The Lions have a number of key free agents, including defensive end Cliff Avril.
But they are already thinking about signing a player that is under contract for 2012. Lions President Tom Lewand said on 107.3 WBBL last week that he’s been speaking to Calvin Johnson’s representatives.
“Calvin’s under contract for this year. He’s obviously someone we want to keep for a long, long time. . . . The good news is there he’s really expressed an interest in staying. He’s got a great relationship with Matthew [Stafford],” Lewand said. “There’s a desire among all parties to keep that together. It’s been my experience when that desire exists you can usually get deals done.”
Lewand didn’t get into specifics about free agents like Avril, Stephen Tulloch, and running back Kevin Smith, saying they’d love to keep all three players.
Perhaps the best news of the conversation came from Lewand echoing the party line in Detroit that expectations have been raised for the long-suffering franchise.
“Dumping Gatorade on the coach after getting a wild card spot is not where we want to be,” Lewand said.