NFL news: Lions, Ndamukong Suh will talk extension, Eric Decker to hit open market

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Ndamukong Suh won't be a free agent until next year, but the defensive tackle could have a new contract sooner, rather than later.

Although he still has one year remaining on his rookie contract, Ndamukong Suh and the Lions are expected to discuss a contract extension soon. The deal could be beneficial for both sides. The 27-year-old Suh would gain long-term stability while the Lions lock up one of their better players and likely create some salary cap space in the process.

Suh is coming off an All-Pro season, and has made the Pro Bowl three times in four seasons. Heading into the final year of his rookie deal, Suh's 2014 contract will carry a $22.4 million salary cap hit. The Lions are pressed for salary cap space. By signing him to an extension, Detroit would be able to spread the guaranteed money in the deal over multiple seasons and would likely reduce his 2014 cap hit dramatically. Depending on the structure of the deal, Detroit could add upwards of $15 million in salary cap space next season.

While the two sides are expected to discuss a new deal soon, they can't yet. Suh is currently without an agent after parting ways with his previous agency in January. He has yet to hire new representation and a new deal will have to wait until he does, unless he plans to negotiate the contract himself. There isn't a rush to get things done, but the Lions will surely want to have the extension, and added salary cap space, in place by the time free agency begins in March.

Broncos will let Eric Decker, other free agents test the market

After coming up short in the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos have their work cut out for them in the offseason. Denver has 16 pending free agents, including seven starters, but the team doesn't appear to be in a rush to get deals done. The Broncos will let all 16 players test free agency, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

If Klis' report is correct, that means wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Knowshon Moreno and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be among the players hitting the open market. All three players are coming off excellent seasons and should have no shortage of suitors if they do leave Denver. Linebacker Shaun Phillips and Wesley Woodyard are also scheduled to become free agents.

NaVorro Bowman undergoes knee surgery

Bowman's rehab from the knee injury he suffered in the NFC Championship game can officially begin. The linebacker had surgery Tuesday to repair his torn ACL. Bowman's surgery was delayed because doctors had to wait for swelling in the knee to go down. He also damaged his MCL, but the injury was not believed to be serious enough to require surgery. That fact could help in the rehab process, as David Fucillo of Niners Nation wrote:

Socalisteph will provide more details in the coming days, but simply put, having only a partial tear of the MCL means there is more stability for his ACL recovery. Had he fully torn both ligaments, the rehab would have been longer in part because the stability of the knee would be that much less. We saw this issue in part with Mario Manningham's recovery from a torn ACL and PCL. The PCL is not the same as the MCL, but stability remained an issue. It is possible surgery might reveal more than the MRI showed, but we remain optimistic.

With the surgery complete, Bowman's attention will turn to rehabbing his knee. It is still too early to know a timeline for the recovery process. Based on recent recoveries from similar injuries, there is a chance Bowman will be able to return in time for the start of the season. That is far from a guarantee, however, and he could potentially start the season on the physically unable to perform list.

Nick Collins making a comeback?

Collins hasn't played in the NFL since 2011, but the safety sent out a tweet implying he'd like to make a comeback next season. Collins suffered a herniated disc that was pressed up against his spinal cord in 2011. He had cervical fusion surgery to repair the injury, but was unable to receive clearance to return to the field. Green Bay released him in 2012 and he hasn't drawn any interest from NFL teams since.

Collins developed into one of the top safeties in the NFL before the injury. Now at 30 years old and removed from the league for nearly three years, there is a question if he'll be able to even attempt a comeback. The first step would be to gain medical clearance from doctors. There is some precedence, after Peyton Manning had a similar procedure and was able to return to form. Playing quarterback, Manning doesn't take the amount of contact that Collins would playing safety, however.

Demaryius Thomas played through a separated shoulder

Thomas set a Super Bowl record with 13 receptions. As it turns out, he caught most of those passes while playing with a separated shoulder. According to Vic Lombardi of CBS 4, Thomas separated his shoulder during the first quarter of the game.

He didn't miss much time and finished with 13 catches for 118 yards and the Broncos' only touchdown. Thomas took a big hit from Seattle safety Kam Chancellor early in the game, but Lombardi was unable to confirm if the injury occurred on that hit.

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