July 11, 02013
Who’s got next?
Calvin Johnson got a $132 million, eight-year contract extension from the Detroit Lions last offseason and the team knocked out a new deal for Matthew Stafford earlier this week, a $53 million, three-year extension that keeps him in place through 2017.
The Stafford deal also frees up roughly $7 million in cap room for the organization, putting the team in position to go about securing other players for the long haul. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, that is in the plans.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh could be next although the team isn’t talking specifically about how the resources will be used. Suh’s cap figure is a whopping $21.4 million in 2014, so something needs to be done before then.
“You know I don’t get into details on negotiating them, but I think we’ve been consistent in that we want to keep our young nucleus of players together for as long as we can,” team president Tom Lewand said, per Birkett. “That’s sometimes easier said than done in the salary cap era, but I think with the extension we did with Calvin last year, now with Matthew in the fold, we’ve shown an ability to do that and we’re going to continue along those same lines with that philosophy.”
A major deal for Suh is something that will no doubt take time to come together. In the meantime, the Lions have flexibility and more importantly they have their quarterback in place.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune