Suh says his contract won’t be a distraction


With the Lions tabling Ndamukong Suh’s contract talks until after the 2014, his future with the team instantly becomes one of the top stories surrounding the franchise.

Suh would like other employees of the franchise to not be asked about his future with the team.

“I would ask you guys to not bother my teammates about something that they have nothing involved in,” Suh told reporters on Monday.  “So, for sure, I definitely don’t want them to have to answer any questions about it.  It’s really a tough situation, more so for them.  They have no clue, they’re blindsided or whatever it maybe is, as most people are blindsided about things that come out in the media, and that’s the way it is.  So I’d ask you all not to ask them questions about it and let it be a distraction to our team.  As I don’t think it will.  It won’t be a distraction to me.”

Of course, they won’t be “blindsided” by questions about Suh’s contract because everyone knows that the talks are being tabled until after the season, which in turn increases significantly the possibility that Suh won’t be a Lion come 2015.

It could be that Suh doesn’t want his teammates to be asked about the situation because he doesn’t want them talking about it, on or off the record. By not doing a new contract, Suh accounts for more than 16 percent of the team’s total cap space. That’s money that could have been spent on other guys at other positions of need, like cornerback. In a room full of players having the ability to talk to a reporter under the condition of anonymity, it’s inevitable that someone would say Suh is being greedy.

The high cap number increases the possibility that Suh will leave in 2015 because the Lions could force him to stay only via the franchise tag, which under the rules would entitle him to a 20-percent raise on his 2014 cap number. Which would give him more than $26 million for one more year.

He’s not worth that much, and the Lions won’t pay him that much. But every offer the Lions make necessarily will be compared to the $26 million he’d get under a franchise tag the team will never use. Which means that the only way to determine his actual value will be to let Suh negotiate with other teams. Which increases the probability that someone else will offer more than the Lions, or that Suh will choose to go to a team that offers as much or less.

That’s the bottom-line in this one. With the Lions as a practical matter unable to use the tag on Suh and unwilling to negotiate further until the 2014 season ends, why should Suh do a deal with Detroit until he knows what someone else will pay?

Along the way, Suh hopes that his teammates: (1) don’t realize it’s likely his last year in Detroit; and (2) won’t say negative things about him when asked about his contract or anything else about Suh, such as the report from earlier this year that Suh has been uncontrollable, a contention that his teammates previously denied because that’s what good teammates do.  If/when Suh’s teammates realize he won’t be a teammate beyond 2014, he may no longer get the benefit of that specific provision in the unwritten rules of team sports.

44 responses to “Suh says his contract won’t be a distraction

  1. Man, he’s confusing to listen to. But, the whole team hopes it won’t be a distraction, not just Suh. It’s a new season, and they don’t need to worry about this if he isn’t worried about it. Get through the season, and plan on the next without him.

  2. Suh is exhibiting reverse psychology. He wants a media circus. This will pressure the organization to pay out, in his case full price, sooner rather than later.

  3. “Along the way, Suh hopes that his teammates:………….”.
    How the hell do you possibly know what Suh hopes?

  4. Let him walk. It’s good that we’re not going to read a weekly contract negotiation status article and they are smart in tabling the discussion now, but it basically means he’s all but going to the open market.

    Good luck on another team. The Seahawks don’t have money for you. The 49ers don’t have money for you. The Patriots don’t have money for you. The Steelers don’t have money for you. The Packers definitely won’t pay a huge contract for you.

    If you really want to cash in on your next deal then have fun being a Jaguar, Brown, Jet, or Bengal. If you really are lucky the Eagles. They just let DeSean Jackson walk though so high dollar players with attitude problems aren’t what they want either. Those are the only teams that would have the money to pay you and they probably won’t get you a ring either.

    I know there would be a significant drop in talent if Suh is gone and I hope it doesn’t have the same effect as losing Shaun Rogers did, but I look at the money Suh is getting and think of the other core needs that his money could be paying for. This year in free agency if he wasn’t on the team they could have got Jarius Byrd, Eric Decker, and maybe a CB. All other needs that needed to be filled and couldn’t because he wasn’t getting his deal done. I can justify every penny for Calvin Johnson, and more or less for Stafford if he shows more consistency, but I can’t support Suh’s salary on top of the other 2.

  5. I am a Lions fan, and I like seeing him on the field for the team, to be sure.

    But he is showing that he is more about him than he is about the team. That’s OK, it is his right… but that rep will follow him.

  6. All this draft bust does is talk. His financial greed is out of this world. He’s a lot like Calvin “over the hill” Johnson, and Matty ” deer in headlights” Stafford, all passed their prime and need their money now because they will be out of the league within 3 seasons.

  7. He wants it to be a distraction and keep coming up to force the Lions hand.

    He knows he’s overrated and likely not going to get anything near the money he’s getting in Detroit anywhere else.

    Caldwell is a passive version of Mike Sherman and Les Frazier all wrapped into one. He will get out of control this year with no leash on him whatsoever while Caldwell just looks at his charts and chomps his gum. Can’t wait.

  8. Michigan Resident, and Lions fan here.

    Suh has been the most frustrating player in any sport I can remember watching. Blessed with insane talent- when he is on point he is unstoppable, but when he loses his focus he does insanely dumb stuff.

    One thing he did do is he brught attitude and swagger to a team that was not too far removed from an 0-16 season. Weather or not you agree with his rough and sometimes dirty play, I honestly beleive that when he came to the team it was 100% needed. A lot of football is mental and being confident can completely change how you play. People would roll into Detroit super confident with no fear, so Suh busted some heads. If it did nothing else, it forced players to know he was lurking and to keep their head on a swivel.

    During the whole contract fiasco that has been going on for the last couple seasons the prevailing opinion in the area was he needed to sign ASAP. Not take any less money, but get the deal done. He didn’t do that, and it became fairly evident that he was going to the team that paid him the most money.

    My opinion on the matter is that you can’t pay everyone. The lions we saddled with multple high draft picks from the era of insane rookie contracts. When it comes time to re up, you honestly just can’t pay everyone. Calvin had to be paid, best WR in football, A good guy, a good team guy, and has become beloved in Michigan and will go down with Detroit sports histroy as a player that people hold in regards with Al Kaline, Gordie Howe, Ty Cobb, Steve Yzerman, Barry Sanders, ETC. Like him or hate him, you had to resign Stafford. For better or for worse the Lions are all in with him. This will be the deciding season.

    Really what it comes down to is everyone in Michigan has gotten sick of Suh’s antics and word is the Lions organization has as well. With Mr. Ford passing and Bill Ford running the team now, the opinion is some things are going to start to change with how the organization is run. This last off season really started to be the straw the broke the camels back with his contract shenanigans. I think everyone would like to see him wearing honolulu blue on the field, but at what cost.

    I know there is no loyalty in pro sports, but Detroit as a city, and Michigan is a whole is an area with a blue collar mentality that values team guys, hard work, embracing the city and state, and Yes – Loyalty, well over winning, and he has shown the opposite of that.

  9. Let Suh go and 31 other teams will be contacting his agent within minutes. And for the record, Suh’s “stomp” was more of a sideways kick (I was at the game and have reviewed the tape dozens of times). He served his suspension and returned to the team. That was three seasons ago and he hasn’t had a major penalty since, even though he receives closer scrutiny than any other player. If he had played in the era of Butkus and Nitschke, he would be considered middle of the road. All of his haters are fueled by either jealousy or ignorance because all Suh has done is play football. And no sportswriter can read his mind.

  10. Lions fan here too. As much as I like him on that line, I’m getting to the point where it wouldn’t hurt my feelings too much to see him go and the Lions being done with that contract burden.

  11. He will never again make what he is making this year. Good player, not a game changer. Seattle 2015?

  12. ….To be a Lions fan….

    Oh how terrible it must be, the dirtiest player in the league, the most overrated QB and RB (that fumbles on the reg), The worst coach next to Swartz(I guess that’s an upgrade) and fans that actually believe their team will finish outside of 3rd.

    You were handed the division last and the Lions still messed it up. Just hapless, pathetic garbage football.

  13. Frankly, also, I’m sure the media will keep asking the question, but I do think the Lions will not be thinking about it. In fact, they may already be resigned to thinking he’ll be gone. That will make NOT thinking about it that much easier this season.

  14. Suh has always felt like a renter in Detroit versus a homeowner.

    Personally, I think he is a superior player to McCoy, but when you look at the full package—in hindsight—McCoy would have been the better choice.

  15. Isn’t Gerald McCoy also on the last year of his contract with the Bucs? If so, why does he not merit a single article during the offseason but Suh is such an enormous distraction that it requires continuous updates throughout the offseason?

  16. Suh works as hard as anyone in the league, never takes plays off, is always in top shape and gives you his absolute best on the field and is an enormous talent. But that said, you inevitably wind up with the impression that at the end of the day, it’s always about him and no one else. with all of his incidents, on and off the field, he’s never responsible and it’s always someone else’s fault.

  17. NFL players play out their contracts every single year in the NFL — this is no big deal. It wasn’t a distraction for the Vikes when Jared Allen played out his contract last year, but then again, my team stunk last year too.

  18. Of course it won’t be a distraction!

    He has no plans to return to Detroit.

    Like ever.

    Unless his new team has a game at Ford Field.

  19. Now trade Calvin Johnson while he’s in his prime and you can get the house for him and possibly get enough to fix every hole on your team. Last thing we wanna see is another Barry Sanders type career wasted in Detroit.

  20. The Lions are in an odd situation. They probably have the best tandem of DTs in the league, and yet are probably fine with both of them walking.

  21. Most knowledgeable fans wanted Aaron Donald. He would have allowed us to have the leverage in that we could choose Suh or Fairley, whichever was the better value. Now both will be un-restricted next year and we’ll have a fast TE with bad hands, not to mention a lack of cap space for much-needed CB’s.

    Anyway…those are 2015 problems. I think we have a very good team this year and hit double digit victories, barring injury to Stafford or Calvin.

  22. Another hit piece on Suh, citing a made up report by Jay Glazer of all people. It’s hard to call Suh selfish when he has restructured his contract every time the front office asked him to. If anything, the blame should be placed on them.

    That being said, if his agent thinks negotiations should start anywhere close to what he’s making this year due to the front office blunders, he is off his rocker. Suh is worth somewhere around 5 years, 60 million. No good team is going to pay him more than that, but if Suh would rather be paid more to play for the Browns, Raiders or Jags then so be it.

  23. When you are making millions of dollars to begin with, how can it be a distraction. especially when you know you going to get more money!!! These damn overpaid crybabies really need to work a real job 365 days a year and see what its really like!!!!!

  24. Paragraph 6: “lions could force him to stay only via the franchise tag…”

    Or they could designate him as a Transition tag player, as the Browns did with Alex Mack. Difference is I believe top 10 (vs top 5 for a franchise player) highest paid players plus Club has option to match any other clubs’ offers for long term deal.

    Help me help you.

  25. Sorry, I meant average salary of top 10/5 (transition/franchise) highest paid players @ the position.

  26. In the last 8 drafts, the Lions have drafted in the top ten 5 times and 4 of those picks were top 5.

    This is the price you pay for systemic stinkitude…

  27. as usual the insults are wide open. As usual Suh wont let this crap affect his desire… to win. He is still just a young man, a giant of a young man, but nevertheless. He will be a Lion for life. Detroit upper brass makes a “Lions share” of mistakes, but they pay their players. Even Avril would have been paid more

  28. No doubt Suh will be a non-exclusive franchise tagged next year. The number that the Lions would have to pay him will not be a requirement because someone will offer him a contract. The Lions will let another team negotiate the deal for them. Some team will give up 2 first round picks for Suh. The number will be less than the 26 million they would have to pay. At that point I would take draft picks and run, not because Suh isn’t worth the money but with the two picks paid at a much lower rookie salary and the money you would save to pick up someone in free agency at a tenth of the cost of Suh is worth it.

  29. Blah blah blah blah……it’s a process, and it’s being followed to the letter. The guy restructured 3 times. He’s been good to the front office. It’s not his fault Detroit stunk so long, of course right up until the new CBA, that they’re now laden with ridiculous contracts. McCoys contract (negotiated by Sun’s agent), will dictate what he’s offered, and I think he’ll give Detroit an opportunity to match. This crap, again, is being blown way out of proportion. The guy is IN CAMP. Isn’t this B.S. coverage saved for actual holdouts?? Ridiculous.

  30. As good as he can be at times, Suh has always been a distraction with his dirty play, me-first attitude, and off-field BS…And as bad as our defense played last year, I sincerely hope the Bears front office never decides to give him a chance at sabotaging their locker room.

  31. I’d like to know about all of these “Off field antics” that everybody is hanging on Suh. He had a car accident in his rookie year. And… what else? Oh yeah, he runs a free football camp for kids. (my grandson attended) And… he donated three million bucks to the University of Nebraska for scholastic programs. And then there was that high school in an impoverished neighborhood in Detroit that had its locker room broken into and ALL of the football team equipment stolen. Suh showed up the next day with his checkbook and bought new pads, helmets, and uniforms for the school as well as better locks for the doors. Suh has a private trainer that he’s had his whole career. He works with that trainer on a customized program and shows up for OTAs in the best shape of any player on the team. He plays every down all season and never takes a play off. Yeah, he’s a me first guy all right.

  32. Pro sports are nothing but a business anymore anyways. Anyone who expects a man in Suh’s position to think about “the team” with this upcoming ideal cash-in situation is displaying child-like naivete, and almost certainly hypocrisy. I think Suh has been planning for his post-football career from the beginning. He wants to be some type of celebrity. I believe, since he will never have to worry about money again, but wants a contract reflecting his value, whether he stays or goes largely comes down to whether he feels he can win a SB in Detroit. Bigger markets are likely a selling point to him as well, but I don’t think he’ll join a NY or LA-area team or Chicago solely for that.

  33. @Johnnycash19 & @Topcide
    Couldn’t agree more with Topcide, people talk about Suh as a dirty,”Me” player….ok if your a top 3 pick in the draft BEFORE the new CBA-you are getting PAID(Stafford,BRADFORD come to mind$) but for a guy in his position being the BeSt of the best at what he does, he did NOT have to restructure 3x?!?! It’s not his fault his high Salary if from the old CBA that handicapped teams with those outrageous contracts. He had a cpl bad/dirty plays that were 2-3YRs ago now. He’s a young guy that’s still growing and maturing. If I’m Suh-go test free agency and get the most you can while you can, everyone saying other wise isn’t playing vrs 330lb C&OG’s every Sunday. NFL-Not For Long set yourself & Family up for the future, in this short window while you can. The Lions aren’t the Seahawks coming off a SB and looking to repeat, where hometown discount can be expected to some degree. Not a Lions fan, I’m an Eagles fan. Giving my outside perspective. IMO you have to keep one of him&Fairley-BIG loss if your D loosesBOTH of them up the middle.
    Good luck this season Guys

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