Lions president Tom Lewand said on Sunday, he expects the Detroit Lions will get a deal done with Ndamukong Suh. In fact, it could happen in the next few weeks.
The defensive tackle could become an unrestricted free agent on March 10, but the Lions want to make sure that does not happen.
“I really do believe he’s got a lot invested in himself and the community, and in himself and the football team. He wants to have success in the NFL obviously but he wants to do that with us,’’ Lewand said on WDIV’s "Flashpoint" on Sunday.
“I think there’s a very, very good chance that we can get something done with him in the next few weeks,’’ Lewand added.
Suh will demand top dollar for an NFL defenseman.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson also eat up a huge chunk of salary cap space, but that doesn’t seem to be an impediment.
“Matthew, Calvin and Ndamukong have all and very lucrative contracts under the old rookie system and even as Matthew and Calvin have done their extensions,’’ Lewand said on the show.
“So we’ve done that, we’ve lived in that environment. There’s no reason we can’t continue to live in that environment. We plan really well looking out into the future and where our salary goes. I think we can do that, I have no doubt we can do that with Ndamukong, make him a continuing part of the core of our football team,’’ Lewand said.
Like he has said many times previously, the Lions want to keep the core players, including Suh, and build around them.
“There’s no doubt that there are trade-outs that have to happen along the way — you can’t keep everybody because it’s a hard cap,’’ Lewand said on the show. “But if you have a good nucleus of guys then the draft every year comes through and you can keep adding good players to the mix.’’
Since the season ended coach Jim Caldwell and general manager Martin Mayhew have said that keeping Suh is a priority.
The two sides started negotiating on an extension last spring.
“I think he does (want to stay a Lion) we’ve had a lot of good dialog with Ndamukong over the course of his career, more specifically over the course of this season,’’ Lewand said on the show. “I spent some time with him last summer just before training camp started. We’ve had dialog with him throughout the course of the season from Jim Caldwell to Martin Mayhew to myself to members of the Ford family — Bill Ford and Mrs. Ford.’’
Suh, who was the second overall draft pick in 2010, played possibly his best season in 2014.
Lewand had announced just before training camp started that negotiations would be tabled until the season was complete.