Lions GM: Retaining Suh 'priority No. 1' for Lions


Martin Mayhew's update on Ndamukong Suh's contract negotiation wasn't much of an update.

Combine on NFL Network
In advance of the draft, Marcus Mariota and others will look to showcase their skills at the combine (Feb. 17-23), only on NFL Network. SCHEDULE

"It's not done," the Detroit Lions general manager said Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine. "(We're) still working on it. Still very optimistic we'll be able to get it done."

Mayhew would not provide a timetable but said he'd like to get a contract negotiated with Suh before free agency begins on March 10.

"Priority No. 1 is getting a deal done with him," he said. "So that's what we're focused on right now is trying to get something done with him. We'll cross the other bridges of other players whenever we get to those."

The Lions believe Suh wants to remain in Detroit.

"A lot of the ingredients that need to be there (to getting a deal done) are there," Mayhew said. "I know what he's looking for. He wants to play for a winning team -- we've got a team that can win right now. We've got a quality quarterback, a defense he enjoys playing in, a coach he enjoys playing for. So it's a great situation for him."

Mayhew added that slapping the $26.898 million franchise tag on Suh remains an option. However, he said it wasn't a "no-brainer" to use the tag if a deal isn't done by March 2 (the end of the franchise tag window).

It makes sense that the Lions would balk at tagging Suh -- even if they puzzlingly insist it's an option. The defensive tackle would likely sign the tag and carry the enormous cap hit for all of 2015, then the Lions would be in the same place they are now.

Other notes from Mayhew:

1. When asked if a determination was made on Reggie Bush's future with the franchise, Mayhew replied bluntly:

"No we haven't at this point," he said.

It sounds like the team could ask Bush to take a pay cut or get released.

2. Mayhew said he hasn't made any decision on Nick Fairley. He'll meet with the defensive tackle's agent this week at the combine. However, with Suh the priority nothing will get done until the big domino falls. The GM said he could envision a scenario where both Suh and Fairley return, or where neither comes back to Detroit.

3. Mayhew noted that the Lions were in discussion with a couple veterans about restructuring, but declined to provide details on which players.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down RGIII's appointment as starter and Larry Fitzgerald's new deal with the Cardinals. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.