Allen Park — A little more a year ago, John Cominsky’s agent gave him a plain black T-shirt emblazoned with a message in white lettering. It reads, “One year of focus and hustle can change your life forever.”
Cominsky has never lacked hustle. It’s one of his defining characteristics. Still, when he slipped on the shirt, he felt different, empowered by those words. He embraced the motto in the weight room, on the practice field and in games. And on Wednesday, that added hustle paid off with a life-changing, two-year contract extension with the Detroit Lions, which will pay him north of $8 million.
“I put it on and I felt a little extra edge when I was working out, a little extra edge when I was walking around,” Cominsky said on Wednesday. “I said, ‘I need about 10 more of those because I’m going to be wearing them all year long.’
“I think a year is a good time span,” Cominsky said. “Just thinking about it as 365 days, what do I want to accomplish in 365 days? So, I think if you put those goals in front of you, and you have things in front of you that you want to accomplish, you want to better yourself as a man, as a player, as a husband, I think that’s a good way to keep your edge.”
The Lions were able to claim Cominsky off waivers last offseason after he was cut by the Atlanta Falcons, the team that had drafted him in the fourth round out of the University of Charleston (W.V.) in 2019. It proved to be a natural fit, with his character and playing style overlapping with the franchise’s gritty identity instilled by coach Dan Campbell.
Even after missing a month because of a broken thumb, which required him to play the remainder of the season with a club on his hand, Cominsky managed to log more snaps than he did during the totality of his three-year stint in Atlanta. So, after being given the opportunity to show what he could do, and feeling appreciated, he made it clear after the season he wanted to be back with Detroit.
Cominsky revealed Wednesday he had other suitors in free agency, although he respectfully declined to name them. The desire to return to the Lions was overwhelming, and when the team came with a strong offer, and Campbell reached out personally, the deal was quickly sealed.
“Detroit was it all along,” Cominsky said. ‘We wanted to be here. We wanted to get what we deserved, but we also wanted to be here at the same time. There was a little balance there and Detroit called us with something solid and coach Campbell sent me a text saying, ‘We’re dying to have you here.’
“I told my wife, ‘That’s it, I’m going (back) to Detroit.’ So, here we are.”