Lions Notebook: Mayhew Talks Future

Lions president discusses the break from Julian Peterson, plans moving forward and more.

General manager Martin Mayhew isn't one to tip his hand -- about anything. He has addressed the media exactly twice this season, in training camp and again on Wednesday.

If you ask him out offseason priorities, specifics about positional needs and wants, goals for next season, player evaluations, you will mostly get a stare and a polite no comment.

But there were some nuggets to be gleaned from his 22-minute presser on Thursday. For starters, outside linebacker Julian Peterson will not be back.

"We had a meeting on Monday, a great meeting, and I thanked him for his two years of service," Mayhew said. "Anytime you make 31 straight starts for a team (actually it was 28 and not consecutive), you have given a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make that happen. I thanked him and told him we weren't going to bring him back."

Peterson would have made $8 million next season. He was a healthy scratch last Sunday, the only game he didn't start this season.

"He did what we wanted him to do," Mayhew said. "He had some production as a starter for two years, but I think it's time to move on."

Here are some other items of interest:

  • On picking 13th instead of one or two: "Certainly it is more of a challenge to pick at 13 than it was to pick at one or two. But we think we had a great pick at 20 in 2009 with Brandon Pettigrew. And we think we had a pretty good pick at 30 last year with Jahvid Best. So from my perspective, there will be a great player at 13. We just have to identify and draft that player."

  • On how the pending labor dispute disrupts his summer plans: "I don't view it as being hamstrung. What it means is we have to prepare for every eventuality and every scenario. It means you have to do more work in terms of preparation. We're fine with that and we're doing that. We're prepared for whatever the new system is."

  • On pending free agent CB Chris Houston: "Chris did a great job for us. He was a good pickup. We don't know really what his contract situation will be, whether we will have the ability to tender him or not. But we are prepared to tender him or deal with him and make him an offer. He is a guy we definitely want back."

  • On whether he has any doubts that QB Matthew Stafford will be durable enough to lead this franchise? "I look at a guy who didn't miss any time in college. He wasn't an injury-prone guy prior to getting here. So don't think it's going to be an on-going issue. The doctors don't think it's going to be an on-going issue. We are going to get him healthy and he's going to play a lot of football next year."

  • On WR Calvin Johnson's comments that if the team didn't start winning games, he might look to leave after the 2012 season. "I have a great relationship with Calvin. We get along great and I have no problem with anything he said. I think we all feel that way. Who wants to be somewhere for 10 years and never win? Not me."

  • DT Ndamukong Suh will undergo shoulder surgery on Jan. 10 and not be able to play in the Pro Bowl game on Jan. 30. "My thinking (on surgery) was just to make sure I was 100-percent healthy going into the offseason program and to be ready for March and so forth," Suh said. "I truly wanted to play in the Pro Bowl, which is a great honor and opportunity. It came down to making a decision to play in the Pro Bowl or to have surgery as soon as possible and begin rehab in order to help my team next year achieve our goals of getting into the playoffs and competing for a championship. The organization and I opted to have the surgery now and not wait. I will always put my team first."

  • FS Louis Delmas was involved in a road rage incident in early morning hours of Dec. 21. Delmas was not charged for any crime, but his brother, Ravelle Sadler, faces trial on Jan. 18 on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and carrying a concealed weapon. The weapon was registered to Delmas. "We don't have any comment," coach Jim Schwartz said. "We are aware of it. I've spoken to Louis about it but we won't have any comment." Delmas was the passenger in the car.

  • QB Drew Stanton has a choice. He will be a free agent once the new collective bargaining agreement is signed and the Lions would love to sign him back as their No. 3 quarterback. But he played well enough, leading the team to a pair of comeback wins, to perhaps get himself in a position to be a No. 2 and perhaps challenge for a starting spot somewhere else. His quarterback rating of 78.4 is higher than two quarterbacks on playoff teams - Jets Mark Sanchez and Seahawks' Matt Hasselbeck.

    "It's a matter of seeing what the best situation is for me and for my family," Stanton said. "Obviously, the organization's going to do what they need to do. There are so many outlying factors for how you can conduct this business. Obviously, one of them from my standpoint, a little bit with job security, is the further up you are on the food chain the easier you have of getting out there and producing on the football field and getting more job security."

  • GM Martin Mayhew was asked if he thought PK Jason Hanson might have to fight for his job next season, giving the success of Dave Rayner, who was 13 for 16 as a fill-in. "I don't know if he has to fight for his job. The guy's probably a first-ballot hall of famer. He's just had a tough run with injuries."

  • QUOTE TO NOTE: "You don't have to be embarrassed to say you played for the Lions this year, especially being on one of the best defensive lines in football. There is definitely a different vibe heading into the offseason. A happy, positive vibe." -- DE Cliff Avril

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