Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said Sunday he's optimistic the team will be able to re-sign defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a long-term deal, according to The Detroit News.
Suh is entering the final season of his rookie contract, with a cap hit of $22.4 million this season. If he and the Lions can't agree on a new deal, the team would have the choice of issuing him a one-year $26.7 million tender for 2015 or letting Suh walk as a free agent.
A report last week said Detroit wasn't optimistic it would be able to re-sign Suh.
A fifth-year player out of Nebraska, Suh has 135 tackles and 27.5 sacks in his career. He was named First Team All-Pro in 2010 and 2013.
Lions players, including linebacker Stephen Tulloch, said they don't expect Suh's contract situation to be a distraction this season.
"I think the media worries about it more than we do,” Tulloch said. “I know when 90 gets here, he’s going to work. That’s the one guy, since I’ve been in the league, that I never have to worry about when it comes to work. All the outside stuff that goes on, we don’t have to pay attention to that.”
More: Lions' offseason report card
- Ben Estes