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Lions notes: Calvin Johnson's contract, Terry Heffernan, more

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Lions notes looks at Calvin Johnson's contract, Terry Heffernan's new coaching role and much more.

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  • If the Detroit Lions need cap space to franchise Ndamukong Suh, it turns out that they really just need to restructure Calvin Johnson's contract. According to National Football Post, restructuring Johnson's deal would free up $9.3 million in cap space and put the Lions around $26.3 million below the salary cap. With one other minor move, the Lions would have enough room to franchise Suh, although they would have to make additional moves to do anything else.

    Johnson's cap hit in 2016, by the way, would jump from $24 million to $26.3 million in this scenario. In other words, the Lions would likely have to redo Johnson's deal in 2016, but that's something that may have to happen even if he doesn't restructure his contract this year. (See Larry Fitzgerald, who got a new deal from the Arizona Cardinals this week to free up nearly $13 million in cap space.)

  • The salary cap for 2015 is now expected to be at least $143 million. At this rate, the final number could very well be in the $144-145 million range.

  • Here's the latest update on the Lions' negotiations with Suh:
  • This week, the Lions officially named Terry Heffernan their assistant offensive line coach. Heffernan originally held this position back in 2013, but he was shifted to offensive quality control in 2014. Now, with Bobby Johnson, who was last year's assistant offensive line coach, working for the Oakland Raiders, Heffernan is back in his original role.

  • Rick Gosselin, who is quite the special teams aficionado, had some really positive things to say about new Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano.

  • The Lions' over/under win total for 2015 has been set at 8.5 wins.

  • Jimmy Kempski went back and looked at Mel Kiper's first mock draft from each of the last five years. Kiper's initial picks for the Lions were as follows: Gerald McCoy, Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown, Jarvis Jones and Justin Gilbert.

  • Okay then:
  • SB Nation's Dan Kadar has released his ranking of the top 100 players in this year's NFL Draft.