Lewand on the CBA Ratification

Posted Aug 4, 2011

The Detroit Lions were slated to begin practice at 4:15 p.m., but waited until official word that the CBA - which was being voted on by the players - had been ratified.

After a delay, the team came out to practice without their new signees. Within 10 minutes, those players joined the rest of the squad as they going through their warm-ups.

"I was on the phone with the League and (then) the official notification came via email," said Team President Tom Lewand.

The team has been practicing since Friday, but unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents and exclusive rights players were not able to participate until the League year officially began.

"They were in the locker room," said Lewand of the players waiting to take the practice field. "They had been dressed and ready to go. They have been obviously around the facility for the last week or so, but they just couldn’t participate in any (practices). (They) could participate in meetings, but no physical activities. Now that’s been lifted and so they were ready to go."

Included in that group of players were LB Bobby Carpenter, CB Chris Houston and DE Cliff Avril, who officially signed Thursday.

"It’s nice to have this officially behind us, so we can get our entire team together," said Lewand. "We have the whole team together and that makes a big difference. They can all start working together now and getting about the business of getting ready for the first preseason game in just a few days and (then) for the opener against Tampa on the 11th.”