Over the past week, two teams have spoken to the Detroit Lions about potentially trading for Calvin Johnson's rights before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, league sources told ESPN.
Figuring they had nothing to lose, the Lions told teams to reach out to the retired wide receiver to gauge his interest, but so far it has been noncommittal at best, diminishing any hope for a deal, sources said.
Johnson, 32, who announced his retirement in March 2016, would have to be willing to play for any team that traded for his rights. There remains doubt that Johnson, who has not played since the 2015 season, would even be willing to return.
Johnson has told ESPN many times he is not returning to football.
Nonetheless, at least two teams have been curious enough to inquire within the past week. If any team decides it wants to add a pricey receiver for a second-half run, Detroit would be willing to listen, sources said.
The most prolific wide receiver in franchise history, Johnson retired after nine professional seasons in which he accumulated over 11,000 receiving yards, seven 1,000-yard seasons and six Pro Bowl invitations. He holds 15 NFL records, including the most receiving yards in a season with 1,964 in 2012.
The Lions declined comment, as did Johnson's representative, Bus Cook.