The Lions want to work out a new contract with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Before they can do that, he needs to hire an agent.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Suh is expected to make a decision on a new agent by the end of the week. And, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported earlier on Tuesday, Suh is considering the possibility of representing himself.
The cynical, knee-jerk reaction to the possibility of Suh handling his own deal (I don’t know any cynics, unless they’re all lying) is that Suh would simply do whatever Jay Z advises him to do, given that: (1) Suh has hired Jay Z to represent Suh’s marketing interests; and (2) Jay Z isn’t certified to officially represent players for their football contracts.
The more accurate explanation could be that it’s simply what Suh wants to do.
On one hand, the streak of independence and outside-the-box thinking is admirable. On the other hand, Suh has no understanding of the nuances of a player contract or the concept of maximizing the leverage that comes from having a cap number of $22.4 million in 2014 and, if franchise-tagged in 2015, a cap number of $26.88 million.
The Lions, as Rapoport noted, prefer that Suh not do his own deal. And for good reason. If/when Suh decides he needs an agent, that agent likely will try to persuade Suh that he got screwed by the Lions, even if he didn’t.
Either way, the Lions will be carrying $22.4 million under Suh’s name absent a new deal with a reduced cap number by Tuesday, March 11 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Which means that a lot of work needs to be done, quickly.
And none of it can happen until Suh picks an agent, even if he chooses to do it himself.