INDIANAPOLIS -- The Detroit Lions have said all along they plan to sign Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a long-term extension.
Suh, 27, holds a $22.4 million cap figure for the 2014 season and getting a long-term deal in place would both lock up one of the best defensive tackles in the league for the foreseeable future, and give the Lions a large chuck of cap space to spend on free agents and draft picks.
General manager Martin Mayhew talked to Suh on Thursday and Suh told him he was finalizing candidates to be his new representation after Suh left agent Rosey Barnes this offseason. When an agent is in place then negotiations will begin.
Suh is expected to sign with Jay Z's Roc Nation to handle his marketing and is considering a number of high-profile agents to handle his contract situation.
Mayhew envisions talks to begin soon and an extension to get done sometime around the beginning of the new league year and free agency on March 11, or shortly after.
"If you go back to the last two (contracts) that we did that were big deals that were extensions with Matthew (Stafford) and Calvin (Johnson), Matthew's was done after the start of free agency, Calvin's was done on the eve of free agency," Mayhew told beat writers over breakfast Friday morning at the NFL Scouting Combine.
"I would not be surprised if this one happened on the eve of free agency or into free agency and the start of the new league year."
Johnson's deal, in particular, saved the Lions around $10 million in cap space when it was signed in 2012. The Lions are hoping for a similiar scenario with Suh this offseason.
Mayhew said the delay in getting an extension done while Suh finds a new agent hasn't set the Lions back at all.
He also said he hasn't given any consideration to trading Suh.
"I haven't really given that any thought," he said. "I anticipate we'll get something done. He has said that he wants to be here. I'd like him to be here. So that's my mindset right now."