Detroit Lions star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is looking for a massive payday this offseason, and he’s definitely going to get huge bucks. The question is, how much will the Lions pay to keep him? His contract doesn’t run out until 2016, but the 2015 season is a voidable year that he is unlikely to play through. He’s going to want a mega-deal sooner, and he’s technically heading into the final season of his contract. Martin Mayhew and the Lions have always shown a willingness to lock up star players, and Suh certainly fits the bill of someone ready to get a big deal.
Suh has had a checkered past of dirty play, and he continues to receive fines even though he’s cleaned up his play. As always, there are multiple sides to the issue, as Suh has cleaned up his act and gives a huge amount of money to charities, but the narrative that he is a dirty player still prevails. At least nobody doubts his elite talents, as he continues to be an incredibly disruptive presence at the heart of the Lions defense.
There’s also a chance, though, that he was a disruptive presence inside the Lions locker room. Although he has cleaned up his dirty play on-the-field, FOX Sports’s Heath Evans stated on 105.1 FM Detroit that Suh would always try to challenge former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz’s authority through antics such as purposefully showing up late to practices. Evans is also the guy who stated that Chip Kelly would never succeed in the NFL. While it’s fine to be wrong about that, Evans’s laughable inability to take accountability for his blanket statement last offseason has further hurt his credibility as an analyst.
He doesn’t have much cred as a reporter breaking stories, but it was nevertheless interesting to hear him state this to Matt Dery on the radio. Evans stated that his information comes from three players within the Lions organization, and MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke notes that Evans once played with Lions running back duo Reggie Bush and Joique Bell back when he was a fullback for the New Orleans Saints. That sounds like a close connection.
“The consistent message that came out of there is that Suh was uncontrollable and that he would constantly do things to show his power over Jim Schwartz, whether it was showing up to team meetings late over whatever it may be,” Evans said.
“Three different people (told me) all the same story, about antics Suh would do just to show his dominance over a head coach.”
It’s an incredibly interesting report, and we’ll see how Jim Caldwell handles Suh now that he’s the head coach. Schwartz is no longer a worry, and neither is the Schwartz-Suh power struggle reportedly created by Suh’s ego. I don’t think this is going to affect the Lions decision to give a new deal to the DT, but it’s possible that things could get ugly down the road if this is true and if he continues to perform these antics in an effort to “show up” Caldwell. There have been reports in the past stating that Suh is more of a headcase within the team than some think, but this is all technically just “rumor” at this point. Nevertheless, it isn’t a good look for Suh as he looks to get a monster deal after firing Roosevelt Barnes, who did an amazing job of setting up Suh for a huge rookie payday and a second big one, in favor of Roc Nation.