After going seven years without a rookie holdout, first round draft choice Roy Williams unofficially made his holdout official by missing the first day of training camp.
Williams' absence seemed to irk head coach Steve Mariucci, who made it clear on Saturday that the holdout was only affecting Williams personally and professionally.
"He's already behind," said Mariucci. "I know they are working very diligently to get it done and it will get done. Tom (Lewand) is working like crazy to get him here. There is going to be a lot of catching up to do, particularly for a youngster, a new kid on the block.
"He's going to have to catch up with a lot of that in his free time, his personal time whenever that is. And you don't get the reps back. They're gone forever. The sooner he can get in here the better off he'll be and we'll be."
The Lions, who haven't had a holdout since Bryant Westbrook, are working feverishly to get something done, but it may be more difficult than original believed.
Williams' agent Ben Dogra is notorious for having clients that holdout. His most recent and most notable was Minnesota Vikings' offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie, an early first round pick last year who held out well into the regular season before a deal was reached. At one point, McKinnie flirted with the idea of re-entering the draft due to a contract dispute.
Dogra has talked sparingly with the Lions, leading many to speculate that he might wait to see what type of deal Browns' sixth-overall pick and current holdout Kellen Winslow snags. If that is the case, Williams' holdout could go longer.
What favors Detroit is the slick and smart negotiating style of Tom Lewand, who annually draws praise from both agents and fellow league personnel alike for his professionalism and financial creativity.