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Lions not optimistic about Suh deal

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Getty Images

When the Lions passed on Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 10th overall pick in the draft for yet another offensive weapon, their intention to keep defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh became even more obvious — especially since they decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley in order to give him incentive to play harder this year (until he gets paid and can underachieve again).  But with the season approaching, the Lions have yet to extend Suh’s rookie contract.

Per Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Lions aren’t optimistic that they’ll get Suh re-signed.  The problem ultimately flows from his $22.4 million cap number, which gives Suh the hammer of a 2015 franchise tag in the amount of $26.88 million.  Which makes it hard to sign him to a long-term deal that pays out market value, especially with the market not exactly soaring at the defensive tackle position.

That cap number has been artificially increased by efforts to create cap space that included restructuring Suh’s contract and loading more dollars into 2014.  Indeed, Suh will earn only (only?) $12 million in 2014.  But good luck getting Suh, agent Jimmy Sexton, and/or marketing agent Jay-Z to negotiate the first year of a long-term extension based on the lower number.

It all points to Suh finishing his rookie contract, not being tagged, entering the mini-tampering period and finding out what other teams would pay, and either taking the Lions’ offer or signing elsewhere, for the same money or more (or possibly less, if other factors come into play).

Regardless, it quite possibly will be Suh’s last year in Detroit, thanks in part to the efforts of the team to do business while having three top-two picks from the last four years of the windfall system that existed before the rookie wage scale.  They’ve extended two of them (Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford), and it looks like the third one will be walking away.

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75 Responses to “Lions not optimistic about Suh deal”
  1. essentialsausage says: Jul 25, 2014 7:34 AM

    Brutal. This would be a huge loss.

  2. donl517 says: Jul 25, 2014 7:39 AM

    He can’t go anywhere else, the other 31 teams have emphatically stated they would not want Suh on their team. (At least their fans have)

  3. donl517 says: Jul 25, 2014 7:40 AM

    … Of course he wasn’t available then either!

  4. lionboy23 says: Jul 25, 2014 7:45 AM

    If this were coming from John Clayton I might believe it. Coming from Chris Mortensen, who over the years has told us almost zero that we didn’t already know, I don’t give this story much credibility.

  5. Straight Cash Homie says: Jul 25, 2014 7:46 AM

    Can’t blame him. Really who wants to live/play in Detroit?

  6. nostalgicsound says: Jul 25, 2014 7:51 AM

    This guy has been a great headache ever since he came into the league. I wonder if their front office is second guessing themselves for drafting him. He’s a beast for sure but also a distraction to the team who has yet to win at least one division title since he’s been their anchor on defense.

  7. footballguy1 says: Jul 25, 2014 7:52 AM

    Let the record show that you regularly trash the Lions/Suh. Also, Fairley’s underachieving self was named as a pro-bowl alternate this past season.

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 25, 2014 7:53 AM

    Oh there’s still plenty of time. Sign him or trade him.

  9. Stupid Lions Fan says: Jul 25, 2014 7:56 AM

    Well that sucks

  10. holographicribs says: Jul 25, 2014 7:56 AM

    Let him walk. He’s a punkass.

  11. snipedanglecelly13 says: Jul 25, 2014 7:58 AM

    Trade Suh, get something out of him instead of letting him walk

  12. punkyqb says: Jul 25, 2014 7:59 AM

    The player everybody hates but would love to have on their team!

  13. jetsguy1117 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:03 AM

    remember that time Florio told us all-pro players in their prime never hit the open market (a la Lebron James) because the NFL was too smart?

  14. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 25, 2014 8:04 AM

    I’d rather have 3 $9-million players instead.

  15. zingo1978 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:04 AM

    Cue every Suh hater pushing for their team to sign him

  16. isphet71 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:11 AM

    Going to be hard to watch Suh the player walk away from the Lions, but Suh the man won’t be missed, and neither will that cap hit.

    He’s going to get a crazy, crazy contract for a DT if he hits free agency.

  17. newtoallthis23 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:19 AM

    Good!

  18. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jul 25, 2014 8:26 AM

    Hard to tell what is more poorly run: The City of Detroit or the football team of Detroit. Either way, I support competence so it is not my problem.

  19. ike1973 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:31 AM

    It’s simple really. Either you sign him or you trade him. Letting him walk away after next year would be the dumbest move ever. Imagine what we could get back in a trade, and the cap space that would become available.

  20. 90lions81 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:41 AM

    Not cool at all. I would be really mad if they let Suh walk. He is our defense!

    Sign the man!!!!!

    #LionforLife

  21. newguy925 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:45 AM

    Metrics back up that he’s incredible, but unless he’s producing double digit sacks from that position you can’t remotely consider the franchise tag.

    Aaron Donald has nothing to do with this. Why would you draft a potential backup dt in the first round? They can draft dt next year if they need one. Even a couple. Very few dt produce at a level that merits a 1st, what pointless speculation.

  22. guiness17 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:50 AM

    Florio *is* right that this is certainly an almost impossible situation for the Lions, cap-wise. If the Lions want to extend him, they will have to pay well over market value for a DT, and Suh has no reason to play ball with them. All the Lions could offer is more guaranteed money up front, but with him getting $20M plus already, how much can they really give him?
    I really don’t see a way out other than he gets his money and hits the open market.

  23. deephere54 says: Jul 25, 2014 8:52 AM

    I can’t imagine he could be traded with those numbers in his contract. As a Packer fan I wouldn’t mind seeing him out of the NFC North. But the Lions need to find a way to keep him. The Lions are loaded with talent. With a new coach they could be formidable. If they can get Suh under contract and under control, they could be “Scary”!

  24. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 25, 2014 8:57 AM

    If he gets a crazy contract from anyone, it’ll be based on his reputation.

  25. gotothejoe says: Jul 25, 2014 9:01 AM

    I believe the actual quote from a team source said that they weren’t optimistic about re-signing him BEFORE TRAINING CAMP OPENS.

  26. John Roc 65 says: Jul 25, 2014 9:02 AM

    He’s great defensive tackle.

    He’s also JUST a defensive tackle.

    It would not be the end of the world if we lose this guy, especially if he wants elite QB money.

  27. jimmysee says: Jul 25, 2014 9:04 AM

    It is really what you expected from him. He’s never been a team player; never given 100%; never been a leader; never really bought into to being a Lion.

    The guy has the physical tools and could have been a Reggie White-like leader, leading the Lions to the Super Bowl.

    But he wasn’t.

  28. ryancloud says: Jul 25, 2014 9:07 AM

    Per Mortensen, the Lions aren’t optimistic that they’ll get Suh signed by Monday when training camp begins.

    Shocking that Florio would leave out that last part.

  29. lionswinsuperbowl says: Jul 25, 2014 9:10 AM

    Just wait until next offseason. Don’t cave Lewand and Mayhew, he’s good but he’s not worth ELITE money.

  30. johnnycash19 says: Jul 25, 2014 9:20 AM

    Suh is probably also waiting on McCoys deal to get done first.

    That being said, if I were the GM of Detroit, I wouldn’t resign him. Yes, he is a complete BEAST, but I would rather pay a DE $13 million, rather than a DT. Suh disrupts the pocket and causes a lot of pressure, but DE’s do that AND get sacks. Not trying to diminish Suh’s ability he is the best DT in the game. But when you look at the numbers, you just can’t afford him.

    Plus if the Lions let him go, they would go from having something like $300,000 cap space this year, to $25 million, next season. That’s a huge difference.

  31. ricardocabeza says: Jul 25, 2014 9:20 AM

    footballguy1 says:
    Jul 25, 2014 7:52 AM

    Let the record show that you regularly trash the Lions/Suh. Also, Fairley’s underachieving self was named as a pro-bowl alternate this past season
    __________________________________

    Yes they do and glad for it. Dirtiest bunch a punks in the league and Suh is the face of the franchise. As far as Fairley being a Pro Bowl alternate, so could half the starting players in the league be considered at that level. If my Bears signed this highly educated low life I would find another team

  32. lgbarn says: Jul 25, 2014 9:23 AM

    Meanwhile, Bucs fans are looking forward to and expecting GMAC to be resigned. Hard to believe that we all wanted Suh when they were drafted. By the way, GMAC is in camp and acting every bit the leader that Suh is not.

  33. bassplucker says: Jul 25, 2014 9:23 AM

    I see one of two outcomes from this as it pertains to the effect on his play this season. Either Suh is gonna just mail it in, or he’s gonna go all-out in an attempt to get a huge payday if not from the Lions, from somebody else. I see the second outcome being more likely, which as a Bears fan doesn’t thrill me a great deal.

  34. pointywilliams says: Jul 25, 2014 9:32 AM

    Too bad Dave Dombroski cannot pull double-duties…

  35. trumb1mj says: Jul 25, 2014 9:35 AM

    Tough spot for the lions but you have to let him walk. Can fill too many holes on D with that cap number…

  36. ktm300xcwe says: Jul 25, 2014 9:53 AM

    Come on down south to the Vikings Suh! Where they put defensive tackles in the HOF and Pro Bowl.

    Alan Page
    John Randle
    Henry Thomas
    Keith Millard
    Kevin Williams

  37. boomnutz says: Jul 25, 2014 9:57 AM

    Agreed. He’s a great player but it’s unsustainable to give 3 players (Stafford, Calvin and Suh) nearly half your cap space. Honestly, they should trade him. I know some people are foolish enough to think Detroit has a chance this year, but they really don’t. Too many holes. They should trade Suh to a contender for a nice package of draft picks. Do a deal that’s contingent on a extension or something. Use the savings and draft picks to build up that pathetic defense and offensive line.

  38. ktm300xcwe says: Jul 25, 2014 10:08 AM

    Boomnutz…..that is what sucks about the current state of the NFL in my opinion. The Lions have drafted really well and just when they are building a team for a long term contention for a Super Bowl it is going to get picked apart. Sad really, we will never see teams of sustained greatness anymore like the 60s Packers and Colts or the 70s Steelers, Cowboys, Raiders, and to a lesser extent Rams and Vikings.

    The last two teams were the 90s Bills and Cowboys. The Seahawks will be hit hard soon as well.

  39. natelan says: Jul 25, 2014 10:16 AM

    We will take him in San Diego. We’ve been looking for a proper NT since Jamal Williams left.

  40. gomybirdsgo says: Jul 25, 2014 10:26 AM

    ktm300xcwe says:
    Jul 25, 2014 10:08 AM

    Boomnutz…..that is what sucks about the current state of the NFL in my opinion. The Lions have drafted really well and just when they are building a team for a long term contention for a Super Bowl it is going to get picked apart. Sad really, we will never see teams of sustained greatness anymore like the 60s Packers and Colts or the 70s Steelers, Cowboys, Raiders, and to a lesser extent Rams and Vikings.

    The last two teams were the 90s Bills and Cowboys. The Seahawks will be hit hard soon as well.
    ——————————————————-
    Couldn’t disagree more. The problem for the lions is that they had their run of first round picks right BEFORE the new rookie slotting system. That’s why they have 4-5 guys witht he cap hits they have. Post RSS players just don’t have deals like that anymore. In fact I would say its now much easier to keep your players through their second contract. Teams like Seattle of course will lose players but so did the cowboys in the early 90’s and patriots in the early 00’s but like those teams they will have to be able to draft well and sign the right free agents to replace those players.

    I think the NFL is ripe for a dynasty. I think Seattle could most certainly be that team. Great young defense, good coaching, good young QB, and most importantly a smart front office. And I am a Eagles fan.

  41. calvinthegreat82 says: Jul 25, 2014 10:28 AM

    Why would they be, he’s overrated and the most dirty player in the NFL! Get rid of him, Stafford and Bush! Time to rebuild. This team is like watching a horror show and meth!

    Lions 4-12 maybe 5-11 if their lucky!

  42. greengoldandbold says: Jul 25, 2014 10:30 AM

    What GM in his right mind would pay Suh more than what he’s already making, $12 million per ??????? And how do you let a player get to that kind of cap number even though we know it’s an inflated number because of renegotiating. It’s like writing post dated checks but you’re not sure the money will be there.
    If Suh or his agent thinks they can do better, hell yes go to FA, but it’s not going to happen. No team is going to dish out that kind of cash for a “head case”, but you can’t deny his physical abilities. Personally as a Packer fan I would love to see him leave the NFC North. He’s a beast.

  43. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Jul 25, 2014 10:30 AM

    overrated player who’s reputation is based more on fear derived from playing dirty than hard work. As you saw on American Muscle last week, the guy is a quitter when things don’t go like he wants them. Not worth the hassle or the obscene money he likely expects. And why would you want to re-sign with the dumpster fire that is the Lions?

  44. poorcalvinisstuckonthecrappylions says: Jul 25, 2014 10:32 AM

    Bridgewater > Stafford

    Peterson > Bush

    Jennings > Calvin

    The Lions suck, enjoy 4th place because thats where you’re headed.

    Any NFL fan, regardless of team knows that Marshall and Jeffery combined makes Calvin Johnson look like an average WR.

    Even Jennings and Patterson are better than Calvin alone!

  45. m2karateman says: Jul 25, 2014 10:32 AM

    Lions have to let him walk. He obviously wants too much money, and while he is a good player, he doesn’t have THAT much impact on the team that his presence is necessary. Somebody will overpay him, and the Lions would be foolish if they were the team to do it. Take that money and invest it in the secondary.

  46. jintsfan says: Jul 25, 2014 10:39 AM

    Albert Haynesworth 2.0

  47. joefelicelli says: Jul 25, 2014 10:41 AM

    So just because his cap number is $22M, that doesn’t mean he can ask for any more than the $12M he is making this year in salary. Any agent trying to use that cap number in negotiations would get laughed out of the office of the team execs.

    If Suh wants to go to Cleveland for $12M per year, I am sure they would sign him. Oakland too. Not a lot of teams willing to invest that much in a guy who doesn’t dominate at his position. He may be the among the best DTs in the NFL (4-3 defenses), but he had 10 sacks as a rookie, and only 17.5 in the three years since.

    The rookie contracts got out of control, and the NFL changed the structure in the new CBA. The only thing that can make sure he stays with the Lions is the cap rising dramatically from the new TV money from the Thursday night package and the renegotiated Sunday Ticket bid this year. But they will still have a huge amount of money tied up in those three guys, and will struggle to retain solid talent at other positions.

  48. jdubs82 says: Jul 25, 2014 10:42 AM

    @poorcalvinisstuckonthecrappylions
    Jeffery and Marshall are the best WR duo in football, Calvin johnson is the best single WR in football…… Bridgewater, Peterson, and Jennings literally wouldn’t start on any other team in the NFC north other than the Vikings.

  49. scantenii says: Jul 25, 2014 10:43 AM

    They should have traded Suh before the draft his year.
    Still Lions will probably finish second in the division behind Green Bay.

  50. greengoldandbold says: Jul 25, 2014 10:55 AM

    @ gomybirdsgo
    You nailed it. The Lions are a victim of their own doing. They have soooooo much money tied up in Stafford, Johnson, Suh.
    $52 million in cap space for these 3 alone in 2014. That’s insane !

    And then look at their 1st round pick history from 2004 to 2009. Most are not there. They have roughly $10 million in dead money against the cap this year too. Who’s fault is that ??? The Lions management built their own disaster. That’s why you keep rebuilding.

  51. purpleguy says: Jul 25, 2014 11:09 AM

    If Fairley doesn’t turn out to be a bust, the Lions could probably survive the loss of Suh, but if Fairley still considers a good workout lifting 5 burritos. . . . . .

  52. leagueobservr says: Jul 25, 2014 11:09 AM

    Just face it Lion’s fans:

    Suh is destined to don the Silver ‘n Black. ;-)

  53. 12brichandfamous says: Jul 25, 2014 11:09 AM

    Cliff Avril did not resign with the Lions either and went the free agency route where he found that no one would pay as much as the Lions.

    I will not be surprised if Suh encounters the same. His year to year salary is not going up. The total contract value and guaranteed money might, but not the 2015 cap year salary.

    Get used to it Big Guy.

  54. deafcone says: Jul 25, 2014 11:14 AM

    Wont miss him. no one is worth the money he is already getting. let him take his greed somewhere else.

  55. jwcarlson says: Jul 25, 2014 11:19 AM

    ktm300xcwe says:
    Jul 25, 2014 10:08 AM
    Boomnutz…..that is what sucks about the current state of the NFL in my opinion. The Lions have drafted really well and just when they are building a team for a long term contention for a Super Bowl it is going to get picked apart. Sad really, we will never see teams of sustained greatness anymore like the 60s Packers and Colts or the 70s Steelers, Cowboys, Raiders, and to a lesser extent Rams and Vikings.

    The last two teams were the 90s Bills and Cowboys. The Seahawks will be hit hard soon as well.
    —————————–

    That’s the salary cap for ya… And free agency.

  56. thefiesty1 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    Cut him before he assaults someone on the field again.

  57. ktm300xcwe says: Jul 25, 2014 11:46 AM

    Couldn’t disagree more. The problem for the lions is that they had their run of first round picks right BEFORE the new rookie slotting system. That’s why they have 4-5 guys witht he cap hits they have. Post RSS players just don’t have deals like that anymore. In fact I would say its now much easier to keep your players through their second contract. Teams like Seattle of course will lose players but so did the cowboys in the early 90′s and patriots in the early 00′s but like those teams they will have to be able to draft well and sign the right free agents to replace those players.
    __________________________________

    Very good points. Cowboys didn’t lose anyone until Harper left to go to Tampa. That being said, The Patriots are different because of Tom Brady and Bellichek. I do agree the only team I see of being a dynasty is Seattle.

  58. ktm300xcwe says: Jul 25, 2014 11:47 AM

    Bridgewater > Stafford

    Peterson > Bush

    Jennings > Calvin

    The Lions suck, enjoy 4th place because thats where you’re headed.

    Any NFL fan, regardless of team knows that Marshall and Jeffery combined makes Calvin Johnson look like an average WR.

    Even Jennings and Patterson are better than Calvin alone!
    __________________________________

    Dear lord. This guy is no Viking fan.

  59. jumbomesquite says: Jul 25, 2014 11:49 AM

    restorativejusticeprogram says: Jul 25, 2014 8:26 AM

    Hard to tell what is more poorly run: The City of Detroit or the football team of Detroit. Either way, I support competence so it is not my problem.

    —-

    You’re a real class act.

  60. pczrvp says: Jul 25, 2014 11:58 AM

    I would love to see what he could become under a great coach and organization. He hasn’t seen that in his career, yet. Maybe he would just end up being the second coming of Albert Haynesworth. But, it would fun to see Brady/Belicheat, Rodgers/McCarthy, Manning/Fox or Breeze/Peyton get a hold of him and show him what it takes to be great.

  61. bucone11 says: Jul 25, 2014 12:09 PM

    Suh < McCoy

  62. cueghost says: Jul 25, 2014 12:27 PM

    He’ll land in Oakland… or LA, wherever the Raiders are in 2015.

  63. mrfrostyj says: Jul 25, 2014 12:29 PM

    If he was smart (yeah I chuckled as I typed that as well) he’d re sign with Detroit. I don’t see too many other coaches/GM’s wanting to put up with his attitude without Albert Haynesworth insurance on his next contract.

    Someone needs to give Suh the number of whatever rock Peyton Hillis lives under as an example of what happens when a guy on a bad team overvalues himself.

  64. rho1953 says: Jul 25, 2014 12:37 PM

    For all of his incredible potential, just how much difference has he made on the Lions defense? You can’t blow up the cap for the entire team on one man. Suh needs to understand his role, and understand that if he takes up too much cap space there will never be a chance to win a title.

  65. rnine99 says: Jul 25, 2014 12:58 PM

    All of these idiots saying trade him. Do you know how trades work? Nobody is picking up that contract….. SHUTUP

  66. raiderapologist says: Jul 25, 2014 1:05 PM

    donl517 says: Jul 25, 2014 7:39 AM

    He can’t go anywhere else, the other 31 teams have emphatically stated they would not want Suh on their team. (At least their fans have)
    ————————–
    Not me. 5 sacks, 13 hits, 54 hurries, 34 tackles, 13 assists, 33 stops last season. That’s pretty productive.

  67. pappageorgio says: Jul 25, 2014 1:40 PM

    All of these idiots saying trade him. Do you know how trades work? Nobody is picking up that contract….. SHUTUP

    ———————————————————————————-

    Do you know how a trade works? The new team would only pick up 12 (only…LOL). When a trade happens the current team eats the bonus stuff immediately.

    The most difficult part of a trade would be getting Suh to agree to a long term deal with the new team before the trade……because no one is going to give the lions what they want for a one year rental.

  68. swimmer2010 says: Jul 25, 2014 1:47 PM

    Imagine if the Houston Texans got him as their NT to play between Clowney and J.J. Watts.

  69. trapshoot says: Jul 25, 2014 2:08 PM

    Does anyone really want a scumbag like him? Good player, lousy human being.

  70. omeimontis says: Jul 25, 2014 2:19 PM

    Defensive tackles rarely make a huge difference on defense. Many teams only have 1 of them and go with a 3-4 defense. It would be insane to pay the asking price to keep him.

  71. lovethelions says: Jul 25, 2014 2:45 PM

    I saw some promise from Suh last season…stepping up as a team leader on defense. If he can do that this year, REALLY put the team first and lead the defense, then I would want to re-sign him.

    But, if he doesn’t show that he’s there to win games, not just put up his own numbers…then I would not want him back.

    Suh is an incredible talent, but the Lions need to revamp the team to be more like the Seahawks. Players like Wilson and Sherman that study, study, study everyone else’s tape and put that knowledge to use WINNING games.

    If Suh can do that, then I will be the first to want him as a Lion. If not, then I wish him all the best with another team.

    And for those who say he isn’t wanted by any other teams, you know he would be the FIRST one that Chicago, Vikings or Green Bay would want. Not to mention the rest of the NFL. :)

    Suh’s got the talent. We just need the leadership.

    Go LIONS!

  72. lovethelions says: Jul 25, 2014 2:49 PM

    Imagine if the Houston Texans got him as their NT to play between Clowney and J.J. Watts.
    ____________________________________

    I actually gave you a thumbs up on this comment. It would be quite the defense.

    That being said…you’d actually need a QB to score points.

    Best of luck this season. And if you need to find Watts a new home, we would love to see him in Detroit. LOL

    Go LIONS!

  73. stockmobster says: Jul 25, 2014 2:57 PM

    Bring back Favre

  74. skolvikes says: Jul 25, 2014 7:16 PM

    Did someone in these comments seriously say that Adrian Peterson would not start on any other NFC North team?

    C’mon man!!

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the Lions, grew up watching the greatest RB in NFL history in Barry Sanders. It’ s a tough spot for the team to be in with the old rookie wage scale and 3 #1’s but they would be making the right choice in parting ways with Suh after this contract. He’s not worth that much money and I think he’ll be in for a surprise what his market value turns out to be. I can’t see it being more then 10/yr

  75. coosmac says: Jul 25, 2014 7:40 PM

    Yes!!!!!!
    (Bears fan)

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