Contract talks to heat up soon

According to our affiliate TSX, contract negotiations between the Detroit Lions and first-round selection Charles Rogers will heat up soon. And, despite a certain "red flag" issue, the Lions believe it can get done.

Although the negotiating season is just beginning, the focus soon will be on the Lions' talks with wide receiver Charles Rogers, the No. 2 pick in the draft.

The player drafted ahead of Rogers -- quarterback Carson Palmer of Cincinnati -- agreed to terms before the NFL draft in April, so that puts Rogers next in line for a deal.

Rogers is represented by Kevin Poston of suburban Detroit, a factor viewed by some -- but apparently not the Lions -- as a red flag issue at the time of the draft. Rogers has expressed an interest in being signed in time for the start of camp, Poston has indicated he expects to have a deal in place by that time and Lions vice-president Tom Lewand is quick to point out the team has not had a rookie holdout since 1997.

Last year's No. 2 pick in the draft -- defensive end Julius Peppers -- signed a seven-year, $46 million contract that included a $9.1 million signing bonus.

With the Lions' $5.5 million rookie pool for 2003, it is a foregone conclusion that Poston will be seeking a deal worth considerably more that Peppers got from the Carolina Panthers.

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