May 27, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions strong safety James Ihedigbo (32) during OTA at Detroit Lions Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Offseason rumblings of James Ihedigbo not being completely satisfied with his current contract never turned into much of a story but any allusions that Ihedigbo should be earning more than the contract with a $2 million 2015 cap number calls for were quickly put to rest.
Ihedigbo has seen his playing time cut in favor of Isa Abdul-Quddus to improve the team’s pass coverage and the difference has been stark. Given the choice of bringing back one of the two, the decision would be easy.
Both Ihedigbo and Abdul-Quddus have contracts that expire after this season but it is clear that Abdul-Quddus would be ahead of Ihedigbo on the Lions’ priority list. At 32, Ihedigbo’s best football is behind him while Abdul-Quddus, 26, appears to finally be gaining some traction in his NFL career.
There is no guarantee that either player returns given that they both have expiring contracts, but Abdul-Quddus, not Ihedigbo, is the one the Lions should pursue to hand a new deal. At the very least, Abdul-Quddus gives the Lions dependable depth and solid special teams play if they choose to address their starting safety spot next to Glover Quin differently. The same can’t be said for Ihedigbo.
Next: Dan Orlovsky