Yesterday, ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported that Detroit Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will likely leave the Motor City after his contract expires after this season. Schefter quoted league sources who also said that Suh is interested in taking his talents to New York and playing for the New York Giants or New York Jets next season.
Contractually it is hard to say what the limit for Suh would be, because according to www.OvertheCap.com, the former Nebraska Corhusker is already the highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL. Suh signed a five-year rookie contract worth up to $68 million in 2010. According to OvertheCap’s Andrew Cohen, Suh is in the catbird seat as far as future in the NFL is concerned. “Because Suh restructured his contract each of the past two offseasons, his current 2014 cap hit is $22,412,500. But more importantly, because his 2015 contract automatically voids, the Lions will be left with a $9,737,500 dead money hit if Suh decides to leave via 2015 free agency,” Cohen wrote in February.
At that time, the Lions may have thought they had a chance to signed the uber-aggressive defensive tackle, but Schefter noted yesterday that the sentiment that Suh would re-sign with Detroit has dulled within the front office. “The Lions are preparing to lose free-agent-to-be Ndamukong Suh, and he’s preparing to move on,” Schefter said on the air yesterday.
Schefter also heard from sources close to Suh that the big defensive tackle is interested in playing for the Giants or Jets and would likely target those teams when his contract voids five days after the Super Bowl. “[Suh] would love to play in New York, and the idea has huge appeal to him. If he would take his talents to New York, to either the Jets or Giants, Suh knows how much that it would mean for his brand and his profile,” Schefter said.
While there appears to be interest in coming to the Big Apple for Suh, the New York teams may have something to say about that. The New York Jets and general manager John Idzik have been incredibly cautious with free agent signings over the past two season. For instance, the Jets had a major hole at cornerback, but lost out on marquee free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to their NFC counterparts, the New York Giants, this past spring.
The Giants, on the other hand, have spent liberally in free agency, mainly to cover up for deficient drafting in the past, but the move have not always panned out for the G-men. General manager Jerry Reese brought in big-ticket defensive tackle Chris Canty in free agency from the Dallas Cowboys to a reported six-year, $42 million contract in 2009, but Canty only played for the G-men for four years, before being cut in 2013.
Suh’s contract could easily double that amount, but the chance to team Suh with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul may be too much for Big Blue to ignore. While Suh has had newsworthy transgressions, those transgressions have occurred between the white lines, and he has not made headlines outside of the game.
For the Jets, their defensive front seven can already be categorized as the strength of the team, so signing Suh would not allow them to bolster other areas of need on offense and defense.