With Ndamukong Suh agreeing to a deal with the Dolphins the weekend before free agency officially began, the Lions acted quickly to replace their defensive line stalwart by orchestrating a trade with Ravens during the opening minutes of the new league year, sacrificing two mid-round picks to land nine-year veteran Haloti Ngata. And though the 31-year-old Ngata is entering the final year of his contact, Detroit has yet to engage him in extension negotiations, writes Justin Rogers of MLive.com.
“I think there’s other guys that they’re really more worried about,” Ngata said on Wednesday. “But for me, it’s just getting my feet wet here and seeing if they want me here and seeing if it’s a good fit. I think we definitely are probably going to talk sometime, but right now, I know they wanted to, but we haven’t really said anything.”
Ngata, a five-time All Pro, indicated in March that he would be open to an extension, and Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said last month that team management is also interested in working out a long-term deal. Detroit did draft defensive tackle Gabe Wright in the fourth round of this year’s draft, but the club doesn’t have a done of depth along the interior of its defensive line after losing both Suh and Nick Fairley. Ngata, a longtime 3-4 defensive end who will now play DT in the Lions’ 4-3 scheme, could be a nice veteran fit on a young Detroit line.
Ngata will earn $8.5MM in base salary from the Lions in 2015. As a result of trading Ngata, Baltimore assumed the remainder of his prorated bonus money, which will count as $7.5MM in dead money.