Chris McCosky of the Detroit News writes that with Lions DT Ndamukong Suh holding all of leverage in contract talks with the Lions, there’s now question that he will end up being the highest paid player at the defensive tackle position soon enough.
Earlier this week, Detroit released veteran WR Nate Burleson and S Louis Delmas, but according to McCosky, the Lions wouldn’t have enough cap space to sign their draft picks, even after they parted with these players.
As things stand right now, Suh accounts for $22.4 million of the team’s 2014 salary cap and represents the easiest source of cap saving on the Lions roster. However, the Lions can’t force him to rework his contract and agree to an extension that would reduce his cap figure to some more in line with his respective position.
Andrew Cohen of Overthecap.com points out that even if the Lions were to allow Suh to play out his contract, they would still be left with $9,737,500 in dead money for the 2015 season after Suh’s contract voids on the 5th after the Super Bowl.
Cohen also expects Suh to secure a “massive annual salary” that will will top his $12.94 million per year average included his current contract. Cohen adds that Suh’s next deal may include a staggering $25 million signing bonus.
Suh, 27, is in the prime of his career, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and is without a doubt one of the best defensive players in the game. It’s hard to imagine that he could have any more leverage in contract negotiations than what he currently has.
If the Lions are able to reach an agreement on a contract extension at some point this offseason, they are going to have to set the bar extremely high.