Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions tabling contract talks?


The Detroit Lions have been discussing a contract extension with quarterback Matthew Stafford since the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in February. If progress isn't made toward a deal, though, Lions president Tom Lewand suggested talks will be tabled until after the 2013 season.

"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 said Saturday via the Detroit Free Press. "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."

This is a sticky negotiation. Lewand realizes Stafford isn't going to take less money to extend, especially when he holds leverage with a $19.3 million salary-cap hit in 2014. The Lions have to be careful not to tie up too much of the salary cap in mega deals for Stafford and Calvin Johnson going forward. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will be due for his own extension next offseason, though the Lions have not yet begun talks with the lineman's agent.

Stafford won't land a contract on par with Aaron Rodgers' five-year, $110 million deal. But he might have his sights set on Joe Flacco's $29 million signing bonus after averaging more than 5,000 passing yards over the past two seasons.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.