As it stands right now, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is under contract through the 2014 season. If no long-term deal is worked out between Suh and the Lions, he will be able to void the 2015 year in his contract after the Super Bowl and become a free agent next offseason. In other words, there's no guarantee that Suh will be with the Lions beyond this year, especially when you consider that the franchise tag isn't a realistic option thanks to his large cap number.
With uncertainty surrounding his contract and his long-term future, it would be easy for Suh to lose his focus on football. However, he told the Associated Press in a recent interview that his plan is to let Jimmy Sexton, his agent, handle the contract negotiations while he focuses on football.
"That's what you've got agents for," the Detroit defensive tackle told The Associated Press. "They can take care of business, and just go from there." [...]
"I don't have a timetable," Suh said. "That's my agent. I don't have to worry about it. I can focus on football, and that's my job, and that's what I'm going to do."
Even though Suh is focused on football, his contract situation could still become a distraction for the rest of the team if not handled properly. It doesn't sound like Jim Caldwell is going to let that happen, though. Caldwell mentioned on Sunday that he's been through situations like this in the past with Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco, and he's "optimistic" that Suh will eventually end up re-signing with the Lions.
Caldwell said: Ownership is going to make sure that gets taken care of. "Absolutely. I'm always optimistic."— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 27, 2014
Caldwell on Suh deal: "Something will get done at the appropriate time."— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 27, 2014
Dominic Raiola and Stephen Tulloch had similar thoughts about Suh's contract situation when they discussed it on Sunday. Neither player thinks it will be a distraction, and Tulloch in particular had a good quote about the situation.
Raiola not worried about Suh's contract being a distraction: "He’s under contract with the Detroit Lions and he’s coming to camp."— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) July 27, 2014
Tulloch, on Suh's contract situation: "I think the media worries about it more than we do. I know when 90 gets here, he’s here to work."— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) July 27, 2014
Tulloch on Suh contract: "We don’t have to say anything to Suh. Suh’s a businessman as we all know and when things get done they get done."— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 27, 2014
At this point, one of the last things the players and coaches are worried about is if Suh will sign a long-term deal. Right now, that's for the front office and Suh's agent to worry about. If Suh remains unsigned going into 2015, then perhaps the coaches and his teammates will spend some time expressing concern over the situation, but for now, the focus is simply on getting ready for the 2014 season.