Lions having ‘civil and productive’ talks with Suh

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DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Lions have been negotiating with Ndamukong Suh in the hopes of signing him to a long-year deal before he potentially becomes a free agent next year.

The talks, according to team president Tom Lewand, have been relatively good.

“They’re more on the civil and productive side of the spectrum,” Lewand told season-ticket holders on Monday night.

The two-time All-Pro defensive tackle is entering the last season of his contract. Lewand insisted it doesn’t matter when a deal gets done with him even though he is scheduled to count more than $20 million against the salary cap this year and a new deal could be restructured to give the team some relief.

“The timing is less important than the outcome,” Lewand said. “And as long as the outcome is right both for Ndamukong and for us then I think he can be a part of the core of our team for a long time.”

Suh changed agents during the offseason, hiring Jimmy Sexton to handle his contract talks with the Lions. Lewand sounded optimistic that an agreement will eventually be reached with Suh, who Detroit drafted with the No. 2 pick overall in 2010.

“It’s been my experience over the years that when a player says he wants to be here and we indicate that we want him around we have a good track record,” Lewand said.

Under first-year coach Jim Caldwell, the team began having voluntary workouts last week. And so far, Suh has not shown up.

“We’d like to have him every minute of every single day,” Caldwell acknowledged.

Caldwell, though, said Suh is a thoughtful individual who has his life planned out.

“I’ve probably talked to him more than any other player from the time I got the job,” he said.

Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin says Suh is “worth every penny,” because he can disrupt what offenses want to do in the passing and running game.

Lewand, Caldwell and Austin were among the Lions employees who shook hands with season-ticket holders seated on the turf at Ford Field, as they walked toward a stage for a gathering that lasted an hour and included some questions submitted from fans.

“We promise we’re going to give you some football worth supporting,” Lewand said.

The Lions haven’t done that much over the years.

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