It may be awhile before you see any announcement that a new Ndamukong Suh contract has been signed. While some like to point to Suh as the problem, the hold up may have more to do with his agent, Jimmy Sexton, than anyone else.
While talking about Jimmy Graham’s new deal on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, former NFL executive Andrew Brandt mentioned how Suh’s (and Graham’s) agent, Jimmy Sexton is not the type of agent to get deals done quickly.
Jimmy Sexton, I know him to be a deadline agent. I did several deals with him right at the deadline. I remember a tackle (Chad Clifton) going to free agency at midnight, we got the deal at 11:55pm…that’s always the way he’s going to operate, so it was always going to be a deadline deal.
That’s bad news for Lions fans hoping a deal could be coming soon. It’s also good news when you look at the big picture. Just because Suh hasn’t signed yet, doesn’t mean he won’t. It appears this is just normal business operations under Jimmy Sexton.
Suh will most likely become the highest paid defensive tackle in the league, both in average per year and guaranteed money. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if somewhere between 50% and 100% of his contract is guaranteed. The closest contract we can compare to date is Geno Atkins, who signed a six-year deal worth over $56 million just a year ago. I don’t think spending money is a worry for the Lions, who have already inked Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford to deals combining over $222 million. What’s another $60 million?
Now that Graham’s deal is done, that leaves Sexton to fully focus on the Ndamukong Suh contract. Graham’s deal had to be completed first because his deadline for a decision was July 16. My guess is that the Lions would love to get this deal done before training camp, which starts July 28. That doesn’t leave much time for a deal to get hammered out, but as Brandt often says on Twitter,
“Deadlines spur action.”