However, when Mayhew was asked about the possibility of placing the franchise tag on Suh, Mayhew said no decisions have been made at this time.
"I'm not leaning any way," Mayhew said, via the Detroit Free Press. "It's not something we have to decide right now, so I'm not inclined to make that decision."
Mayhew also said that while talks between the Lions and Suh's agent Jimmy Sexton have been "extensive," neither side can be described as nearing a deal. Franchising Suh would be difficult due to the fact that hiis tag would be worth $26.9 million for the 2015 season.
Suh is one of the NFL's most dominant defensive tackles in the game. In 2015, Suh totaled 53 tackles and 8 1/2 sacks.
"We're negotiating right now," Mayhew said. "I feel good about it. He likes the situation in Detroit."
Barring a franchise or transition tag, Suh is set to hit the market when the league year begins on March 10. The Lions will reportedly have a cap charge of $9,737,500 in 2015 for Suh regardless of whether he re-signs with the team, is franchised or moves on to another team.
Suh, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, completed his fifth season in the NFL. He has totaled 181 tackles, 36 sacks and one interception in his career.
With Monday being the first day NFL teams can franchise players, the
The Lions have the next two weeks to place the tag on Suh. Tagging Suh would elevate his salary to $26.87 million for the 2015 season. If no deal can be reached by March 7 and Suh is not tagged, he'll become a free agent March 10.
The top free agent in this year's group is
Though it's quite possible for Suh to leave Detroit, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is still factoring his key defensive cog to be back with his personnel in 2015.
“It hasn’t crossed my mind,” Austin told the Lions' official website. “I’m planning on him being back.”
The Lions have until March 7, when the legal tampering period begins, to strike a long-term deal with Suh before other teams can speak to his representation. The Lions also have the option of franchising Suh, though that number is projected to be a $26.87 million tag figure.
As for Austin, he understands the importance of having Suh back. And until he's gone, Austin appears to be acting like he's sticking around.
"You can’t get around it. You can sugar coat it or say whatever you want, but he’s a great player. He changes the game," Austin said.
Absent a franchise or transition tag, Suh is set to hit the market when the league year begins on March 10. The Lions will have a cap charge of $9,737,500 in 2015 for Suh regardless of whether he resigns with the team, is franchised or moves on to another team, per the report.
Suh is in line to be one of the top free agents on the market during the 2015 offseason and has expressed interest in joining the Seahawks, though budgetary concerns may prevent Seattle from being heavily involved. He recorded recorded 8 1/2 sacks and 53 tackles in 2014.
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