Mayhew: Lions have no plans to trade Suh
MAY 05, 2014 2:24p ET
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Ndamukong Suh is going nowhere -- at least this year.
That was the adamant statement Monday from Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew.
It came after rumors that the Lions have made calls to other teams around the league to try to judge the trade value for Suh, who can become an unrestricted free agent following the upcoming season.
"We're not looking to trade him," Mayhew said before even being asked a question about Suh. "We have no plans to trade him. I haven't had any conversations with anybody about trading him except in January I did get a call from a team that had an interest, offered me a box of old tube socks and I said, 'No, thank you.'
"Other than that, there's been no conversations, there's been no gauging the interest level, there's been none of that that's happened that's been authorized by me. So I don't know where that (report) came from. That's not on the table.
"There are a lot of scenarios you can create where they might make sense to try to do something with him. You can think through all that stuff.
"The bottom line is winning football games. We're here to win football games. That's a guy that helps us do that so I plan on Ndamukong being with us."
(Background note: As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press pointed out, Mayhew said in his first news conference as GM back in 2008 that he had no interest in trading receiver Roy Williams. A day later, just before the trade deadline, Williams was dealt to Dallas.)
There has been speculation that the Lions could use Suh -- because of his uncertain future with the team and expensive salary ($22.4-million salary-cap hit for 2014) -- as a trading piece to try to move up in the NFL Draft later this week.
The Lions have insisted that they're looking to try to sign Suh, a 6-foot-4, 307-pound defensive tackle, to a long-term contract extension.
"We're in negotiations," Mayhew said. "I don't think it really benefits to try to gauge where you are. Are you close, are you far? I've done this for a while now. You can say you're close. You're not close until everybody signs it.
“We have no plans to trade him.”
"You can say you're not going to get it done (but) you're not doing to get it done until the time passes for you to get it done.
"We're in ongoing negotiations. We don't do that through the media. It's through dialogue between (Lions president) Tom Lewand and (Suh's) agent, Jimmy Sexton. We're moving forward with that."
Suh's recent absence during the Lions' voluntary workouts has been interpreted by some as a possible bad sign in terms of his commitment to the team for the future.
Suh has also missed these workouts in past years, but there's been more of an emphasis put on it this time from fans and media because he's one of the team's captains and because the Lions are installing different schemes with a new coaching staff.
"The reality is it's voluntary," Mayhew said. "The league office has been very clear about the fact that no general manager, front-office executive or coach is to imply that it's not voluntary. I'm not going to imply that it is or isn't voluntary.
"I can tell you this. The routine that he's on right now -- he'll be here hopefully sometime in mid-May (for OTA workouts) -- is a routine he's been on for the last three seasons. He's performed pretty well over the last three seasons."
Mayhew said cornerback Chris Houston is still trying to find the "right treatment plan" for an ongoing health issue (reportedly a toe injury).
"He dealt with it during the season last year," Mayhew said. "He's still dealing with it."
Asked if surgery was an option, Mayhew said, "I wouldn't rule that out. I don't really know right now.
"I think the longer it goes, the more concerned you get. Something happened back in August-November, we're still dealing with. There's a concern there."