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NFL notes: Calvin Johnson tells Lions he’s retiring, report says

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson tried pulling away from Packers strong safety Morgan Burnett during a game Dec. 3 in Detroit. Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

The 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 if he would restructure his contract, which calls for him to count $24 million against the salary cap in 2016.

Johnson has spent all nine of his seasons in the league with the Lions and is the franchise leader in receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619), and is second in touchdowns with 84.


The second overall draft pick in 2007, Johnson played in all 16 games this season and totaled 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. But he was also held to two or fewer catches three times, had just two 100-yard receiving games, and played through an ankle injury.

Teammates and other NFL players reached out through social media Sunday to offer Johnson best wishes.

Wilson stars in Pro Bowl

Russell Wilson threw three first-half scoring passes to lead Team Irvin to a 49-27 victory over Team Rice in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu. The Seahawks star, who was the first player picked in the All-Star Game’s draft, connected with Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Todd Gurley for touchdowns.

Wilson was selected the game’s offensive MVP, while Team Irvin — and Seahawks — teammate Michael Bennett was defensive MVP. Bennett had the game’s only sack.

Brady back to campus

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady headlines a group of sports figures adding big-name clout to Michigan’s National Signing Day event, according to Sports Illustrated.

Brady, who played for Michigan from 1996-99, will be joined Wednesday in Ann Arbor by former Yankees star Derek Jeter, former Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski, and other sports celebrities.


Ravens coach John Harbaugh, the brother of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, will also attend.

Wednesday’s event begins at 11 a.m. and will be streamed on Jeter’s website, The Players’ Tribune.


Clady hopes to restructure

Star left tackle Ryan Clady told the Associated Press that he’d be willing to restructure his contract to stay with the Broncos. Clady said he hasn’t been approached about redoing his deal, but said, ‘‘I'm sure that’ll come after the season . . . I definitely would like to be a lifetime Bronco.’’ Clady, 29, is missing his second Super Bowl. Two years ago, he was out with a foot injury. This time, he’s going to be sidelined with a knee injury: He tore his left ACL in May and missed the entire season. The eighth-year pro is due $9.5 million next season and $10 million in 2017 . . . Former UConn and Maryland coach Randy Edsall will be joining the Lions as a director of football research. Edsall was fired by the University of Maryland in October amid his fifth season. The 57-year-old Edsall coached UConn from 1999-2010 and was an assistant with the Jaguars from 1994-97.