Extra Points: Megatron, JPP, Cardinals, Wallace

The Lions hope to know whether receiver Calvin Johnson will return or retire by Tuesday, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, as his decision will greatly impact how they approach free agency. If Megatron retires or the Lions release him by Wednesday, they’ll open up over $11MM in cap space for 2016. Otherwise, Johnson’s $15.95MM base salary and $24MM-plus cap number will go on the team’s books this year.

Here’s more from around the NFL, including some intriguing notes on pending free agents:

  • There’s “optimism” that the Giants will be able to re-sign defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, reports ESPN’s Dan Graziano, who adds that the club has offered JPP a one-year deal. Other possible suitors are “hesitant” to offer Pierre-Paul a long-term pact, per Graziano. However, there’s an “aggressive” market for his services, writes Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. Thus, it’s hard to believe he’d have to settle for a one-year deal.
  • If Pierre-Paul leaves New York, he could go to the Cardinals. They’ll pursue JPP, Mario Williams and the previously reported William Hayes, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link).
  • The Vikings reportedly wanted to bring back wideout Mike Wallace at a reduced cost as of last Friday, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports “would be shocked” if he isn’t released by Wednesday (Twitter link). The Vikings will save $11MM if they part with Wallace.
  • The Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick are the best fit for one another, opines the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta, who expects the two to renew their relationship. Mehta lists a two-year deal with $14MM in guarantees as the floor for Fitzpatrick’s next contract, adding that the ceiling on guarantees could stretch to $18MM.
  • The Raiders are looking for a replacement for inside linebacker Curtis Lofton, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Last month, $3.5MM of Lofton’s $5.35MM base salary for 2016 became guaranteed. The Raiders had to pay it because Lofton had an arm injury at the time, per Tafur, and a team isn’t allowed to release a player if he’s hurt when he’s due guaranteed money.
  • Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette examines the Steelers’ need for a cornerback, suggesting this year could be the first time since 1997 that the team uses a first-round pick on a corner.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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