Ndamukong Suh now has NFL's highest cap hit for 2014

USA TODAY Sports

After restructuring his contract again, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh now has the highest cap hit in the NFL for 2014.

The Detroit Lions' signing spree on Wednesday was made possible by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh restructuring his contract. The Lions converted his base salary into a signing bonus, and Suh's cap hit dropped to $10.49 million for 2013 as a result. This gave the Lions an extra $7.68 million in cap space. Between that and the cap space they already had, the Lions were able to sign Chris Houston, Jason Jones, Reggie Bush and Glover Quin (for a combined cap hit of $8.18 million for 2013).

The downside to restructuring Suh's contract is that he now has a cap hit of $21.41 million for 2014. According to Spotrac, that is the highest cap hit in all of the NFL next year. It's more than Eli Manning, Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford.

Because he had restructured his contract in previous years, Suh was already set to have a cap hit of $17.57 million before his latest restructure. The $3.84 million increase for next year isn't necessarily a huge deal, especially when you consider that the Lions had to create room to sign their top free-agent targets. However, it reaffirms that the Lions will have to work out a new deal with Suh next offseason. If not, they will risk losing him in the 2015 offseason.

Suh is actually under contract through the 2015 season, but he will have a chance to void the final year of his deal after the 2013 season. This almost certainly will happen, and it will make 2014 the final year of his deal. The Lions won't be able to franchise him because of the cost ($25.7 million), so it's either get him a new deal or let him hit free agency. Suh will get paid in a big way if he is allowed to hit the open market, but considering he's got all the leverage, he will get paid in a big way if the Lions are able to work out a new deal. Either way, he's going to get paid.

Aside from wanting to make sure he stays with the Lions, getting Suh a new deal will be important for cap flexibility next year. The Lions came into this offseason in the same situation with Stafford, and because they couldn't work out a new deal, they had to restructure Suh's contract. The Lions still need to sign Stafford to a long-term deal, but Suh really needs one as well. Stafford is still the top priority, but if the Lions want cap flexibility for next year, a new deal for Suh will be vital as well.

More:

Follow all of the Lions' free agency news

2013 Detroit Lions free agency tracker

Recap of the Lions' crazy Wednesday

Jeff Backus retires from NFL after 12 seasons

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker