Mobile, Ala. — During his introductory news conference two weeks ago, Lions general manager Bob Quinn said he had no plans to rush Calvin Johnson into a decision about his future.
So far, Quinn has stayed true to his word as he has yet to speak with the star wide receiver.
“There will be a time and place for me to do that,” Quinn said before Senior Bowl practice Wednesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. “I just have felt like in the last couple weeks wasn’t that time. He’s an iconic figure; he’s a great player.
“It’s on my to-do list; I just didn’t feel I wanted to rush into it because he still has some things that he’s trying to sort through, and I didn’t want to influence his decision one way or the other.”
Johnson has been contemplating retirement largely due to health reasons. His agent Bus Cook said Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken to Johnson in three weeks and doesn’t have a timetable for the receiver’s decision.
“He’s tired, his body’s tired,” Cook said. “In due time, he’ll make his decision.”
For the Lions, though, it’d be helpful if Johnson made a decision before free agency begins on March 15. Johnson has a $16 million base salary and a $24 million cap hit in 2016, and the Lions would like to know his plans, either way, to know how much money they can spend in the offseason.
“There is some sort of deadline here,” Quinn said. “We’ll have some discussions before then for sure.”
The second overall pick in 2007, Johnson has played all nine of his NFL seasons in Detroit and eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in seven of them. The 30-year-old finished 2015 with 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns, and even if he’s not quite as good as in previous years, replacing Johnson’s production would require multiple moves.
“I think there’s definitely a multiple level of plans that we need to have in place, but like I said a couple weeks ago, I’m not here to rush him,” Quinn said. “I haven’t reached out to him; I haven’t talked to Bus Cook. I’m letting him do what he needs to do. I’m in no position here to ask Calvin for an answer any time soon.”