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Calvin Johnson, Peyton Manning close in on getting perhaps what they want

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 27: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions walks off the field after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 32-17 at Ford Field on December 27, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

Last week at the Scouting Combine, a theory was circulating that both Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning hope to be released even if they’re retiring, so that they could later unretire and immediately play elsewhere.

Now, less than a week before the day on which all teams must be in compliance with the salary cap, neither Johnson nor Manning have officially retired. Which makes it even more likely that the end game is to retire not a Lion or a Bronco, respectively, but as a free agent.

Retiring as a free agent allows for a comeback as a free agent, with the ability to join any other team at any other time. Whether that’s in the offseason, during training camp, during the preseason, during the regular season, or during the playoffs, a free agent who retires can unretire at will.

With Manning creating the impression on Wednesday night (as explained on Thursday’s PFT Live by NFL Media’s Jeff Darlington) that Manning isn’t done playing, and with the Broncos presumably done with Manning, the signs are pointing not to Manning being placed on the reserve/retired list but to Manning’s contract being terminated.

While much isn’t being said about Calvin Johnson (especially in comparison to Manning), Johnson’s failure to formalize a decision he reportedly made months ago suggests a realization that, in order to enhance his options if/when he decides to play again, he needs to be released by the Lions. With a $24 million cap number kicking in on Wednesday, that could be coming, soon.

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30 Responses to “Calvin Johnson, Peyton Manning close in on getting perhaps what they want”
  1. lars1459 says: Mar 3, 2016 2:14 PM

    Big mistake if Msnning comes back. Did he see the last year of Brett Favre’s career.

  2. smalltownqb says: Mar 3, 2016 2:17 PM


  3. typicalnipple says: Mar 3, 2016 2:19 PM

    Some guys get what they want. Others have to take what they can get, like Big John Football.

  4. 81megatron81 says: Mar 3, 2016 2:24 PM

    Megatron has more class than you’re suggesting. Shameful.

  5. battmanri says: Mar 3, 2016 2:26 PM

    Peyton better find another top defense to carry his butt if we wants another Super Bowl. The guy can’t get those four Brady rings out of his head. Plus, he hates the fact that Eli has the same number of rings that he does. It’s all about Peyton. Give it up already, Jughead…..

  6. dickshotdogs says: Mar 3, 2016 2:34 PM

    Anyone else see Calvin in a Patriots uniform?

  7. beavertonsteve says: Mar 3, 2016 2:36 PM

    I’ll bet Calvin could convince someone to sign him just for the post season for each of the next three years. That would be pretty funny.

  8. unbridledsexy says: Mar 3, 2016 2:45 PM

    Or maybe one of these organizations is smart enough to know that a rookie needs to sit and learn for a year. So you draft a promising QB and then give Manning a great 1 year contract and just let that kid learn and observe. I can’t stand Manning but that would be worth the money I believe.

  9. corporatemediaprostitute says: Mar 3, 2016 2:50 PM


  10. conormacleodisloosebutthole says: Mar 3, 2016 2:51 PM

    Megatron is desperate to come to Green Bay.

  11. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Mar 3, 2016 2:56 PM

    Beyond the ability to control their own fates Megatron and Manning have 3.2M and 2.5M good reasons respectively to sit tight.

  12. dirtydrynn27 says: Mar 3, 2016 2:56 PM

    Its time for Romo to retire as well! But Dallas is in QB denial!

  13. psubeerman21 says: Mar 3, 2016 3:08 PM

    Like the one he has in Denver?

  14. timmmah10 says: Mar 3, 2016 3:15 PM

    The Lions have zero incentive to release Calvin. They are under the cap, and have some money to sign the free agents they target, therefore, let Calvin make his decision, and be done with it.

    Everyone was asking why Quinn took so long to talk to Calvin, it’s because he wasn’t under any pressure to insist Calvin make a decision. If he wants to retire, then retire, it’s less of a cap hit if he retires vs cutting him. If he wants to play, they’ll take him. He’s still their best WR. If he wants to un-retire and play elsewhere, the Lions still own his rights… so they’ll get some value in a trade.

    The idea that this is putting pressure on the Lions seems silly to me.

  15. genericcommenter says: Mar 3, 2016 3:15 PM

    Is there any benefit to retiring as a free agent, rather than just not signing with anyone until you feel like it?

  16. rogerdw66 says: Mar 3, 2016 3:26 PM

    The deflategate appeal has been heard and it does not sound like Brady and the Pats are going to like the results. They found it unlikely that Brady was not involved in deflating the footballs. Oh well, you’ll get to see how that back-up does under fire.

  17. wellthatsinteresting says: Mar 3, 2016 3:33 PM

    My ‘Spider-Senses’ are telling me that Manning is setting himself up to come to Cleveland to be with Haslam (Tennessee connections) , play one year (or however many games his old legs can take) simultaneously mentoring the new QB that will be drafted this year and then grab a seat in the Owners’/Important Peoples’ Box from there on out.
    There are plenty of Papa John’s pizza joints and places to get Budweiser in Cleveland.

  18. rhob1960 says: Mar 3, 2016 3:38 PM

    So Peyton is going to be the next farve?

  19. Nofoolnodrool says: Mar 3, 2016 3:41 PM

    Anyone else see Calvin in a Patriots uniform?

    Nah, Calvin hates cheaters. Can’t blame him for that.

  20. matt2calvin says: Mar 3, 2016 3:42 PM

    Idiotic to place Manning and Calvin in the same sentence…

    Manning would do anything imaginable – unlike Calvin who is simply a class act.

    Calvin would delay retirement to collect money contractually owed him, but he would never turn his back on the Lions. The mother of his child actually works for the Lion’s front office. He is a Lion for life and will remain alongside Barry as one of the greatest ever to wear the Honolulu and Blue. To act in a selfish manner is just not in his DNA…

  21. bobulated says: Mar 3, 2016 3:56 PM

    If Lions release Calvin, does he come back home to Georgia and play for the Falcons alongside Julio? That would be pretty nuts. Not sure the Falcons could afford him but that would be a pretty devastating combo.

  22. kingshockeyclub says: Mar 3, 2016 4:18 PM

    Got news for ya , the Lions are not and will never release CJ.

  23. sirxba says: Mar 3, 2016 5:10 PM

    Peyton needs a great defense to carry him. I could seriously see him going to the Jets. They have a great coach with a stellar defense. Fitz hasn’t been locked in yet. Plus Eli is already in NY. Jets have been no strangers to signing big name free agents like LT, Favre, Brandon Marshall. If anything, the circus would get that much bigger and I don’t mean just because of Peyton’s forehead.

  24. 2011to2020lions says: Mar 3, 2016 5:35 PM

    This is a bunch of bull, CJ may retire or he may play another year or two. Either way it will be with the Lions. They want CJ back, but CJ has dealt with knee and ankle issues for three years now, and with his work ethic he wont give himself time to get well. He always wants to be on the field when he should be home in a boot, he is his own worst enemy. I hope he can heal up and come back this year and have an injury free season so he can end his career in about 2019 with a Superbowl ring, some receiving records, and a legacy of being the guy who stayed to bring it all home to Detroit.

    GO LIONS!!!!


  25. shipdog7 says: Mar 3, 2016 6:33 PM

    We can end Manning’s career for him if he is undecided. Have him come to Detroit.

  26. rojobirds says: Mar 3, 2016 8:10 PM

    Calvin would make a great #1 in Chicago.

  27. moun10mama says: Mar 4, 2016 1:33 AM

    if he truly desires a trade and wants to chase a SB ring elsewhere then he can’t be all nicey nice about it, Gotta hurt some feelings and ask for a trade! in his case I think there would be disappointment at first from the organization and fans but they would understand eventually

  28. michie4gordon24 says: Mar 4, 2016 3:48 AM

    He’s making a big mistake. Yet, I suppose that kind of money can do that. He’s competing with his brother also. I hope an injury doesn’t make his final decision.

  29. blowfishes says: Mar 6, 2016 7:39 AM

    Technically a player can retire as a free agent and then unretire at will… but they still need to get reinstated back to the League which can drag its heals when it wants to.

  30. sactogary says: Mar 7, 2016 11:04 AM

    C’mon, Broncos, release Manning so he can sign with the Colts and then retire. He may not be best buds with Irsay, but that’s the way this story is supposed to end for the city of Indianapolis.

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