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Rookies Remain Without Deals as Training Camp Approaches

Lions players are scheduled to report to training camp tomorrow and then practice for the first time Thursday morning, but there is a growing concern regarding how many rookies will be in attendance.  For Detroit, the priority list probably states, "Sign Calvin Johnson," at the number one spot.  C.J. isn't the only draft pick that is without a contract on the Lions, as he and four others still haven't signed yet.

The Lions continued contract negotiations Monday with their first five draft picks, hoping to have deals done before players report to training camp Wednesday and practice begins Thursday morning.

But it is unclear if everyone will be in on time. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the No. 2 pick overall, seems especially unlikely to make it.

"We're starting to get a sense of where the market is," Lions chief operating officer Tom Lewand said. "We feel good about the offers we've made to date, and I think we'll keep aggressively moving to get things wrapped up."


The pace of signings has been slow for first-round picks. But it has been just as slow for those chosen in the second round -- including those taken by the Lions: quarterback Drew Stanton, defensive lineman Ikaika Alama-Francis and safety Gerald Alexander.

The problem the Lions face with Calvin Johnson could get worse depending on when JaMarcus Russell, the #1 overall pick, gets signed.  And once he does get signed, the money issue will likely come into play with Johnson.  It has been speculated that C.J. and his agent will want #1 money even though he was the second overall pick.  Either way, the chances of a deal being done before the first practice on Thursday are pretty small.  I would just stay tuned into the weekend with this situation.

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