By Terry Foster

It does not make sense for Lion wide receiver Calvin Johnson to retire. That’s why he appears to playing a four corners offense to force the Lions to release him.

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Johnson wants to retire. He is beaten up and wants to move on. However, he has a smart agent in Bus Cook. If Johnson forces the Lions to release him he could still retire. But he could also play for another team if the bug hits him this summer or even in the fall.

Why not enjoy more options on the table?

If Johnson retires the Lions own his rights forever. If Johnson is released he can play for anybody should he decide to return.

Maybe that is why Lions General Manager Bob Quinn said that Johnson gave him no indications that he plans to stay or retire. Johnson can be evasive and talk without saying anything. This could be the stall.

Quinn also said there is no deadline for Johnson to make a decision. That is owner Martha Ford talking who wants him back just as much as she wanted coach Jim Caldwell back. There must be a deadline. Life is filled with deadlines and at some point the Lions must force Johnson’s hand and demand a decision.

The NFL has not given up on Johnson retiring. If the Lions release him Johnson can expect phone calls from the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. If we in the public are hearing that then you can bet that the Johnson camp has heard it.

Most of you that are reading this are Lion fans, however if you were given a choice would you rather play for the Lions, the Packers or the Patriots?

Think about it.

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The bottom line is Johnson does not owe the Lions and the Lions do not owe Johnson. It would just be nice if he could make a decision soon so the Lions can move on.

The best shot is the Lions need to give Johnson and his agent a deadline. If he misses deadline, then cut him.

** I do not believe rumors that Johnson waited for the season ticket deposit deadline to pass to announce his retirement. Johnson would never be in cahoots with the Lions to sell more season tickets. I am calling bunk on this devilish plan. It sounds good because many do not trust the Lions. However, that is pretty underhanded.

One more thing. I do not believe Johnson returning or leaving will sway many fans to keep their tickets or get rid of them. If this were Barry Sanders it makes it a different story. When Sanders played many fans said they showed up to Sanders to see Barry run. I do not believe you show up at Ford Field to watch Johnson run patterns — at least not at this stage of his career.

** There are rumblings of a royal rumble in Denver.

The Red Wings old-timers play the Colorado Avalanche Friday in a much anticipated alumni game at Coors Field. The old guys are not only sharpening their skates but are sharpening their elbows. It seems as if there are some hold outs on the Avalanche that want to extract revenge from the Red Wings during one of the best and bitterest rivalries in professional sports.

We all remember March 27, 1997 when Darren McCarty rumbled and the Avs Claude Lemieux turtled. We remember Patrick Roy against Mike Vernon and later against Chris Osgood. They jockeyed for Stanley Cup titles and every step was filled with bad blood. Many of the players let go of the past. It is my understanding that Peter Forsberg and Roy have not let go. Yes, they are smiling and joking around but keep an eye on these two during the game.

“It brings a lot of memories,” Roy recently joked with reporters. “I try not going again to center ice but stayed more in the crease this time.”

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