The Detroit Lions have decided not to put the franchise tag on controversial defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
It’s not to say that Suh will be leaving the Lions because they could still sign him outright when Free Agency opens up next week, but it does mean that it’s likely that Suh will hit the market and could get offers to go elsewhere.
The Lions have cap space, but tagging Suh would have cost them over $26 million on this year’s cap. That’s just shy of 20% of their available cap for the 2015 season, a move that would have hamstrung the Lions.
The 28 year old Suh is expected to be highly sought after in free agency, despite some brushes with the league for his on-field antics. The say that Suh plays to the echo of the whistle would be an understatement. He’s earned himself a reputation as a dirty player, taking head shots on quarterbacks and stepping on players on repeated occasions. Here are just a couple of his notable on-field transgressions:
With the rebuilding Bears defense in need of some nasty, would it make sense for Ryan Pace and John Fox to pursue Suh? Based on the myriad of Chicago Bears needs and only about $30 million in cap space, I can’t see how the Bears would fit him into their plans. Suh wants to be the highest pain player in the league, which would have to put him north of JJ Watt’s $16.7 million per season.
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Even if the Bears could swing it financially, I don’t think Suh is an ideal fit for the Bears new 3-4 system that Vic Fangio will implement. Suh is probably best suited to play a 4-3 DT.
Most of all, I think Suh is just a bad guy. I am all for a player being aggressive and nasty, but in today’s NFL, there’s no room for his type of play. On the ’85 Bears, Suh would have fit right in, but not today.
There have been plenty of guys on opposing teams that you hated as an opponent but learned to love when they came to Chicago. The best example I can think of is Dennis Rodman. He was hated as a member of the Pistons, but fans learned to love the Worm when he was stirring the pot in a Bulls uniform.
What do you think about Suh? Would you like to see him in a Bears uniform? Do you think there’s any way he could become a member of the Bears? Based on some of Suh’s nasty hits, I’m sure that Jay Cutler will be glad to see him out of the division.