Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said he has commenced negotiations on a contract extension for quarterback Matthew Stafford.

"We did meet with Tom Condon (Stafford's agent) yesterday," Mayhew said in a breakfast meeting with the team's beat writers Friday. "Me, Tom (Lewand, president), Brian Xanders (vice president of personnel) met.

"We had a preliminary conversation and I think it was productive."

Stafford's salary cap hit for 2013 is presently $20.8 million. If an extension can be worked out (the current deal is up after 2014), the Lions could potentially trim as much as $11 million off the cap.

The Lions did a similar extension with Calvin Johnson last season, making him the highest paid non-quarterback in the league with a $132 million deal that knocked his cap hit from $21 million to $11 million.

Mayhew stressed that it was early in the process.

"We discussed some things with Tom, he'll discuss things with Matthew and we will follow up with a second conversation," he said. "Sometimes these things move along quickly and sometimes they take a little longer. We're prepared for whatever way it goes."

Mayhew said the team didn't need to have the extension done before the start of free agency (March 12). He also said the team was hoping to do a few other contract restructures, though he wouldn't specify the players.

The Lions have restructured the contracts of center Dominic Raiola (believed to be down to $1 million base salary with a $2 million signing bonus) and receiver Nate Burleson (details unknown).

They also lopped $8.5 million off the books by releasing Stephen Peterman, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Titus Young.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130222/SPORTS0101/302220397#ixzz2LdvtKk3L