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Are Lions eyeing long-term deal with DeAndre Levy?

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The Lions may soon be giving a well-deserved extension to linebacker DeAndre Levy.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday during Inside Training Camp Live that the 28-year-old outside linebacker is viewed as "essential" for Teryl Austin's defensive to thrive. He's currently playing out the final season of a three-year, $9.75 million contract.

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While he may fly under-the-radar a bit, Levy has been one of the best traditional 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL. A season ago, he logged a mind-blowing 121 tackles on top of 2.5 sacks, an interception and a safety.

Though the dynamics of the defense will certainly change without Ndamukong Suh, keeping Levy at his post is crucial in order to keep the rest of the train on track.

In his first season as an NFL defensive coordinator last year, Austin put plenty of general managers and prospective employers on notice with his aggressive style of play. He had Levy in part to thank for that.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses what coaches are on the hot seat heading into 2015.

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