Detroit Lions safety James Ihedigbo runs during an NFL football organized team activity in Allen Park, Mich., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya
May 27, 2015

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) James Ihedigbo was on the field for the Detroit Lions' offseason training activities Wednesday.

But it's not clear whether he'll stay there if his demand for a new contract is not met.

The free safety asked the team for a new deal and said he would skip OTAs if he did not get one after getting 71 tackles and a career-best four interceptions in 13 games during last season's run to an NFC wild-card berth.

He signed a two-year, $3.15 million contract last offseason after coming from Baltimore.

''I want to be here for my teammates,'' the eight-year veteran said Wednesday. ''I'm just here to play football. I'm just here to be a part of it and continue to help our team get where it wants to go.''

Ihedigbo opted to train near his home in Texas rather than with the team earlier this year. He did not say what prompted him to change his mind about skipping OTAs.

He also refused to discuss his demand or if he'd met with general manager Martin Mayhew, but seemed to indicate his unhappiness wasn't rooted in any dislike of the team.

''It's never anything personal,'' Ihedigbo said. ''It's just the nature of the business. Guys go through it all the time.''

He also would not speculate on whether he'd skip training camp if a new deal isn't struck before players are required to report in late July.

Coach Jim Caldwell said he could sympathize with the player's situation.

''It's part of the business,'' he said. ''Most of the guys understand and have been in similar situations themselves. It's something you just have to work through.''

Ihedigbo began his career with the New York Jets and played a season in New England before joining Baltimore, where he emerged as a starter and earned a Super Bowl ring after the 2012 season.

He's due $1.6 million this season, including a $500,000 roster bonus he's already received. The Pro Bowl alternate, along with fellow safety Glover Quin and cornerbacks Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis, return to give the Lions stability in the secondary that had been missing in previous seasons.

Detroit ranked 13th in passing defense last season and tied Houston and Cincinnati for third with 20 interceptions. The secondary could face even greater challenges this season now that pass rushers Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley have signed elsewhere.

Notes: Linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, was on the field but did not fully take part in drills. He said he hopes to be cleared to do so soon. ... RB Ameer Abdullah and CB Alex Carter did not participate in Wednesday's session. Abdullah is attending an NFL rookie event and Carter was taking classes at Stanford University.

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