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Allen Park – Safety James Ihedigbo is sitting out voluntary spring workouts, but Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said his feathers aren't ruffled and he understands why Ihedigbo is doing it.

Mayhew, in a news conference Friday to advance next week's NFL draft, said he's looking forward to talking to Ihedigbo "whenever I see him."

While he clearly wants to have a discussion with Ihedigbo, Mayhew said he has empathy for his situation.

"These workouts are voluntary," Mayhew said. "As we talked last year there was a guy (Ndamukong Suh) who missed last year, and I told you then it was voluntary, and it's voluntary now."

Ihedigbo signed a two-year, $3.15 million contract with the Lions ahead of the 2014 season.

"I look forward to talking with James," Mayhew said. "I understand what he's going through, I've been through that myself as a player when I felt like at a time in my career I was underpaid. I have empathy for him and understand what he's going through. I look forward to sitting down and talking with him. I have great respect for him as a player, as a man. I've gotten to know him a little bit away from football, and I understand how he feels and look forward to sitting down and talking with him at some point."