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Detroit Lions Put Off Contract Talks with Ndamukong Suh

Jul 28 2014, 8:07pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Detroit Lions Put Off Contract Talks with Ndamukong Suh
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The Detroit Lions decided to put off contract talks with controversial defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the 2014 NFL season.

The Detroit Lions decided to put off contract talks with controversial defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the 2014 NFL season. 

In spite of this, Detroit is confident it can keep Suh in a Lions uniform, per The Detroit News' Josh Katzenstein: 

"The Lions have tabled contract negotiations with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the 2014 season, but remain confident they can keep the two-time All-Pro in Detroit.

"'We have the formula for getting a guy signed,' general manager Martin Mayhew said Monday. 'We have a player that wants to be here; we have a team that wants to keep the player. Those are the two most important things.'

"Mayhew said the Lions decided to end negotiations over the past couple weeks, and Suh's agent, Jimmy Sexton of Creative Artists Agency, was on board with the decision. With training camp beginning Monday, the Lions wanted the focus to remain on the field, for both Suh and his teammates, who have regularly had to address Suh's future this offseason.

"'I think this is the right thing for us to do,' Lions president Tom Lewand said. 'It's the right thing for the team, I think it's the right thing for everybody and it allows us to keep the focus where it belongs. I remain tremendously confident and (coach Jim Caldwell) said it yesterday in his press conference.

"'We have a high degree of confidence that we can work out something that will be mutually satisfactory at the right time, and the goal hasn't changed in the least.'

"Suh, the second overall pick in 2010, can void the final year of his rookie contract after this season and become an unrestricted free agent, and if he hits the open market, he'll likely have many suitors willing to pay top dollar. 

"After practice Monday, Suh had no desire to talk about his contract situation and said he had 'no reaction' to the negotiations ending.

"'It wasn't my decision,' Suh said. 'I'm not going to talk about my contract. We're going to continue to talk about football.'

"Suh also said his relationship with the Lions' front office is 'great,' and 'nothing's going to change' as a result of this stalemate.

"The Lions have been in discussions with Sexton since Suh hired him in March, but Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand would not comment on why negotiations failed. Mayhew also said the Lions have no interest in trading Suh."

According to The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett, Lewand did not say if Suh is asking for a bigger deal than quarterback Matthew Stafford, who signed a three-year, $53 million extension last year: 

"Suh already is the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL at $12.5 million, and his $22.4 million cap number is the highest in the league this year. 

"He almost certainly will join an elite group of six defensive players who currently make more than $13 million a year on his next deal, though he, Lewand and Mayhew all declined to elaborate on what the sticking point is in contract talks so far. 

"Lewand declined to say if Suh is asking for more money than Matthew Stafford, who signed a three-year extension with the Lions last summer that included $41.5 million guaranteed and $53 million in new money overall.

"'In light of where we are, and most importantly in light of getting ready for the season and keeping the focus where it should be, we've decided to table the discussions with Ndamukong on any further contract discussions until after the season,' Lewand said. 'I think it's the right thing for us to do. It's the right thing for the team, I think it's the right thing for everybody involved and it allows us to keep the focus where it belongs.'

"Mayhew said while it was the Lions' decision to table talks, both sides were in agreement that was the best course of action at this point."

The 27-year-old Suh has amassed 186 tackles, 27.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception in 62 career regular-season games for the Lions, per ESPN stats

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