Lions to turn their attention to Ndamukong Suh's contract very soon

Posted Jan 22, 2014

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said there is mutual interest between the Detroit Lions and Ndamukong Suh to get a new contract done

MOBILE, ALA. -- This is turning out to be a busy beginning to Ndamukong Suh’s offseason.

Ndamukong SuhDT Ndamukong Suh (Photo: Gavin Smith)

The All Pro Detroit Lions defensive tackle has been in Allen Park the last couple weeks trading pleasantries with some of the teams coaching candidates.

Tuesday, he was the first player taken in the new fantasy-football style Pro Bowl format in Hawaii.

Next up for Suh’s offseason plans could be a new contract with the Lions.

Suh holds a $22.4 million cap number for the 2014 season and getting a new deal done with their fifth-year defensive tackle would allow the Lions some flexibility when the new league year and free agency begin March 11.

"We certainly like the way he’s playing," general manager Martin Mayhew said down at the Senior Bowl this week when asked about Suh. "I’d like to have Ndamukong around. He’s expressed that he wants to be here long-term, so I think there’s a time frame that might get done."

The Lions have been in this situation the last two years, first with Calvin Johnson in 2012 and Matthew Stafford last offseason.

Johnson had a cap hit of $21.1 million heading into the 2012 season. He got a seven-year deal worth around $132 million on March 14 and the Lions got the cap relief.

Last offseason, Stafford had a $20.8 million cap number. He signed a three-year, $53 million extension on July 11. Again, the Lions got their cap relief.

"I don’t know when that’s going to be," Mayhew said of a possible Suh extension. " If it’s going to be sometime before the start of the league year, sometime during the league year, sometime during the fall, I don’t know. But there certainly will be an effort made to try and get an extension done long-term."

Mayhew said getting an extension done before the league year would give the team more flexibility, but they're prepared for the start of the new year either way.

Suh is likely to command around the five-year, $55 million deal Geno Atkins signed with Cincinnati last offseason. Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata signed a five-year, $61 million deal in 2011.