Lions will table Stafford talks if deal not done soon

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

The Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford have been negotiating a potential long-term contract extension since February, but team president Tom Lewand said the talks will be tabled soon if a deal isn't reached.
Stafford still has two years remaining on his six-year rookie contract.
"We've still got some discussion to have, but at some point in time we'll either get a deal done or we'll focus on football," Lewand told the Detroit Free Press at the Nate Burleson-Stephen Tulloch charity softball game. "It's a different dynamic when you have two years left on a contract versus one. Most of them get done with a year left. And we've worked through a lot of those issues and continue to do that, want to continue the dialogue. But at some point in time we'll either have a deal or we'll agree that the focus needs to be on what's going on on the field."
Stafford is due to count $20.8 million against the salary cap this year and $19.3 million in 2014. The Lions would like to work out a long-term deal to ease the salary cap hit and avoid a potentially costly franchise tag in 2015 should Stafford reach free agency.
This offseason, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco signed a $120 million deal that included $51 million in guaranteed money, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo received $55 million guaranteed on a seven-year, $119 million deal and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed a $130 million deal that guarantees him at least $54 million.
"Again, I think it's atypical for us to enter into discussions with Matthew with two years left on his deal, and I'm very glad we have," Lewand told the Free Press. "I think it's been a very productive process that may result in an agreement, and I certainly think will result in an agreement at the right point in time, and that may be soon and it may be a little bit later, but the process itself has been very valuable.
"It's not something clubs around the league generally do as a matter of course because with two years left on a deal it is a little more difficult. It obviously does happen, Aaron Rodgers being an example, but it's more of the exception than the rule with two years left."
Lewand said the team has not begun contract talks with defensive end Ndamukong Suh, whose rookie deal also expires following the 2014 season. He agreed to a simple contract restructuring this offseason to help clear some cap space, but currently carries a cap number of $19.3 million for 2014.