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

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson stretches but

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson stretches but is unable to catch the pass while defended by Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields during the second half of an NFL game, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in Detroit. Photo Credit: AP / Rick Osentoski

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — 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 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.

New York Sports