This was not how this offseason was initially going to be, with Quin and Ihedigbo under contract for the 2015 season after becoming one of the top safety tandems in the NFL last season. Then Ihedigbo decided to skip the Lions’ voluntary workouts that started this week. He's the only Lions player who is not in attendance.
“It’s April. It’s still early,” Quin said. “He’s working out, running back in Houston. I know that because I train with him. So obviously he had to make a decision for him and his family and it is what it is.
“We’re going to work and trust when [Ihedigbo] comes in, he’ll be ready.”
When that is remains a question. Ihedigbo doesn’t have to be in Detroit until the mandatory minicamp in the middle of June. Otherwise, as the Lions learned last season with Ndamukong Suh, workouts are optional.
Ihedigbo's situation is different than Suh's was, though. Suh decided to not work out at the Lions’ facility because he had his own training preference -- it wasn't a contract issue. Ihedigbo's agent confirmed to ESPN.com that their plan, as of now, is for Ihedigbo to not report to any voluntary activities unless he has a new contract.
Ihedigbo, who is in the final year of a two-year contract, is due to make $1.975 million against the cap in 2015, including $1.1 million in base salary. If the Lions chose to move on from him -- and there is no indication of that so far -- he would count only $375,000 in dead money after June 1 according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Like Suh a season ago, the Lions expect Ihedigbo to show up in pristine shape, whenever that is. Ihedigbo, who had 71 tackles, four interceptions and three forced fumbles last season, was a key piece of Detroit’s defense. He was also integral in the success of Quin as his strength playing toward the line of scrimmage against the run allowed Quin to lead the NFL with seven interceptions.
“He freed me up to not have to get in the box and play with those 400-pounders all day,” Quin said. “Get to run around on the back end and have some fun and catch a couple passes. So I can’t say that he didn’t bring a lot.
“He’s a key part of our defense and we had a good defense, played a good defense and everybody was a key part to it. He was a big part of that.”
While Quin has no control of what will happen with Ihedigbo and his contract, he wants him to stick around for reasons on the field and off of it.
“He’s a great friend of mine. Great teammate," Quin said. "Have fun playing with him. So I would hope. I have no control over that from his standpoint and the Lions’ standpoint.
“All I can do is control what I can control and that is my effort, my attitude and the guys that I’m here to work with.”