San Francisco -- Lions team president Rod Wood confirmed to local reporters at the Super Bowl that he has talked to Calvin Johnson and his agent Bus Cook. The team's position isn't any different on the subject than it was a month ago. They're giving Johnson time to make a final determination on his football future.
"I have talked to him a couple times, so we are staying in touch," Wood said after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's annual press conference at the Super Bowl.
"I've talked to Bus a couple times. Nothing has changed in what we announced before. We're still giving him time. I'm hoping to introduce him to (general manager) Bob (Quinn) in the next week or so. At least hand that off to him to start talking to Calvin."
Wood admitted that it would be "difficult" to replace Johnson with one person, but they'll deal with that scenario if that's indeed what the team is confronted with.
"I haven't talked to him about anything other than giving him time," Wood said. "Right now I want him to come to his own conclusion and decide what he wants to do.
"I wouldn't want to try and convince him to play if that's not what he wants to do, but obviously, if he wants to play, we want him back. So, we're going to give him time to kind of go through all the decision process and hopefully come to the conclusion that's right for him and whatever that is we'll support it."
The team will want a decision from Johnson the closer it gets to free agency.
Wood also touched on a number of other topics in the 10-minute interview:
Could the team have a third (alternate) jersey next season?
"I'm not ready to announce that, but stay tuned," Wood said.
The Lions haven't had an alternate jersey since the 2010 Thanksgiving Day Game.
Why did the team decide to raise ticket prices for 2016?
The total amounts to about a 7.8 percent rise from 2015 to 2016, according to Wood.
"We're still way below the NFL average, I think about almost 20-percent below NFL average, so we increased them," he said. "I know it doesn't sound like a modest increase, but relative to what some other teams have done recently, I think the last couple years has been 25- or 30-percent increases and trying to get up to the NFL average.
"We're not going to do that to our fans, but we're going to have to be methodical in continuing to increase ticket prices so that we're at least competitive with the other teams in terms of total revenue."
Wood said the team is trying to enhance the fan experience, including additional renovations to the stadium.
"We did the Tunnel Club last year, but we've got plans maybe to do things for the 2017 season," he said. "So, it enables us to do some of those things and keep us competitive with what the other teams are doing."
Will new video boards be part of the renovation?
"That's certainly going to be on the list of things that we might be doing," he said. "We have the original scoreboards. They're still good, but they're 12 years old."
**How is the working relationship between he and Quinn?
"It's great. I mean, our offices are side by side. We're talking virtually 24-7," Wood said. "He's home with his family for the first time since his first week on the job, so I've not talked to him in a day. But we're talking, texting and meeting 24-7.
"Virtually every decision that we've made we've been talking about together. He's a hard-working guy, he's a great partner and we're very, very lucky to have him."
What is the team looking to accomplish with the recent changes on the business end of the operation?
Wood wants to continue to grow revenue. He made the point that it's a competition both on and off the field with the 31 other teams.
The Lions announced last week they promoted Kelly Kozole to senior vice president of business development.
"I really wanted to consolidate all the sales functions under one person," Wood said. "We had a couple different people leading partnerships and sponsorships, somebody else leading ticket sales.
"Now, everything reports up to Kelly (Kozole), so hopefully we can have a more coordinated effort on all of our sales and bring in somebody maybe that's going to help us on the branding side, take it to another level.
"So, we'll probably be announcing pretty soon, maybe a promotion on one side of the organization and maybe an outside hire on the other side."
Are the Lions trying to rebrand the franchise?
No -- just trying to keep it current.
"We certainly like the 'One Pride' and 'Defend the Den.' Our fans like it, but maybe take it to another level, keep those taglines, but build more around the whole city's rebirth," Wood said.
"You know, when we started that it was when Detroit was kind of on its knees. We were going to be part of hopefully the rebirth. I think we still are and that's continually, so we want to kind of take it now to the next level."
How confident is he the Lions will be contenders next season?
Wood wasn't going to make any predictions, but it's safe to say he's quite optimistic.
"We have some things we have to fill on the player side," he said. "Luckily, we have a lot of draft picks. We're going to have some cap space and, you know, Bob kind of knows where he wants to fill some of those holes and has already started identifying opportunities to do that.
"You can't really predict what's going to happen in free agency. A lot of guys will get signed by their own teams, so you're not even going to have a chance to talk to them. And then you don't know what the draft's going to hold, but having a lot of picks is helpful. I'm confident we've got the right team now to hopefully maximize the value of those picks."