Indianapolis — The Lions have just 10 days to decide whether or not to use the franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh, and on Friday, general manager Martin Mayhew said the team hasn't decided whether or not it will apply the $26.9 million tag.
"I'm not leaning any way," he told local reporters before NFL combine events began Friday. "It's not something we have to decide right now, so I'm not inclined to make that decision."
Using the tag would likely keep Suh in Detroit in 2015, but the Lions would need to restructure the contracts of Matthew Stafford or Calvin Johnson and possibly release players to make room for that cash commitment.
Mayhew also said he hasn't decided which of the tag options the Lions would use if they apply it by the March 2 deadline. The exclusive tag would prevent Suh from negotiations with other teams. The non-exclusive tag would give Suh a chance to test the market, and the Lions would have a chance to match any offer or receive two first-round picks if he leaves.
"What's the rush to make that decision?" Mayhew said when pressed on why the Lions haven't decided if they'll tag Suh.
Mayhew said he ran into Suh's agent Jimmy Sexton in Indianapolis, but president Tom Lewand is the one handling negotiations. Since the end of the season, Mayhew said negotiations have been "sporadic but consistent," and he thinks progress has been made.
And even though the Lions have expressed optimism in re-signing Suh to a long-term deal, Mayhew wouldn't say Friday a deal is close.
"My experience with these things is there's no such thing as close," he said. "Either it's done or it's not done."