The Detroit Lions]p made headlines yesterday, signing OT Taylor Decker to a whopping contract extension of six years and $85 million, nearly half of which is fully guaranteed.
And interestingly enough, it wasn't something that had been officially planned.
Decker spoke earlier today about the process involved in signing his new deal, and confessed that the team's front office hadn't spoken with his representation at length about a new contract.
“I didn’t know at the time,” Decker said after Wednesday’s practice at Ford Field. “I had no idea, but I was focused on continuing to have a good camp.”
However, from the moment that the Lions selected Decker from the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2016 NFL Draft, Decker knew that he was in it for the long haul in the Motor City.
“I knew right when I was drafted,” Decker said. “I told (general manager) Bob (Quinn) that the other day. That's just huge to me. This city has become my home and I'm part of this community. To have the outpouring of love and support from the fans, from my friends, family and obviously the organization to want to sign me to an extension is huge. I just appreciate everybody believing in me and trusting me be their left tackle.”
And naturally, the first people that he contact after agreeing to the extension were the two people that believed in him the most – his parents.
“My mom started immediately bawling, crying,” Decker said. “I started crying, and I had to be in a team meeting in four minutes. So it was quick, emotional. I called my mom and dad again today right after I actually signed it.
“I’m the youngest of five, and I’m sure for my siblings and my parents to see their baby boy and their baby brother accomplish something like that—I hope it was cool for them…I texted my dad last night, I always just wanted to make him proud,” Decker said, choking up. “And I hope they are. I was able to tell my mom and try to dry up those tears before I walked into the team meeting.”
But as the consulate professional that Decker has become, he knows that there's still plenty of work to do.
“Obviously this is a huge, huge milestone in my life, my family’s lives, my future kids’ lives,” Decker said. “This is huge, but the work isn’t finished. That doesn’t mean that the job is done. The work isn’t finished. There’s a lot of football left to be played, and I think I’ve got a lot of good football left in me.”
What's the first thing that he's going to purchase?
“Everyone keeps asking me, you know, ‘What are you going to buy?' and I don't really have anything planned,” Decker said. “I mean, coach might not like this, but I might get myself a nice bottle of whiskey at some point.”
We'll raise a glass to that!
– – Quotes via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News Link – –