September 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Lions' Ndamukong Suh has 'no clue' if he wants more than J.J. Watt


Allen Park — Lions All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said he hasn’t really examined the $100 million contract extension Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt signed this week.

Suh, of course, is in line for a big payday before the 2015 season. And even though he may not reach the $16.6 million annual average of Watt’s new deal, the contract could give Suh more leverage when negotiations begin again after the season.

When asked about Watt’s deal Thursday, Suh offered plenty of praise for the two-time first-team All-Pro, but didn’t go as far as Denver Broncos defensive end Von Miller, who said Watt was “underpaid” in USA Today.

“Regardless, at the end of the day, a great player like him, obviously very dominant at his position, great leader for his team, deserves all the money he can get,” Suh said.

The Lions tabled contract talks with Suh’s agent, Jimmy Sexton of Creative Artists Agency, at the start of training camp as a way to help the team focus on the upcoming season. Suh said he has “no clue” if he wants to be paid more than Watt with his next deal and didn’t know if Watt’s contract could be a blueprint for his.

“It’s their decision if they choose to, not mine,” Suh said after directing all contract questions to Sexton.

Since entering the NFL in 2011, a year after Suh, Watt has been among the most dominant players on either side of the ball with 36.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and 47 tackles for loss. Watt was also the 2012 AP Defensive Player of the Year.

“J.J. is an exceptional player,” Suh said. “Pro bowl, All-Pro guy, defensive player of the year guy, so he deserves to be paid to what he gets paid.”

Suh, a two-time first-team All-Pro, doesn’t have as many opportunities for glorious statistics, playing inside in a 4-3, while Watt plays outside in a 3-4. In four seasons, Suh has 27.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and 23 tackles for loss. And as Suh looks ahead to his new contract, he’s not concerned about the numbers that could impact his price tag.

“I don’t care about numbers at the end of the day,” he said. “If the guys around me are 20-plus sacks and I’ve only got five, eight, 10, so be it. If we’re winning, that’s all that matters.”

Ndamukong Suh on J.J. Watt: 'J.J. is an exceptional player. Pro bowl, All-Pro guy, defensive player of the year guy, so he deserves to be paid to what he gets paid.' / Daniel Mears / Detroit News