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Detroit Lions News

News » Lions talk with prospects


Lions talk with prospects


Lions talk with prospects
DANA POINT, Calif. -- The Detroit Lions still will not say who they might select with the first overall draft pick, but they are closer to putting that player's name on the dotted line.


Lions president Tom Lewand, who is attending the annual owners' meetings, said the team already has started initial contract negotiations with several No. 1 prospects.

Because the Lions have the first pick, they are allowed to begin negotiating before the April 25 draft.

The top four prospects for that first pick are believed to be Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, Baylor left tackle Jason Smith, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry and Virginia left tackle Eugene Monroe.

Lewand indicated he has been in contact with the agents of other players as well. One of those might be Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji, who met with Lions officials last week.

The Lions want to begin negotiations early because contract language will be different from previous years because the 2010 season does not have a salary cap.

"We have to have robust dialogue with the agents of the players we're interested in," Lewand said. "We've started that process, and we've made it very clear to all of them that we have to have that as this month draws to a close.

"Because of the complexity of the rules, we've already started discussions. I don't see any reason we can't advance those discussions with multiple parties as we're narrowing the decision-making."

The Lions have indicated they want their No. 1 pick to be signed before they officially select him, but Lewand said there is no timetable on when that will happen.

The Lions want the draft pick signed before the draft because it eliminates any possibility of a holdout in training camp.

If the Lions select a player who is unsigned, he can withhold his services, much like LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell did with the Oakland Raiders two years ago. Russell missed training camp in a contract dispute.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 24, 2009

Shaun Cody Name: Shaun Cody
#75
Position: DT
Age: 25
Experience: 4 years
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