Ndamukong Suh is entering the final year of his contract with the Lions, and team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew have said the star defensive lineman has expressed a desire to stay with Detroit long term.
Now it is a matter of getting a contract extension done.
"I think that's going to be something that we certainly like the way that he's playing, like to have Ndamukong around," Mayhew told reporters Monday night at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. "He's expressed that he wants to be here in the long term, so I think there's a time frame that might get done, but I don't know when that's going to be.
"If it's going to be sometime before the start of the league year, sometime during the league year, sometime during the fall -- but there certainly will be an effort made to try to get that done, try to get an extension done long term."
Suh's extension is one of the key issues for Detroit this offseason. The three-time Pro Bowler is due to have a cap number of more than $22 million next season -- almost 20 percent of the Lions' total salary cap, according to ESPN's Roster Management System.
If Detroit is able to negotiate an extension with Suh before the league year begins in March, it could open up a lot of cap room for the Lions to sign free agents -- something the team doesn't have the luxury of now.
"It gives you more flexibility if it's done prior to [the start of the league year]," Mayhew told reporters. "But we can get by without it."
Suh had 49 tackles and 5.5 sacks this season, as well as five pass breakups and one forced fumble.