Best’s Agent Hasn’t Begun Negotiating Yet

The Detroit Free Pressreports that Jahvid Best’s agent, Tony Fleming, revealed that he hasn’t begun negotiating with the Lions on a contract for the first round running back. 

After news of Tom Lewand’s drunk driving arrest broke, some fans have gone into panic mode that it could affect the Lions’ ability to sign their draft picks.  Others are worried that Best could be a holdout if they haven’t already started negotiations.

The bottom line is both concerns are a little extreme at this stage.  Lewand will still be attending work and the Commissioner is going to take a couple weeks to review all the facts and meet with Lewand before acting.  Several league insiders feel that a heavy fine is the most likely form of punishment for Lewand, although this is the first occurrence of a top-level executive running afoul of the law.  This is also the second Lions’ staff member to have an alcohol-related incident in the last couple of years (former defensive line coach Joe Cullen received DUI and public indecency citations.)

Negotiation-wise, the Lions are going to focus the majority of their efforts on getting Suh under contract because of the size and complexity of his deal.  Once you get outside the top 15 picks, all the rookie deals fall into a slotted system with well-established parameters.

Best’s deal will be a very straight forward negotiation and he is a minimal risk to miss any time in training camp.  Lewand will face a stiff penalty for his indiscretion, but it will not significantly inhibit his ability to negotiate rookie contracts.


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