opponents’ defenses from double and triple teaming him. The last thing they should want is to pay a $16 million salary this upcoming season with a $24 million cap hit.

  24. wizahdry says: Feb 18, 2016 1:19 PM

    Megatron should wait for the Lions to cut him then retire. He would be on the hook for over 3 million in unearned signing bonus if he retired first. He should force their hand to either cut him or agree to not pursue the bonus. He played in Detroit for almost a decade…he earned that bonus money…even if he didn’t play out the entire contract.

  25. purpleguy says: Feb 18, 2016 1:27 PM

    The Lions just need to know by March 9 and the start of FA — they can set up parallel contingency plans until then.

    And I’m wondering if Chloe is awake yet?

  26. nhpats says: Feb 18, 2016 2:24 PM

    This guy has reached the same point as Barry Sanders. Does he decide to play for a team who has never won anything and with little chance of that changing or find something else to do with his life…..

  27. chrispin53 says: Feb 18, 2016 3:08 PM

    Calvin doesn’t want to play for the lions anymore, and he’s owed $16 million for declining production on a team that isn’t a contender.

    Do what’s best for both parties, cut Calvin Johnson, use the cap space to sure up positions of need and let Calvin play for a winner at the end of his career.

    Could you imagine him paired with Tom Brady? Or opposite of Mike Wallace, Odell Beckam, or AJ Green? That would fun to watch.

  28. mlzehnder says: Feb 18, 2016 3:21 PM

    Everyone knows it’s about the money. All he has to do is wait. The Lions would have limited choices of paying him or releasing him. Either way he makes money, and if they release him, you know for sure he’ll accept an offer from an actual contender.

  29. steeelfann0155 says: Feb 18, 2016 4:09 PM

    Patriots. Sooooo obvious.

  30. bigwalt2990 says: Feb 18, 2016 4:12 PM

    His agent is Bus Cook. The same guy who did Favre’s “retirement”…Calvin is going to hold out and force the team to cut him. Getting himself another 3.2m of signing-bonus $$ and the ability to play a year for a SB contender if he so wishes….It’s very smart.

  31. bigwalt2990 says: Feb 18, 2016 4:22 PM

    I forgot to mention…the reason IMO the Lions are playing coy, even though reports say they already know his decision is because they’re still trying to sell season tickets. Which happen to cost 13% more this year…

  32. steeelfann0155 says: Feb 18, 2016 4:37 PM

    Johnson, Gronk, Edelman go wild next year. Super Bowl for Pats. Again.

  33. laffers says: Feb 18, 2016 5:41 PM

    Leave the guy alone; him and his people know what they’re doing. There is NO WAY in hell the Lions are going to pay him 24mil next season and if he retires early he may be on the hook for 3.2 mil in SB money.
    Wait for them to cut him, keep your SB money and if he wishes, go play for a contender!

  34. tomtravis76 says: Feb 18, 2016 5:51 PM

    If he is released, he is not going to a division rival. He doesn’t want to burn those bridges for future checks and appearances with the Lions. He is only going to a team with a real QB, an organization that has a chance to make a run at a Super Bowl and a team that he doesn’t have to be the #1. There needs to be other WR s in the mix to carry some of the load.

  35. revren10 says: Feb 18, 2016 6:21 PM

    He should just come out and say he wants to play with the GOAT Tom Brady and accept a trade

  36. fanofpft says: Feb 18, 2016 6:35 PM

    He’ll let you know when he’ll let you know. Meanwhile count your beans.

  37. butwhatabouttheintegrityofthegame says: Feb 18, 2016 8:11 PM

    He wants to play for the pats. No one wants to play for the lions.

  38. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 18, 2016 8:19 PM

    I only counted fans of four other teams imploring Calvin to come over, I thought there’d be a lot more begging trolls, although the patsies were multiple hits.

  39. ariani1985 says: Feb 18, 2016 8:36 PM

    Come to the Patriots, we take losing SBs very serious!

  40. joerymi says: Feb 18, 2016 9:22 PM

    This is almost going on too long. Even before the retirement talk, I was on the side of cutting him. Great career but clearly past his prime and eats up a lot of money. The Lions couldn’t win with a younger, cheaper, better Calvin Johnson, so why do they think an older, more expensive, lost-a-step version is the key?

    Giving him some time to think about it is something you have to do because of what he meant to the team for so long. But when it starts to interfere with putting the best possible team together, it is time to move on. Would hate to see it end with a cut then a retirement but this is a new regime, and they need to know where they stand so they can work an off-season plan.

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