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DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Lions‘ wait to get Ndamukong Suh signed and on the field is almost over.
Suh and the Lions agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth $40 million guaranteed and as much as $68 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were confidential, said both sides were working on the language of the deal Tuesday night.
Suh was scheduled to fly from Nebraska to Michigan on Wednesday morning to sign his contract and practice with the Lions during the afternoon, according to a person familiar with his itinerary. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because both sides were not publicly discussing Suh’s plans.
Detroit drafted the former Nebraska defensive tackle with the No. 2 pick overall in the NFL draft, hoping he would bolster a defense that has ranked among the league’s all-time worst in points allowed the past two seasons. The Lions won two games last year after becoming the first team in league history to go 0-16.
Suh didn’t report to training camp with his teammates Friday night and missed four days of practice.
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said Monday he was disappointed Suh lost some opportunities in training camp that were gone forever. The next day, center Dominic Raiola told reporters Suh should tell his agents to make a deal.
Suh’s holdout was half as long as Calvin Johnson’s in 2007.
The 6-foot-4 Suh, whose weight hovers around 300 pounds, was the first defensive player to win The Associated Press College Football Player of the Year award since its inception in 1998 and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. His breakout game was a 4 1/2-sack performance against Texas in the Big 12 title game. He finished with 12 sacks.
Suh was the first defensive tackle to be drafted among the top two picks since Oakland took Darrell Russell in 1997.
His mother, Bernadette, is a schoolteacher from Jamaica who required her son to post a 3.0 grade-point average before he could play football. His father, Michael, was born in Cameroon and became a mechanical engineer after moving to Portland, Ore.
Suh graduated from Nebraska with a degree in construction management from the College of Engineering. He announced in April he will donate $2 million to the school’s strength and conditioning center, and an additional $600,000 for an endowed scholarship in the university’s College of Engineering.
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