Suh says contract is no distraction

GENARO C. ARMAS AP Sports Writer Published:

DETROIT (AP) -- Ndamukong Suh is ready to start training camp -- and he says any uncertainty about his contract shouldn't be a distraction.

"That's what you've got agents for," the Detroit defensive tackle told The Associated Press. "They can take care of business, and just go from there."

Veterans report to camp Sunday, and the Lions will practice Monday. Suh is entering the final season of his contract, and as always, the spotlight will be on the two-time All-Pro when he takes the field for Detroit.

Suh does not seem overly concerned about the status of contract talks.

"I don't have a timetable," Suh said. "That's my agent. I don't have to worry about it. I can focus on football, and that's my job, and that's what I'm going to do."

Suh was drafted in 2010 by the Lions with the second overall pick, and he has 271⁄2 sacks in his four pro seasons.

Suh and Nick Fairley form an imposing interior of Detroit's defensive line, and the Lions are hoping for a big season under new coach Jim Caldwell.

Detroit finished 7-9 last season, and coach Jim Schwartz was fired, but the Lions have a strong core of marquee talent in Suh, Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford -- all of whom are in their 20s. The 28-year-old Johnson is the oldest of the three.

"Looking forward to the start of the Caldwell regime," Suh said. "Got a great group of guys coming back -- very young, guys starting to get into their prime."

The 27-year-old Suh enjoys traveling and immersing himself in different cultures, and the offseason is often a good opportunity for that.

"It's always nice to get out of the states and kind of disappear," he said.

"Obviously, starting here soon on Sunday, I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to just dive back into football 100 percent, and just put all my energy into that," Suh said. "I like to be a person that has ability to multitask, but at the same time, you understand the task at hand and what's most important."


BEREA -- Josh Gordon's off-field issues didn't put him out of shape.

The embattled Pro Bowl wide receiver reported to Browns training camp Friday and passed his conditioning test as he awaits an appeal hearing with the NFL on a possible suspension.

Gordon is scheduled to meet with the league Aug. 1. He's facing a one-year ban for violating the substance abuse policy for at least the third time. Gordon was suspended for the first two games last season, but still led the league with 1,646 yards receiving and scored nine touchdowns.

He entered the league with a history of marijuana abuse after failing two drug tests in college. Gordon reportedly entered a rehab clinic following a recent DUI arrest in Raleigh, North Carolina, and spent two weeks at a clinic in California.

Browns coach Mike Pettine would not confirm if Gordon had been to rehab, but cornerback Joe Haden said he was glad his teammate would take the necessary steps to get well.


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Jordy Nelson had a secret on the way to the first practice of Packers training camp.

It didn't take long for the rest of his teammates to find out.

Green Bay's leading receiver now has a deal commensurate with his production after signing a contract extension just before taking the field Saturday morning.

"So I was like the last one in the locker room and waiting on the paperwork to come down to get it done. That way, I had some security when I went out to practice," Nelson said. "That was a little bit different, and knowing no one knew (but) me the whole time I'm riding down there and on the field."

Soon enough, Nelson told fellow receivers and the quarterbacks. Coach Mike McCarthy found out in the middle of practice. Right about the time that Nelson was making a pretty touchdown catch on a long corner pass from Aaron Rodgers, word filtered out on social media.

The Packers didn't divulge terms when announcing the signing after the end of practice, and reported it was a four-year, $39 million deal with an $11.5 million signing bonus.

"He said he re-signed and he was really happy," Rodgers said. "Now he can buy all the land in Kansas. I'm very happy."

Nelson, a Kansas native who attended Kansas State, posted career-bests of 85 catches and 1,314 yards last season. The 2008 second-round pick has developed into one of the top receivers in the league with his ability to make sideline catches.


PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says his contract situation won't be a distraction as he prepares for the 2014 season.

Roethlisberger told The Associated Press on Saturday he plans to play in Pittsburgh as long as team president Art Rooney II will have him.

Rooney announced Friday the Steelers were not going to pursue a new deal with Roethlisberger until 2015. Roethlisberger has two years remaining on the $102 million contract he signed in 2008.

The 32-year-old Roethlisberger has a base salary of $12.1 million this season, a relative bargain compared to some of his contemporaries.


BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Almost as soon as he signed with the Chicago Bears, Jimmy Clausen got some tutoring on the offense from Jay Cutler.

If everything goes according to plan, his knowledge of the system won't be tested in a meaningful way.

The Bears would love nothing more than to see Cutler get through the season without missing time and render the backup quarterback spot a non-issue.

Instead, it's one of the few areas of concern for an offense that ranked among the league's best last season and has all its starters back.

For now, coach Marc Trestman has the returning Jordan Palmer in the lead. Then, there's Clausen trying to win it, with rookie David Fales likely trailing the pack.

"They're both very hungry," Cutler said. "They've both worked extremely hard this offseason putting in the time mentally, which is probably more important for them right now, just trying to figure out the playbook so they can go to the line of scrimmage and be fluent in what they want to do. We'll see how it goes."


NAPA, Calif. Khalil Mack is entering the NFL with much more fanfare than he began his college career.

The former two-star recruit who got his only scholarship offer from Buffalo coming out of high school, worked his way into a first-round pick this spring and is being compared to some of the best pass-rushing linebackers in the league before he even puts his pads on for the first time.

Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen likened Mack to Denver star Von Miller, who had 111/2 sacks as a rookie when Allen was defensive coordinator for the Broncos in 2011.

Mack welcomes the high expectations and said his goal is to win the defensive rookie of the year award. But he knows he has a long way to go to reach that level.

"I'm starting at the bottom right now," Mack said. "I'm trying to work my way up. I know I got to get a lot better."


ANDERSON, Ind. -- Colts running back Vick Ballard spent 10 months working his way back from a serious injury.

Now he has to do it again.

On Saturday, coach Chuck Pagano confirmed Indianapolis' worst fear -- that Ballard tore his left Achilles' tendon and will need season-ending surgery.

The Colts thought Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw, who had neck surgery last October, and Richardson's expected improvement in his second season may finally give Indy the powerful ground game they want. Ballard rushed for a team-high 814 yards as a rookie in 2012 and 63 yards in last season's opener before the knee injury.

Also, Jim Irsay was back at one of his favorite hangouts Friday -- the Indianapolis Colts' training camp.

He's hoping to stick around a while longer.

Though the 55-year-old Colts owner did not discuss his looming court case, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's pending decision or any potential punishments stemming from his March arrest, Irsay clearly enjoyed being around his team, coach and general manager and basked in the environment of his family business.

"At (age) 55, I really don't think about retirement or that sort of thing," he told The Associated Press. "I just want to continue building a great (Colts') legacy on the field."

First, must survive the storm that has been brewing since he was arrested with $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his car. Less than 48 hours later, team officials said Irsay voluntarily entered a treatment facility. He and was later charged with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated and driving with a Schedule I or II controlled substance in his body.

The ramifications are still lingering. Irsay's next court date is scheduled for Monday, though he is not expected to appear until the following court date, Aug. 28. And he's still waiting for Goodell's ruling, one that NFL players are watching closely to see how the commissioner disciplines an owner.

In the meantime, Irsay is busy with his own team.


HOUSTON --Jadeveon Clowney was on the field with the Houston Texans as they opened camp on Saturday.

But the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft was limited as he continues to recover from surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Clowney, who had surgery on June 12, participated in the majority of the drills as Houston started camp with a 21/2-hour practice on Saturday morning. But he was held out of 11 on 11 drills late in the workout.

The first workout was open to the public and fans cheered as Clowney trotted onto the field for the start of practice.

Others squealed and yelled his name as he walked off of it and he flashed a big smile before first taking a second to pull his flowing dreadlocks, which were drenched in sweat from the workout, away from his face.

He said he's feeling better, but isn't 100 percent yet. Despite that Clowney didn't appear to be slowed by the injury and moved around well during practice. He said it's up to the trainers if he'll be able to take part in drills when the Texans move from shorts and shells to full pads in a few days.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time," Clowney said. "I'm just letting the trainers take it one day at a time and try to come back and get back for the first game."

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