While the purpose of the NFL Combine is to scout potential draft picks, it also serves as a hub for everything NFL. With all of the teams and agents coming together in one location, contract talks are very common since meetings can conveniently be set up. With free agency opening just a few weeks later, the combine is often the place where contract talks first begin.
This is the case for the Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford isn't set to become a free agent, but the Lions want to get him a new deal. They need to free up cap room, and as Lions president Tom Lewand said last week, they want to ensure that Stafford remains their quarterback for a long time.
With this in mind, the Lions met with Tom Condon, Stafford's agent, on Thursday. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said on Friday morning that it was a "productive" meeting, although negotiations on a new deal are merely in the preliminary stages. From the Free Press:
"We discussed some things with Tom, and he’ll discuss them with Matthew, and we’ll follow up and have a second conversation," Mayhew told Lions beat writers this morning at the NFL combine. "Sometimes those things move along quickly, and sometimes they take a longer time. We’re prepared for either way it goes, whether it’s a longer discussion or whether it’s a shorter discussion."
Mayhew, Lewand and senior personnel executive Brian Xanders took part in the meeting, and they are scheduled to meet with the agent of defensive end Cliff Avrilon Friday afternoon.