Lions open Jim Caldwell’s first minicamp without Ndamukong Suh

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The Lions are taking the field for their first minicamp under new coach Jim Caldwell today, and they’re doing so without Ndamukong Suh.

While negotiations on a new contract for the star defensive tackle are said to be civil and productive, they aren’t far enough along that he’s showing up for a voluntary practice. He’s also missed the last two weeks of voluntary conditioning work, as he’s within his contractual rights to do.

Caldwell sort of talked around the absence today, in a talk to a group of season ticket holders.

“From a coaching standpoint, obviously we do this for a living and we’d like to have him every minute of every day, every single player as often as we possibly can just to get our system in place and all those kind of things,” Caldwell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “But here’s the thing. He’s a very, very thoughtful individual, who’s kind of got his life planned out. We talked — as a matter of fact I probably talked to him more than any other player from the time that I got the job until [the start of the offseason program], so you have a real good sense of what his plan was going to be. But nevertheless I think you’re still going to see [him] have a very, very positive impact on our team.”

The Lions were also without a group of players rehabbing after offseason surgeries, including Calvin Johnson and Ziggy Ansah, but those medical questions are different.

This one seems as simple as money, and until Suh sees it, he’s apparently choosing to stay away from the voluntary work.

27 responses to “Lions open Jim Caldwell’s first minicamp without Ndamukong Suh

  1. Something like $21M cap hit this year… why would be renegotiate? He know’s he’ll make major bank regardless of where he signs next year. I can’t imagine the Lions haven’t much bargaining power with the contracts they handed to Suh, Megatron, and Stafford.

  2. Suh has skipped most VOLUNTARY programs his whole career… but the NFL delayed the schedule release, so “OMG THE SKY IS FALLING!”

  3. Ok for the last time he works out so much harder than anything they’re going to be doing in that minicamp and it’s very common for star players such as himself to miss these early, VOLUNTARY workouts.
    Continuously pointing out the fact that he’s missing them is nothing more than a subtle way to take cheap shots at him. This goes over really well with the PFT crowd because people love to hate him and so this story is sure to generate lots of clicks and lots of nasty comments are sure to follow in the comments section.
    I would say this to all you Suh haters: Us Lions fans aren’t one bit concerned with the fact that he isn’t there. We know his work ethic and we know that he’ll be in top shape and ready to go when the time comes. I would suggest to you that you should spend more time worrying about your own team and less time worrying about Ndamukong Suh.

  4. Suh does this every year… It has nothing to do with money. He’s obviously making more than any other DT so I’d say he thinks of “voluntary” as exactly that, voluntary. He’ll come into camp in better condition then the entire team and this media story will be nothing more.

  5. Detroit let opposing running backs pick up 4.2 yds per rush, and he looked gassed toward the end of the season (see the Eagle game).
    He should probably be with his team

  6. Let’s begin with the proposition that Suh is an excellent football player with an exemplary history of getting the most out of individual workouts and professed desire to win. Let’s also acknowledge that his time in Detroit is marked with some outstanding performances that never translated to much winning under the former coaching regime. Given the above, one would want to believe that Suh would demonstrate a commitment to his team and new coaching staff to learn the new system and personalities in addition to showing a level of symbolic solidarity with the primary goal of reaching new levels of success. The problem with this scenario is that Suh has consistently only shown a commitment to Suh and what will happen after the 2014 season. All of his actions suggest that he is not interested in remaining with Detroit any longer than necessary, otherwise the extension should’ve happened already. As such, realistic Detroit fans, myself included, can only hope that Suh will at some point do his best while the future is sorted out. Right now, a draft day trade is as improbable as a long term extension so the best case scenario is a gonzo season that will translate into some meaningful wins this season.

  7. If the guy wasn’t a captain and if there wasn’t a new coaching staff, this would be a non-issue. But that’s not the case.

  8. Sorry to say it but Suh will always be compared to a DT that was taken after him in the draft. And when you compare the two as both athletes and as a person I would rather have McCoy that is down in Tampa on my team. McCoy is up for a new contract also. Has a new coach and new system the same as Suh. But one player is at voluntary mini camps and the other is not. Just sayin. Suh and a lot of professional athletes need to wake up and realize that they are doing this to support a family, but dang how much money do you need to support a family. I’m doing it for millions less, and my kids are still happy.

  9. Are people really getting upset at Suh for only wearing 13 pieces of flair?

    Voluntary does not = mandatory. Mandatory = Mandatory. End of story.

  10. Suh is just showing the new coaching staff, that he is running things and they need do things his way!!!!!

  11. I hope clad well tanks, and people appreciate that Schwartz took a no name team to the playoffs and that calderwood is a useless twit.

  12. In response to an earlier post, Suh is the better player, McCoy is the better human being.

    Knowing what I know now, I’d take McCoy.

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