Suh gives Lions some cap relief

March 12, 2012

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Ndamukong Suh has made an impact on the Lions’ defense in his first two seasons at defensive tackle, and he’s also doing it on their salary cap.

Suh has completed negotiations to restructure the remaining three years on his original contract to give the Lions salary-cap relief.

Suh’s agent, Rosey Barnes, said Monday morning that an agreement had been reached.

“We should be getting the paperwork in today,” Barnes told Fox Sports Detroit. “It’s quite a bit. It’s a significant amount.”

Barnes would not give the exact amount but said that Suh has not added any years to the five-year deal he signed when the Lions drafted him second overall in 2010.

That contract gave Suh $40 million in guaranteed money. Suh’s base salary for 2012 is $10.8 million.

The renegotiation obviously is a good-faith gesture on Suh's part and indicates that whatever issues he might have had off the field have not affected his relationship with the team.

It's common practice for players to restructure contracts to give teams salary-cap relief. Players don't take a cut in pay. Instead, they convert base salary to signing bonus, thus allowing the team to lower a player’s salary-cap number for that year.

The Lions reported on their website that quarterback Matthew
Stafford and wide receiver Nate Burleson also have restructured their contracts, giving Detroit about
$10 million combined in additional salary-cap relief for 2012.

Last year, Stafford, Burleson and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch restructured their contracts to give the Lions a hand.

Stafford and Vanden Bosch had their deals reworked in the offseason, which allowed the Lions to sign free agents such as middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch and cornerback Eric Wright. Both started all 16 games.