The NFL Combine doesn’t officially start until Friday, but team executives and general managers are already in Indianapolis preparing for the event and doing media tours.
Detroit Lions’ general manager Martin Mayhew is there along with his team’s contingent, and Wednesday, he took time out to speak with the media about several pressing issues currently related to the team including free agents and many other players in-flux.
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First, Mayhew discussed the lingering elephant in the room, saying that he feels “very optimistic” about the prospects of free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh returning despite a deal not yet being finished. He also said he could see a scenario where both Suh and fellow free agent defensive tackle Nick Fairley returned, but cautioned he could also see the flip side where both depart.
As Kyle Meinke of MLive.com wrote, Mayhew believes the team has the essentials in place for a deal with Suh, the biggest fish in the 2015 free agent market.
"With fewer than three weeks left until the start of free agency, there’s still no deal (with Suh) in place.But the general manager says he remains optimistic the sides will eventually come to terms.“I think we have a lot of the essential elements we need to get it done,” Mayhew said Wednesday during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. “He’s got a scheme he likes playing in. He’s got a passion for the game, as you guys know, and we’ve got a defense that plays with that kind of passion. We’ve got a head coach he likes playing for. He has teammates he likes playing with. So we have a lot of the things he’s looking for in Detroit. And obviously we have a desire to get him signed. So a lot of the important elements exist to get a contract done.”"
As far as Reggie Bush goes, Mayhew admitted he doesn’t know what he plans to do with the running back, and hasn’t determined whether he will be returning to the team in 2015. Bush carries an expensive number against the cap (just over $5 million), and could quickly become a casualty considering age and depth at the position as the Lions search for additional wiggle room to make moves
“I think we have a lot of the essential elements we need to get it done,” Mayhew said Wednesday during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
At kicker, Mayhew revealed he wishes to speak to the agent of Matt Prater regarding a return in 2015, but the team clearly seems to understand that Prater’s services may be hanging in the balance, being they have recently interviewed Notre Dame kicker Kyle Brindza and Texas A&M kicker Josh Lambo. Each are Michigan natives.
As the combine plays out and interviews are revealed, additional hints could be lent as to which way the Lions might be leaning on all of these different fronts.