ESPN's Chris Mortensen discussed the situation Monday morning on Mike & Mike.
"The speculation has been the Philadelphia Eagles," Mortensen said (h/t Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice). "Once again, they need a tackle. They’re 7-1. They have only a first-round pick next year, and three 4s. They don’t have a second- or third-round pick. That’s not good.
"What’s it going to take to get Calvin Johnson, who by the way has a base salary still on the books for $16 million? Calvin has been working out, I guess, but does he really want to play? Jacksonville’s ears are perked up. Chances are, I don’t think it happens.”
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported two teams received permission from the Lions to contact Johnson but found him "noncommittal at best." The 32-year-old retired following the 2015 season, citing his history with injuries and a desire to preserve his long-term health. He recorded 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns in a nine-year career, making six Pro Bowls.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press posited the idea of a potential comeback to Johnson in May, citing the return of friend Marshawn Lynch after his own one-year hiatus.
"I don't really think about it too much because I got so much going on. I came in with Marshawn," Johnson said at the time. "We worked out together down in Orlando with Tom Shaw. I'm going to see him next week because I'm going out there to work with Oakland. But I don't feel any kind of mixed emotions about it now. It doesn't make me think about coming back, not at all."
Johnson's contract had $67.7 million remaining in base salary when he retired. He would have made $15.95 million in 2016. Any team that would trade for Johnson inherits that deal unless the two sides could work out a new agreement.