James Ihedigbo shows up at Lions' OTA, after all

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
James Ihedigbo

Allen Park — Lions strong safety James Ihedigbo was among the players at team headquarters for the start of organized team activities Tuesday.

The 31-year-old expressed plans to skip all voluntary workouts absent a new contract because he felt his play in 2014 exceeded what the team paid him last year and will pay for 2015.

Ihedigbo missed the first month of the strength and conditioning program, choosing to instead work out at home in Houston. Where negotiations on a new contract stand at the moment are unclear, and his agent Jonathan Herbst declined comment Tuesday. His old agent Marc Lillibridge was suspended by the NFL Players Association last month.

The Lions signed Ihedigbo to a two-year, $3.15 million deal last offseason. Having already received a $500,000 roster bonus for 2015, Ihedigbo is still due $1.1 million in base salary.

Ihedigbo provided stellar all-around play for much of 2014 with 71 tackles, seven for loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles and four interceptions in 13 games.

When Lillibridge made it known in early April that Ihedigbo would be skipping workouts, he said there hadn't been any progress on a new contract. Ihedigbo's camp made its desire for a raise known shortly after the 2014 season ended.

Linebacker Jerrell Harris, who was on the practice squad last year, said it was good having Ihedigbo back Tuesday.

"He's definitely one of the leaders on the team," he said.

OTAs run Tuesday to Thursday each of the next two weeks as well as June 8-11, and mandatory minicamp runs June 16-18.