When we last checked in with Taylor Decker and a potential contract extension on the horizon, the former Detroit Lions first-round pick said that talks hadn’t progressed beyond a middle school-esque flirty exchange.
“Nothing major,” Decker said back in May. “I mean, obviously, ‘Hey, we like you. We like you,’ sort of thing, but nothing major.”
But now we’ve entered August. This is the month in which Lions general manager Bob Quinn likes to get down to business and extend some of the players he views as worthy of an extension. Unfortunately for both Quinn and Decker, this is no typical August. With the NFL already preparing for a huge hit in revenue this thanks to COVID-19 impacting fan attendance and possibly much more, contract negotiations are suddenly much more complicated and tricky. The NFL has already decided to make sure the cap won’t fall below $175 million—which is about $23 million lower than the current cap.
As a result, it doesn’t sound like much progress has been made between the Lions and Decker according to the Lions offensive lineman.
“I haven’t considered anything, because there hasn’t been anything put on the table,” Decker said of contract offers. “However those conversations go, I’ll speak with my agent about that, he’ll speak to the organization about that, and then however they go they go.”
For now, Decker is just focusing on what he can: getting better every day in preparations to put good football out in September. Detroit’s starting left tackle spent the offseason working on his craft with LeCharles Bentley, specifically on maintaining his strength, health and movement. Because if his play isn’t up to par, none of this contract stuff matters.
“At this point I’m just doing what I can, given the protocol and the phases that we’re given, to put myself in a position to play good football, and then, hopefully, it’ll take care of itself,” Decker said.
One contractual option for Decker would be to take a shorter term deal while the NFL recovers from revenue loss, then completely cash in a couple years down the road with a big deal while he still remains in the prime of his career. It would be a risky move, obviously, but Decker didn’t outright reject the option when a reporter floated the idea.
“Anything could be considered, because like I said a million times—I feel like a broken record—it’s just uncharted territory,” Decker said. “It’s weird times, so I think there’s possibilities everywhere. So short answer, would I consider something? I would consider all options.”
Unfortunately, the Lions side of negotiations have been completely silent. Quinn’s standard operating procedure is to keep player contact talk completely out of the public, so at this point it’s simply a waiting game.