Lions say they’re still giving Johnson time to decide future


FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) warms up before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field in Detroit. The Detroit Lions are still giving Johnson time to ponder his future. The team issued a statement Sunday, Jan. 31. 2016, saying it stands by its previous statement that supported Johnson after ESPN reported he told family, friends and Lions coach Jim Caldwell he is retiring. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)


ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions are still giving Calvin Johnson time to ponder his future.

The team issued a statement Sunday, saying it stands by its previous statement that supported Johnson, after ESPN reported that the superstar receiver told family, friends and Lions coach Jim Caldwell that he is retiring. ESPN did not name its sources.

Johnson declined to say last season if he would restructure his contract, which calls for him to count $24 million against the salary cap in 2016.

If the 30-year-old Johnson chooses to retire, he will walk away from the game despite having the physical ability to play more, just as Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders did. Sanders was 30 in 1998, his 10th and final season with the Lions.

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FILE – In this Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) warms up before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field in Detroit. The Detroit Lions are still giving Johnson time to ponder his future. The team issued a statement Sunday, Jan. 31. 2016, saying it stands by its previous statement that supported Johnson after ESPN reported he told family, friends and Lions coach Jim Caldwell he is retiring. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_108433814-344aad5d3de444c5a794721a5a76d805.jpgFILE – In this Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 file photo, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) warms up before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field in Detroit. The Detroit Lions are still giving Johnson time to ponder his future. The team issued a statement Sunday, Jan. 31. 2016, saying it stands by its previous statement that supported Johnson after ESPN reported he told family, friends and Lions coach Jim Caldwell he is retiring. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
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