ALLEN PARK, Mich. — With free agency slowing down for the Detroit Lions, it would appear contract extension talks between the team and Ndamukong Suh might start to take shape.
While team president Tom Lewand refused to give specifics on Monday night while chatting with the media, he did say Wednesday morning on WJR Radio in Detroit that he “expects to” meet with the defensive tackle’s new agent, Jimmy Sexton, next week at the NFL owners’ meetings in Orlando, Fla., according to the team’s official reporter, Tim Twentyman.
“We’ll see if we can put a deal together and I’m hopeful we can,” Lewand said on WJR, according to Twentyman.
Suh is entering the final season of a five-year deal and his salary-cap number will be $22.4 million for 2014 if the team is unable to work out an extension or a new contract.
Lewand said Monday night that both the Lions and Suh have interest in Suh staying in Detroit but that they’d not had a chance to have any real discussions because of the timing of when the player hired Sexton.
Suh fired Relativity Sports, led by Roosevelt Barnes and Eugene Parker, in January and Sexton’s hiring didn’t come until early March. This left Detroit and Suh’s representatives little time to talk before free agency started last Tuesday.
Both Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew have said at points this offseason that a new Suh deal would not be a catalyst to what the team would be able to do in free agency.
The Lions have already signed receiver Golden Tate to a five-year deal and re-signed tight end Brandon Pettigrew to a four-year contract and have added depth on the defensive line.
Lewand said even if a deal gets done with Suh, it won’t open up that much cap space for the Lions in 2014. Currently, the team is between $2 million and $3 million under the cap.Previously covered University of Michigan for ESPN.com and AnnArbor.com
Also covered Notre Dame for Fort Wayne Journal Gazette