Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand told reporters on Wednesday there is mutual interest between the team and DT Ndamukong Suh to get a long-term contract extension worked out at some point.
“We have tremendous respect for Ndamukong” Lewand said, via Mlive.com. “We’ve expressed to him an interest in him being here, and he’s expressed an interest in staying here.”
Suh, 27, has two years remaining on his current contract, so this isn’t exactly a pressing issue for them. However, the Lions are projected to be over the salary cap next year, which means they will need to free up some cap space in order to retain some free agents and fill other roster holes. This is where Suh’s contract comes into play.
As of now, Suh is projected to count $22.4 million against the team’s 2014 cap, according to Overthecap.com, which is a truly incredible figure for someone who doesn’t play quarterback. Detroit could easily get that number down to something more manageable with a contract extension that prorates guaranteed money over the course of multiple years.
Suh has been one of the most disruptive and dominant defensive tackles since entering the league in 2010. Pro Football Focus has had him rated as top-five defensive tackle in each of the past two seasons, so it makes sense that they would get something worked out sooner than later.
Earlier in the year, the Bengals were able to re-sign DT Geno Atkins to a six-year deal worth $56.4 million contract that included $31 million guaranteed. Suh should be able to beat those figures and come close to $40 million guaranteed, considering that the Bills gave Mario Williams $50 million guaranteed a few years ago.