The Detroit Lions announced today that they have halted talks for a new contract with Ndamukong Suh. Team president Tom Lewand announced today that they will not continue to discuss a deal with Suh or his agent until after the season. For fans, this news is disheartening. It is expected that Suh will void his deal at the end of the year and leave via free agency. Lewand however offered fans a spec of hope that he will be retained. He stated that he is not opposed to the use of the franchise tag in order to keep the star defensive tackle in Detroit after this season ends. He is however optimistic that they will reach a deal with Suh after seasons end.
I have to wonder if this is a move to keep the media from hounding Suh with contract questions and allow him to focus on his play. He has been battered by Detroit media with questions ranging from “what is the hold up on the talks” to “why were you away for voluntary workouts? Are you planning to leave the team at season’s end?” Suh showed frustration by ending a media session during minicamp after questions got out of hand.
While speculation surrounds this move, with some saying this was done because the Lions feel like they will not be able to reach a deal with Suh, I firmly believe this was done to protect their star and allow the team to move forward. For now, the Suh contract discussion is on hold.