Lions Rumors: Ihedigbo, Fairley, Leshoure

As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press wrote last night, James Ihedigbo looks like the Lions’ top choice at safety in free agency, but the team is still waiting for an answer from him. GM Martin Mayhew said today that the club remains in contact with Ihedigbo, and that there’s no timetable on a decision (Twitter link via Birkett). While there’s nothing new to report on the Ihedigbo front, we have plenty of new Lions tidbits to pass along, so let’s dive in….

  • Mayhew announced today that the Lions won’t pick up their fifth-year option on Nick Fairley‘s contract for 2015, tweets Tim Twentyman of The option, which is a wrinkle of the new CBA for first-round draft picks, will be worth in the neighborhood of $5.5MM, but Mayhew doesn’t see Fairley as a $5MM-per-year player right now due to inconsistency, tweets Birkett.
  • The Fairley decision is somewhat surprising, since those fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury only initially, and a strong 2014 would make it challenging for the Lions to retain Fairley in 2015 when he’s an unrestricted free agent. However, Mayhew is hoping to give the defensive lineman incentive to have a great season (Twitter link via Birkett).
  • The Lions aren’t interested in trading running back Mikel Leshoure, despite the fact that he’s behind Reggie Bush and Joique Bell on the depth chart, Mayhew tells Twentyman (Twitter link).
  • Detroit will “definitely consider” drafting a quarterback this May to back up Matthew Stafford, according to Mayhew (Twitter link via Birkett).
  • Mayhew confirmed that he and coach Jim Caldwell met with Sammy Watkins and his family around the time of Clemson’s Pro Day, and that the GM will also be attending Mike Evans‘ Pro Day this week (Twitter link via Birkett).
  • In the wake of his father’s death, vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. said today that his involvement with the Lions may increase going forward, according to Birkett.
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