Monday's franchise tag deadline has come and gone, and the Detroit Lions did the right thing and did not tag Ndamukong Suh to a $26.9M deal for a year while a longer deal would (possibly) be in the works. Suh wants to be the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, which is held by J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. Now, Suh wants to be signed by the highest-paying team.
The $26.9M tag would've destroyed the Lion's chances to build in free agency and the draft should they have tagged Suh. Many fans have been waiting for the Lions to make huge strides in the market, but have been unable to due to the contracts of Suh, Matt Stafford, and Calvin Johnson. Those three contracts have put the Lions in a bind in free agency the past couple of years, but now this news changes everything for the cats from Ford Field.
Even though they have money available to potentially make a deal, the Detroit Lions will not sign Ndamukong Suh when the day is done. Here's a few reasons why:
1) The Lions now have to compete: There are so many teams that are willing to destroy their own futures in order to get Suh. Oakland has been in the talks since the Super Bowl ended, as they are looking to rebuild. Jacksonville, Miami, and apparently Seattle and Indy have thrown their names in the hunt, as well as some other teams. The Lions can try to sign him, but they may be out-cashed by other teams when the day is done.
2) If Suh wanted to stay with the Lions, then he would've signed a deal a LONG time ago: Put it simply, we wouldn't be talking about this now if Suh had signed a deal right after the Super Bowl. The conference after the Dallas playoff game with him crying and leaving early should've said something. Obviously, it paints a different picture for Lions fans with this whole deal now. There would be no billboards, no questions asked. This is what he wanted to do in order to get more money. So far, it's working.
3) A long term deal with kill the Lions: As stated before, the Lions haven't been able to land big names to the Motor City due to the contracts of Suh, Stafford, and Johnson. But now that Suh hasn't been signed to the Lions, fans are looking to sign some new popular players to help the Lions get a NFC North title and farther in the playoffs if they make it. The Lions want to win now, and a deal would halt that chance for years to come, which can possibly upset long-waiting fans.
Ndamukong Suh will be wearing a different jersey this upcoming season, as for which team, I am not sure. Suh was a great player for the Lions, but now the Lions have a chance to make major moves in the market as well as the draft now that Suh doesn't have a grip on all the money for the team. Let's see what happens and who he lands with. J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets Jets, anybody? (God, that will never happen)