Two-time All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh
and the Detroit Lions
are outlining parameters of a new contract.
Suh has two years remaining on his five-year, $64 million rookie contract as the No. 2 overall pick in 2010.
The Lions have every reason to push for a long-term deal.
Suh is regarded as one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL and he's also the most expensive in 2014. Suh's $22.4 salary cap figure is the highest in the league for 2014 based on current contracts. It jumps even higher -- to $25.7 million -- in 2015.
"We have tremendous respect for Ndamukong," Lions president Tom Lewand said Wednesday. "We've expressed to him an interest in him being here, and he's expressed an interest in staying here."
Negotiations with Suh, 27, could become sticky. He was in the next-to-last draft class before the rookie wage scale was passed, and given his reputation -- players recently voted Suh the NFL's most feared player -- and current cash flow, it's doubtful he'll be willing to take less money in his second, and possibly final, pro contract. Cincinnati Bengals
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins signed a five-year, $55 million contract in the offseason.
If Suh enters negotiations with an eye on being paid as a "pass rusher" and not a defensive tackle, he could push for something closer to DeMarcus Ware's six-year, $76 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys
or Green Bay Packers
outside linebacker Clay Matthews' five-year, $66 million deal signed in April 2013.
The Lions might have to buckle down elsewhere to fit a massive deal for Suh into the expected $126.6 million salary cap for 2014.
In the past two offseasons, the Lions signed wide receiver Calvin Johnson
and quarterback Matthew Stafford, whose cap numbers become growing issues in 2015.
Johnson's cap charge next season is $13.58 million. In 2015, he costs $20.558 million against the cap and $24.008 million (2016), $21.357 million (2017) going forward before rolling back to $17 million in 2018.
Stafford's cap charge in 2015 is $17.2 million, then over $22 million in 2016 and '17.
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