NFL notebook: Johnson told coach he will retire

NFL notebook: Lions WR Calvin Johnson retires
Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions catches a third quarter touchdown pass in front of Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field on November 26, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. 

Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson still hasn’t formally announced his retirement but indications continue to point toward his career being over.

Johnson reportedly told Lions coach Jim Caldwell the day after the 2015 season that it had been his final campaign, according to an ESPN report.

Johnson, 30, previously told quarterback Matthew Stafford and linebacker Stephen Tulloch of his plans and both players agreed to keep it confidential.

The Lions are hoping the five-time Pro Bowler will change his mind. Caldwell told Johnson to take his time per making the decision and Johnson agreed.

Johnson released a statement after the season when it became public knowledge that he was considering retirement.

“Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future,” Johnson said. “I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future.”

–The Lions hired Randy Edsall, who was fired as head coach at Maryland during the 2015 season, as the team’s director of football research and special projects.

–The NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams that said the league has no rule against moving to any particular market after Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis visited Las Vegas on Friday.

The memo specifically addressed the talk of Las Vegas as a possible destination for an NFL team and addressed Davis’ tour of the proposed stadium site.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Davis toured the 42-acre site that could host a proposed $1 billion stadium. He met privately with Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson, who has said he will fund the majority share of the private-public venture, and Wynn Resorts chairman Steve Wynn, who reportedly is considering a stake in the project.

–Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera expects a “great chess match” when his team faces Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning next Sunday in Super Bowl 50.

Rivera wants the Panthers to play “situational football” when facing Manning.

“He is going to anticipate and do things off of what he sees,” Rivera told USA TODAY Sports. “You have to make sure you’re disguising, you are holding your disguise. He wants to undress the defense as quick as possible and get a feel for where they are going and he will know where to attack.

“I think it really is a great chess match — and not necessarily coordinator against coordinator, but quarterback against defense.”

–Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence underwent recent surgery on his back that bothered him throughout the 2015 season.

Lawrence, 23, did not miss a game this season and led the Cowboys in sacks with eight, including seven in the final eight games. He recorded 55 tackles and finished second on the team with 31 quarterback pressures.

The Cowboys did not set a timetable on Lawrence’s recovery.