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Taylor Decker on contract talks with Lions: ‘Nothing major’ but ‘we like you’

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The Lions appear to still be in the very early stages of contract talks with their left tackle.

Detroit Lions v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Taylor Decker is entering the final year of his rookie deal after the Detroit Lions drafted him with the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Lions already showed some faith in him by exercising his fifth-year option for the 2020 season, but the potential for a contract extension looms this summer. A left tackle is not cheap in this business, but Decker isn’t thinking much about that right now.

“I know it’s on the horizon, but it’s not really something that’s been at the forefront of my mind, (or a) huge focus,” Decker said in a virtual press conference on Thursday. “Obviously, it’s coming along in the future, it’s going to be important to me. But whenever that happens, that happens. I leave that to my agent. That’s why he gets paid.”

According to Decker, there hasn’t been any significant talks between his agency and the Lions, but Detroit has made it clear that they like him.

“Nothing major,” Decker said of the talks. “I mean, obviously, ‘Hey, we like you. We like you,’ sort of thing, but nothing major.”

This offseason, Decker joined a new sports agency led by former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley. Not only is this agency specialized in serving only offensive lineman, but Bentley also owns the gym that Decker trains at every offseason in Arizona—including this year.

“He’s been my No. 1 resource coming out of college to this day for my professional development, for my development as a man,” Decker said of Bentley. “I look up to him a lot, and he’s been a great resource that’s always shot me straight. He doesn’t bullshit me. I think as far as being an offensive lineman, he’s the best in the business at what he does. So to have all of my council in house at one place, that’s invaluable to me.”

It’s unclear how much Decker may be seeking, but the most recent contract for a left tackle went to Laremy Tunsil—who inked a three-year, $66 million deal back in April. Decker isn’t likely to hit those kind of numbers, as Tunsil made the Pro Bowl last year, but he won’t come cheap, either.

That all being said, it may be a while before we hear any progression in contract talks. Lions general manager Bob Quinn typically likes to get things done late in the summer, and the current limitations on NFL franchises could play a factor, too.

“So far there’s been a lot of challenges with the whole quarantine, Zoom meetings, coaches not being in the buildings, us not being able to travel back,” Decker said. “So I’m sure that’s going to present challenges for that process.”