GM: New deal for Suh coming soon

Updated: February 21, 2014, 2:57 PM ET
By Michael Rothstein | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the biggest issues in the offseason for the Detroit Lions has been if and when the team would be able to work out a contract extension for defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

On Friday morning, during a breakfast at Shula's Steakhouse at the NFL combine, Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew gave a better indication of when that deal might occur.

"I think this will get done on the eve of free agency or the eve of the start of the new league year, which is when free agency starts," Mayhew said. "Or some time shortly after the start of the new league year. That will be a good timetable for it.

"If it doesn't get done, we're fine with that. We can create some space and we have some room under the cap and the cap went up a little bit, as you guys probably heard. There's not going to be any type of setback or cap crunch or that type of thing if we don't get something done with him in the near future. But I do expect something to get done with him."

[+] EnlargeNdamukong Suh
AP Photo/Duane BurlesonNdamukong Suh and the Lions are closing in on a contract extension, GM Martin Mayhew said.

NFL free agency opens March 11.

Suh has a current cap number of $22.4 million entering the final year of his five-year contract with the Lions after he was selected as the No. 2 overall pick in 2010. Since the offseason began, both Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand have indicated multiple times that there is mutual interest in getting a deal done and that they anticipated it happening.

Suh has been a key component of Detroit's defense since his rookie season and has developed into one of the NFL's top defensive tackles. He had 49 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2013 and in his first four seasons has amassed 185 tackles and 27.5 sacks.

One of the potential snags in extending or working out a new deal for Suh has been his representation. Suh fired Roosevelt Barnes of Relativity Sports in January and has yet to hire another agent.

Mayhew said he was unaware if Suh had officially signed with Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports. It had been reported last week that Suh would have Jay Z in his contingent of representation in some fashion, either as a full-service agent or just for marketing purposes. If Suh goes with Roc Nation for contracts as well as marketing, his agent would be Kimberly Miale.

On Friday, Mayhew said Suh has not indicated who his new contract agent will be.

"In our discussions, he has told me he is going to narrow his list down," Mayhew said. "I haven't asked him any specific names or anything like that. I usually tend to take what I read in those matters in the paper about who is going to be representing guys with a grain of salt until they sign a deal.

"Having done this before, a lot of times those things get out there for a reason and it's not from the player. So I don't know who his agent is going to be at this point, but I know he's narrowed it down to a few guys and I think he'll make a decision soon."

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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