Ndamukong Suh will play out the final year of his current contract in Detroit.
Lewand reiterated that he is confident an agreement can be reached, but not until after the season. Both Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew said they remain optimistic about re-signing Suh. However, the GM made one thing crystal clear: the Lions ended talks, not Suh.
Talks have been slowed this offseason, even as both sides spoke publicly about mutual interest in a deal.
Suh has insisted throughout the negotiations he wants to remain in Detroit, a belief echoed by Mayhew on Monday. He carries a ginormous salary cap number of $22.4 million that will remain this season now that talks have ceased.
Lewand told reporters that the team remains open to using the franchise tag on Suh next offseason if a deal can't come to fruition. Based on his current cap figure, Suh's franchise tag number would sky rocket to $25.7 million in 2015, an untenable number given what the team is already paying Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford.
Mayhew said there is a formula in place to keep Suh: "I feel confident that he's going to be playing for us next year."
The Lions have put themselves in a terrible position. They have nearly no leverage on Suh and could end up watching one of the NFL's best defensive players walk away next offseason. They made matters worse this offseason by not picking up the fifth-year option on Nick Fairley's deal. The team could end up losing both starting defensive tackles next year, turning a strength quickly into a weakness in Detroit.