To get ready for free agency, we're going to take a look at each of the Detroit Lions' 2015 free agents. Next up is defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
16 games (16 starts) | 53 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 3 PD
How he joined the Lions
Drafted in the first round in 2010.
Case for re-signing him
There's really not much that needs to be said about why the Lions should re-sign Suh. He is the centerpiece of their suddenly dominant defense and is a perennial All-Pro player. He's not the type of talent you can afford to lose when you're trying to build your franchise into a contender.
Case against re-signing him
If this were only a question of talent, re-signing Suh would be an absolute no-brainer. Unfortunately, there's a lot more to this particular situation. For starters, Suh is likely seeking a contract that would make him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. That type of deal could be tough to swallow from a cap standpoint given that the Lions already have a lot of money set aside for Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. What's more, franchising Suh is a pretty awful backup plan given that he would get $26.9 million for 2015 and would likely be right back in this situation a year from now. Finally, given the microscope that is on Suh because of his past mistakes on the field, it's possible that a simple misstep could get him suspended, even for a playoff game. That also has to be a consideration for the Lions.
We've been over this situation before, but I think the Lions should pay whatever it takes to re-sign Suh. Yes, that could make life difficult in the future when it comes to the salary cap, but there are always ways to get around that, and the cap should be going up quite a bit in future years anyway. I do not think the Lions should resort to using the franchise tag, but if it's simply a case of him wanting a certain amount of money over a certain number of years, then they need to make a deal happen. You just can't let a talent like Suh walk, especially after what the Lions defense did last season.