Regardless of What Happens With Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions Can Overcome


Unless you live under a rock, you no doubt heard the news this week—the Detroit Lions didn’t apply the franchise tag to defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

The move helped the team avoid spending nearly $27 million dollars on one player (a massive overpayment and a bungled situation by the front office), but also increased the possibility that Suh leaves town as a free agent after this weekend when the negotiating period starts.

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Believe it or not, the Lions still have a chance to get Suh back in the fold. Contrary to what many have been saying, just because the franchise tag wasn’t placed doesn’t mean negotiations have stopped. Avoiding the tag might have been a sign that the Lions are optimistic about finding a way to work something out long-term.

Had the team used the tag, that probably would have meant the likelihood of a deal happening now or after next year would have been slim to none. Suh would have cashed in with the Lions completely, and would have no reason to stay long-term, especially if he had felt trapped by the tag.

It’s also possible, of course, that Suh walks and takes a massive deal from outside Detroit on the open market. In his situation, anyone would consider it. Simply, nobody can accurately say what will happen moving forward. Until next week, we’re stuck in a place with no resolution.

The only thing that feels like a certainty? Whatever ends up happening with Suh, the Lions will have options. If they bring Suh back, they will likely do so in a way that’s financially sound for the franchise moving forward and have their star back. If they don’t, they will have plenty of money at their disposal to spread out to help fill other needs immediately.

Want to try and “replace” Suh along the defensive line? Sign Terrance Knighton. Need a game-changing offensive lineman? Explore Mike Iupati. How about an elite cornerback? From Byron Maxwell to Tramon Williams, plenty of quality options exist near the top.

Just because Suh might leave doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways for Detroit to get better in his absence during the short and long term. Suh might be a big part of the team, but he’s still just one man.

Just because Suh might leave doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for Detroit to get better in his absence during the short and long term.

One football player, in the context of contract discussions, cannot hold an entire franchise and its city hostage unless he’s been given the power to do so by people themselves.

In the critical days ahead the rest of this week, don’t agonize about every Suh rumor or rumbling. Take them with a grain of salt. With or without him, the Lions will have plenty of ways to move forward and remain competitive.

In due time, Suh will make the decision to come back and stay a while or leave town.

Either way, like always, the Lions themselves will still be there in the fall.

Next: If Ndamukong Suh Leaves, Who is to Blame?

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