Allen Park — Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has a salary cap hit of $24 million in 2016, and as the 2015 draws to a close, it's clear that a decision about Johnson's future will be among the most important issues for the next general manager.
The 30-year-old Johnson, though, hopes he isn't going anywhere.
"That'd be lovely," he said when asked if he wants to finish his career with the Lions.
Paying top dollar for a player who's no longer the best receiver in the NFL wouldn't be quite as lovely for the Lions. After lackluster performances the past two games, Johnson now ranks 12th in the NFL with 981 yards and 13th with 71 receptions.
Johnson has been dealing with an ankle injury since Week 8, but said he's "feeling all right."
Meanwhile, Johnson is coming off his worst game of the year after having just one catch for 16 yards against the Rams. His only catch came with about 2:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, so he was close to having his first catch-less game in the NFL. And Johnson was well aware his streak of 131 straight games with a reception was in jeopardy.
"You know it. You and everybody else knows," said Johnson, who has been with the Lions since 2007.
But, the key for Johnson in the game was to stay in the flow of the game, whether it was running routes that didn't result in targets or trying to throw a big block.
Focusing on the games is also Johnson's approach for the final three weeks of the season before speculation over his future in Detroit will surely increase.
"I'll think about it more when the time comes," he said of the new front office impacting his future. "If that time comes, whatever happens, happens, but not now. We still have our same coaches, and we're going to continue moving forward. And all I can worry about right now is the game plan that we have (for New Orleans)."