Lions incentivizing attendance at conditioning program

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The dirty secret about NFL “voluntary” offseason workouts is that they’re not really all that voluntary.

But the Lions have figured out a way to guarantee attendance from a significant number of their players, by paying them.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions have made an effort to incentivize attendance under General Manager Bob Quinn, with 14 players having workout bonuses of at least $100,000 in their contracts.

Topping that list is quarterback Matthew Stafford, who will make $500,000 for showing up for 90 percent of the workouts this spring. Stafford has always been a regular attendee, and quarterbacks generally are at programs around the league.

Darius Slay, Glover Quin and Christian Jones have $250,000 workout bonuses this spring, and Theo Riddick has a $125,000 workout bonus. Nine other players will pocket $100,000 for the effort.

That’s one way to keep people in the building for the team-building and conditioning phase of the year, but the reality is, guys who want to make teams are there anyway.