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Lions Sign All Three Second-Rounders; Restructure Two Other Contracts

Update [2007-7-25 19:7:46 by Sean Yuille]: The Detroit Free Press is reporting that all three second-rounders have been signed to four-year deals. Also being reported is that three or four players will probably be on the physically unable to perform list when training camp gets under way. Names will be confirmed tomorrow.

The Lions reported to training camp today and will hold their first practice tomorrow.  Going into the beginning of the two-a-days training sessions, the hope was to have at least all of the draft picks signed minus Calvin Johnson.  As it turns out, the Lions may get that wish after all, as Detroit signed two second-round picks today and the other still unsigned shouldn't be that way much longer.

Two second-round picks signed contracts Wednesday -- quarterback Drew Stanton of Michigan State and defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis of Hawaii. Safety Gerald Alexander of Boise State, also drafted on the second round, was close to agreeing to terms and was on the way to Detroit Wednesday, coach Rod Marinelli said.

It is important for any rookie to not miss any time in training camp simply because every practice is valuable.  That is especially true for Drew Stanton.  As a rookie NFL quarterback, any time you're on the field during practice is a small step towards gaining more experience and becoming a better player.  With the depth chart so thin at quarterback, and I mean that in an experience type of sense, Stanton getting better prepared for whatever comes his way is very important.

Earlier today, I said that Calvin Johnson should be signed by the end of the weekend.  Even though we haven't heard to much about negotiations as today passed, I still believe that prediction to be true eventually.  Last year at this time, first-round pick Ernie Sims wasn't signed either, but later agreed to a contract and was on the field during the weekend.  C.J. shouldn't be a  holdout for too long.

Something that goes a bit unnoticed in this time of signing draft picks is the restructuring of deals. Detroit especially had to do that with two veteran players, and luckily, both agreed to do so. Offensive guard Damien Woody and cornerback Fernando Bryant both restructured their deals, meaning the Lions can keep them on the roster and can keep them on the field.  Woody especially needed his deal to be changed considering he was due for a large payment this year, and the Lions didn't want to have to pay up if he were injured.  I imagine in the restructured contract that is taken care of.  Woody dropped a ton of weight over the offseason, and although he isn't expected to start, he will contend for that role.

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