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Curry's Agents Attend Practice; Negotiations Underway?

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With only a week until the draft, the Lions are beginning the process of signing the top pick.  Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew have said all along that they want to have the top pick signed before the draft actually begins, and time is running out.  With that in mind, the Lions invited Aaron Curry's agents to practice today, and Tom Condon, Matthew Stafford's agent, has also reportedly been in the Detroit area, though Mayhew declined to confirm that tidbit.

Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry’s agents were on the sideline with Lions president Tom Lewand during this morning’s minicamp practice.

As he walked off the field, general manager Martin Mayhew confirmed the agents were Andy Ross and Michael Sullivan. Asked what it meant, Mayhew said: “It means we’re talking to them, which we said we would do.”

As Mayhew hinted at, the negotiations process appears to be getting underway.  Confirmation of that speculation comes from Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports.  Rang reported today that the Lions have entered into preliminary negotiations with the agents representing Curry, Stafford, and Jason Smith. 

This could be a situation where the Lions offer their ideal contracts to the three players and hope that one of them decides to simply go ahead and agree to it.  That is unlikely, though, so chances are they will try to negotiate with the player at the top of their draft board first, and if negotiations don't progress too much, they will move on to the second player on their draft board and so on.  That way they can use their leverage to hopefully get a lesser contract while still getting a player in the top three of their draft board.