Lions hope to know Calvin Johnson’s plans in next 24 hours

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Peyton Manning and Heath Miller appeared on the NFL’s daily transaction release Monday as the two newest members of the reserve/retired list.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson is not on that list, which leaves the Lions without a firm answer on his plans for the 2016 season. Lions General Manager Bob Quinn said late last month that he’s spoken to Johnson, but that Johnson did not say whether he wants to retire or not.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that the team is still saying they don’t know his plans with the league’s pre-free agency “legal tampering” window open as of Monday. They’ve been telling representatives of players around the league that they hope to know what Johnson is doing in the next 24 hours.

It’s pretty much a need for the Lions to know because entering free agency with Johnson’s $24 million cap hit on the books will cut into the space they need to add other players. The Lions can release Johnson, freeing up a bit more than $11 million in cap space, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing for Johnson. He’d be free from having to repay any of his signing bonus and would be a free agent in the event he retires and later decides to resume his playing career.

Either way, the Lions need some resolution on the matter soon.

29 responses to “Lions hope to know Calvin Johnson’s plans in next 24 hours

  1. I hope he does nothing! forces the Lions to cut him & signs with another team. He deserves a chance to play for a winning organization.

  2. That’s an odd fit. He would seem to fit better in a power scheme and not that zone garbage that Shanahan is so fond of. But who thinks Shanahan knows how to evaluate players?

  3. The Lions have plenty of cap space. I think a resolution would be nice, especially if he takes another year, but need, not really.

  4. Bears fan here with much respect for Calvin but he’s coming off as kind of a jackass in this whole thing. Regardless his feelings about the Lions organization, they have made him an insanely wealthy man and leaving them hanging in the wind like this isn’t a good look at all.

  5. Such a BS article. The lions have well over 30m to spend with him on the books. They’ll wait till July if they have to. Good try though.

  6. I’m a Lions “follower” and have been for fifty years but the pity party concerning Johnson and that he deserves to play for a contender is getting old. The Lions treated him very well and paid him the same, just let them know your plans so everyone can move on.

  7. Calvin has stated a few times now that he will play ONLY for the Detroit Lions, unless he retires. Period. The people close to him have also stated the same about Calvin. The people close to Calvin have stated that this crap about him wanting out to go to another team, is just that, crap……as in not true. Calvin has been a man of few words and everyone that knows Calvin will agree that he means what he says – there is no drama when it come to Calvin. Even though you all want one. smh

  8. It’s an interesting strategy. He’d be forcing the Lions to pull the trigger on cutting him and that would leave him looking like the good guy when he “suddenly decides” he still wants to play. Gets to keep the signing bonus and choose his next team while still having a few prime years left. It would be a very shrewd move on his part. He’d be using Barry Sanders’ strategy against the Lions as leverage to get his freedom.

  9. 81megatron81 says:
    Mar 7, 2016 6:40 PM
    Such a BS article. The lions have well over 30m to spend with him on the books. They’ll wait till July if they have to. Good try though.
    ________________

    Good point. The Lions do have $34M in space so it will not hinder them out of the gate but $11M more sure wouldn’t hurt. In terms of the roster there’s really no break the bank FA WR they would need the cash to target, which may be the biggest reason for their patience.

  10. For the sake of clarity, why don’t they just declare the free agency window open, instead of this “legal tampering” oxymoron?

  11. They signed him to a contract, and now they want him to retire so they don’t have to honor it.

    Enough with the “we need to know his plans” b.s. He’s under contract. He hasn’t retired. The Lions need to make the obvious decision and quit whining about it.

  12. It is kind of weird he’s been so quiet on the subject. He’s a pretty classy guy — I’d be very surprised if he plays games with the Lions.

  13. BREAKING NEWS By Me. SOURCE: Another Gossip Outlet.

    Titans trading for DeMarco Murray.

  14. the problem is the cap number same as the problem with manning if i was one of these guys i would make them cut me or pay me, now if manning wants to come back he has to go thru denver

  15. jag1959
    Mar 7, 2016, 7:00 PM EST
    81megatron81 says:
    Mar 7, 2016 6:40 PM
    Such a BS article. The lions have well over 30m to spend with him on the books. They’ll wait till July if they have to. Good try though.
    ________________

    Good point. The Lions do have $34M in space so it will not hinder them out of the gate but $11M more sure wouldn’t hurt. In terms of the roster there’s really no break the bank FA WR they would need the cash to target, which may be the biggest reason for their patience.

    That 11 mil will be just as valuable later when resigning Slay n Ziggy, no rush

  16. As a Lion fan I think Calvin Johnson owes the Lions the courtesy of whether or not he’ll be back. Had he not said anything about contemplating retirement right after the season ended, this wouldn’t be an issue at all. Johnson has spoken very little to the media over his entire NFL career about anything other than about the game of football, so for him to mention this isn’t like a player that is very talkative (like Terrell Owens).

    So in my opinion this talk of retirement isn’t just something he spat out, but he must be seriously considering. He has also said in years past that he wants to remain a Lion for his entire career, so I don’t think he’s trying to force the Lions to do anything.

    The Lions have paid Johnson extremely well (he also got the rookie contract before the cap came into being). Johnson also knows that the Lions are thin at WR without him there (Tate, Riddick(RB), Ebron, Fuller).

    If Johnson has some sense of class he will let the Lions know of his intentions for 2016.

    I will think less of him if he waits until after free agency and the draft. And I’ve watched every game he’s played for the Lions and have loved having him on “my team”.

  17. The same Dave Birkett said in a tweet all of CJ’s friends on the Lions say he wouldn’t hold them hostage to get a release. He added, “It would be nice to hear it from him, though.” I think that’s exactly what’s happened; it’s all about money. Remember the Schecter tweets a month ago, that Megatron told his teammates before the season and the coach after the season that he was “planning” to retire? That came from the Lions. They want him to quit, he wants them to cut him, and I think he’ll just play another year.

  18. Leave it up to 3rd rate bloggers to try and stir something up when it’s not there. Just like they did with Barry, they claim CJ wants to play elsewhere. Well guess what CJ will always be a Lion and proud of it. Just as Barry appears to be.

    Oh yeah how’d that work out for that Suh fella? He went from a playoff team to the 8th worst team in the NFL.

  19. Calvin will be a Lion this year and likely the year after, or he will retire and write a check to the Lions. Either way the Lions are in pretty good shape. They get a great receiver, or the money to pay for a good receiver and some depth at DT or CB

  20. I think they know Calvin’s plans. Detroit has another Barry Sanders situation on its hands.

  21. The Lions have and will do what’s best for the Lions.
    Calvin should do what’s best for Calvin.

    If he hasn’t said he’s retired, then go ahead and assume he is still playing and we know he is still under contract.
    So, what’s the problem?

    Oh yeah!
    That’s right. I almost forgot,
    The Lions don’t want to honor the contract they signed and they want Calvin to take a pay cut.

    Unreal.

  22. jimmysee
    Mar 8, 2016, 2:02 AM EST
    I think they know Calvin’s plans. Detroit has another Barry Sanders situation on its hands.
    ————————————————————————
    It’s a very different situation. Barry was sick of playing for an organization that wasn’t committed to winning, so he just didn’t show up. That was a major snub (and pretty unusual for him as well). I think that Martha Firestone has really changed that mindset.
    CJ has said he’s retiring and I think they’re just hoping he’ll change his mind.

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