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, 30, declined to say last season whether he would restructure his contract, which calls for him to count $24 million against the salary cap in 2016.
If he 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.
Broncos’ Clady flexible
• Star left tackle Ryan Clady said he’d restructure his contract to stay with the Denver Broncos. Clady sat out the 2015 season after tearing his left ACL in May and is missing a Super Bowl for the second time. Two years ago, he was out with a foot injury.
Clady says he hasn’t been approached about redoing his deal, but “I’m sure that’ll come after the season.”
He adds: “I’m definitely willing to talk. I definitely would like to be a lifetime Bronco.”
The eighth-year pro and longest-tenured Bronco is due $9.5 million next season and $10 million in 2017. Veteran tackle Ryan Harris, a product of Cretin-Derham Hall, is Peyton Manning’s blindside protector with Clady and rookie Ty Sambrailo (shoulder) both on injured reserve.
• In an Associated Press survey conducted this season and released Sunday, 71 of 100 NFL players said they’ve seen other players allow injury concerns to affect what happens in a game. And more than a third of those interviewed acknowledged they’ve made their own “career decisions,” such as stepping out of bounds to avoid contact, in order to keep from being hurt or worsening an injury.
• Former Maryland coach Randy Edsall is joining the Detroit Lions as a director of football research.