Lions still talking extensions with multiple players
Allen Park -- Following months of methodical negotiations, the Detroit Lions were able to lock up Darius Slay this offseason, signing the cornerback to a lucrative four-year, $50.2 million extension scheduled to run through the 2020 season. But that's not necessarily the only domino that will fall this offseason. According to general manager Bob Quinn, the team remains in active contract negotiations with multiple players.
Quinn declined to comment on specific players where discussions are ongoing, but it's easy to look at the roster and highlight a few possibilities, specifically from the team's highly-productive 2013 draft class. Beyond Slay, running back Theo Riddick, defensive end Devin Taylor, guard Larry Warford and punter Sam Martin are all set to hit the open market next offseason. Additionally, 2012 first-round draft pick Riley Reiff, who is in the midst of a seemingly seamless transition to right tackle, will be a free agent after this season.
And while Quinn is having conversations with some combination of those players' representation, the GM wouldn't characterize any deals being near completion.
"Right now, we’re not really close to any of those guys," Quinn said. "Those things do change. I might get a call tonight that changes everything."
Under Quinn's guidance, the front office has been prudent spenders this offseason. Even after the Slay extension, and signing veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin last week, the team is operating with approximately $12 million in cap space. Quinn said leaving that much of a buffer was intentional.
"It’s always by design," he said. "We have a very detailed plan for how we’re going to deal with the cap, not just this year, but next year and the year after. We’re usually looking two years ahead. That’s the vision."
Quinn, a rookie general manager, hasn't reached a point where he's considered a self-imposed deadline on negotiations. At this point, he's willing to carry on those conversations into the season.
Asked in recent days, both Riddick and Martin declined comment on whether they are in ongoing contract talks with the team.