If there is one Ndamukong Suh storyline that can trump his absence from this week’s minicamp it is his future with the team. The latest flare up began with a simple tweet from Scott Bischoff that the Lions had discussions about trading Suh. Not that anything was going to happen – just that options were being discussed.
— Scott Bischoff (@Bischoff_Scott) April 23, 2014
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman published a piece today confirming what Bischoff was hearing, but filled in more about the situation based on his conversations with people around the league:
Several team officials believe that, for now, the Lions are just exploring what they could get for Suh in case their contract talks with Suh completely disintegrate.
“What the Lions are doing is standard operating procedure,” one team executive said. “Just in case they don’t think they can sign him, they’re preparing for worst case. It’s smart.”
In other words, the Lions are doing their due diligence. They would be foolish not to.
“Due diligence” is a phrased used a lot this time of year with the draft approaching. Teams are always gauging the market to find out what it would take to move up or move down, all the while evaluating prospects to be prepared for a variety of scenarios. In a sense, that’s what it sounds like the Lions are doing with Suh.
So, what are the odds “worst case” comes to pass and the Lions actually do trade Suh? Not particularly high. More from Freeman:
There are two important facts that must be stressed here. First, team officials that have spoken with the Lions believe strongly that the Lions and Suh will work out some sort of arrangement and that Suh will stay in Detroit.
Second, teams thinking of trading for Suh love his ability but do not trust him. At all. In fact, these officials explain, one of the reasons that the Lions might not end up trading Suh is that other teams are nervous about handing him a great deal of cash.
At the very least, Suh has a perception problem as a result of his rough (some say dirty) play and his history of not participating in voluntary team events like we saw this week. Although some change in him was noted last season as he looked to take on a bigger leadership role and was voted a team captain, the same perception problems clearly exist based on Freeman’s report.
For someone as “brand” conscious as Suh, it seems puzzling he wouldn’t at least show up for minicamp – if for nothing else than appearances. Any team who would make a trade for Suh would only do so contingent upon reaching a contract extension. Teams’ reluctance to do so means the chances of a trade, if the Lions even get to that point of desperation, unlikely.