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James Ihedigbo to skip first part of Lions' offseason workouts

When the Detroit Lions open their offseason workouts later this month, at least one returning starter from their defense will be missing.

Safety James Ihedigbo, who is in the final year of his two-year contract, will not be in attendance for the voluntary workouts, which begin April 20.

Ihedigbo's planned absence was first reported by WXYZ-TV.

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. A message left with Ihedigbo seeking comment was not immediately returned to ESPN.com.

The 31-year-old Ihedigbo is set to make $1.625 million in cash this season -- $1.1 million in base salary and a $500,000 roster bonus -- and has a cap number of $1.975 million for 2015.

Ihedigbo, who will turn 32 in December, was a key part of Detroit's defense last season. He had 71 tackles, two sacks, a career-high four interceptions and three forced fumbles in 13 games. He missed the first three games of last season because of injury.

Ihedigbo was a Pro Bowl alternate and teamed with Glover Quin to form one of the best safety units in the league.

This is not the Lions' first experience with players skipping voluntary workouts recently. Former defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh missed the first part of workouts last season.

If Ihedigbo does end up skipping workouts, the Lions will likely slide re-signed safety Isa Abdul-Quddus or veteran Don Carey into that spot. The 25-year-old Abdul-Quddus started the three games when Ihedigbo was sidelined and had 18 tackles and two pass breakups in those three games before Ihedigbo returned.

Abdul-Quddus signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal last month. Carey is in the third year of a four-year deal and will count $995,000 against the cap in 2015.

This shouldn't be a big concern for Detroit yet -- Ihedigbo is a veteran who spends a good part of his offseason training with Quin -- but this will be something to keep an eye on as offseason workouts get going later this month.