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Ndamukong Suh contract: Lions reportedly offered $17 million a year

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The Detroit Lions were reportedly willing to give Ndamukong Suh a record-breaking contract.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Well, you certainly can't accuse the Detroit Lions of being cheap. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is headed to the Miami Dolphins on a record-breaking contract, but he would have gotten a record-breaking contract had he decided to stay in Detroit. From the Free Press' Dave Birkett:

The Lions had offered Suh a richer deal than Watt, one that paid him an average of $17 million per year with $58 million guaranteed, but in the end did not want to approach Miami's money.

Miami's money, according to ESPN, is $114 million over six years with $60 million guaranteed. By comparison, the Lions' best offer -- it was also for six years, according to Michael Rothstein -- was $102 million with $58 million guaranteed. The guaranteed number wasn't all that different, but clearly the Lions weren't willing to go above $17 million a year in average salary. That's probably wise when you consider the following:

Suh is a great player. In fact, he's the best defensive tackle in the NFL, and he meant a lot to the Lions. However, when you're talking about quarterback money for a defensive lineman, only a player like J.J. Watt seems worth numbers this big. Clearly the Dolphins have a different view, but even $17 million a year would have been tough to swallow for the Lions. To take that number up to $19 million would have been irresponsible given their cap situation, so it's probably for the best that the Lions didn't turn this into a bidding war for Suh.