ALLEN PARK -- Ndamukong Suh was actively engaged in the contract negotiating process which was a good sign for Lions president Tom Lewand who announced the contract deal this morning.
“We worked hard for the last several weeks really, but in particular the last few days. As with all these deals it’s a matter of compromising and finding common ground,’’ Lewand said before the start of practice.
“I give a lot of credit to (agents) Roosevelt Barnes and Eugene Parker, but obviously most importantly to Ndamukong himself because it takes a player’s involvement to really get a deal done.
“While we would have liked to do it earlier, I’m sure he would have liked to do it earlier, we’re just glad it’s done and over with, he’s got a lot of training camp ahead of him,’’ Lewand added.
Suh, the second overall draft pick, was on a flight from Omaha which is expected to land at lunchtime. He will be at practice for the first time in training camp at this afternoon’s session at 3:15 p.m. which is open to the public.
Lewand said that Suh was involved in the negotiating process more than a typical rookie.
“I’ve always thought when a player is involved in his business dealings that can only be helpful to the process,’’ Lewand said.
Obviously the Lions think highly of Suh whose contract is reportedly worth $68 million over five years with $40 million guaranteed. Lewand would not talk details. He would also not compare it to Matthew Stafford’s contract ($78 million over six years with $41.7 million guaranteed).
“That’s not really the point. There’s a reason we don’t talk about details of contracts, it’s really the player’s business,’’ Lewand said. “The focus for us is on the football field and not on the amount of dollars a guy makes. ... Obviously all of these guys are blessed to make a tremendous living doing this the focus needs to be on what they do for a living not how much they make.’’
Suh missed seven practices and Lewand would not engage in guessing how much he missed or when he’ll catch up.
“It really depends on what he does from here on out. As Jim (Schwartz) said the other day. There’s no replacing those practices that he missed,’’ Lewand said. “I know Ndamukong is going to show up and work hard on and off the field to do what he needs to do to contribute the way he wants to contribute to this franchise and the way we think he will.’’
Suh, who has a reputation for staying conditioned, attended OTAs and minicamps.
Labels: Detroit Lions, Ndamukong Suh, Tom Lewand