James Ihedigbo wants a raise. “Digs” was extremely productive after the Lions pulled him off of the scrap heap and signed him to a two-year $3.1 million contract last season prior to last season Now he thinks he should get a raise and it’s hard to blame him.
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The dispute bled over into the offseason when the Lions safety refused to show for voluntary workouts. On the surface being a no-show for voluntary workouts is no big deal but Ihedigbo made it know that he wasn’t going to show because of his contract.
Going public rubbed some in the organization the wrong way and the Lions signed a slew of free agent safeties as insurance against a prolonged holdout. Now Ihedigbo is in camp at OTA’s ready to work. So all is well right?
Ihedigbo still feels like he deserves more money especially considering he was nearly in the probowl last season.
"“I was a Pro Bowl alternate, so that answers that question,” Ihedigbo said after the Lions’ second of 10 Organized Team Activity practices today. “I was probably three games away from being alongside Glover (Quin) in the Pro Bowl.”"
But despite the animosity “Digs” is in camp and ready to play ball.
"“I’m not talking about anything with my contract at this point in time,” Ihedigbo said. “I’m here, and my mindset is really to get better at my craft, help my teammates, definitely be hands on with helping these young guys along with Shean (Rashean Mathis) and Glover, and making sure our defense and our team is special this year.”“It’s the nature of the business,” Ihedigbo said. “It’s never anything personal. It has nothing to do with how an organization feels towards you or you feel towards an organization. It’s not personal, it’s just the nature of the business. I’m here, like I said, and ready to play football.”"
It’s hard to blame James Ihedigbo for wanting more money. After all the weekly transactions are filled with players who were cut from their positions for underperformance. It seems only fair that players should be able to alter their contracts when they overperform. Unfortunately for Ihedigbo the CBA the players signed allows for the double standard that favors the teams ability to make cuts at anytime.
Ihedigbo agreed to be governed by the CBA when he signed an NFL contract. Until that changes “Digs” must take his lumps while being underpaid. Showing up to OTAs and putting the contract squabble behind him is a step in the right direction. Now its up to the Lions veteran safety to perform as he did last year if he wants a big pay day.