Ndamukong Suh should be traded, Detroit scribe says


Ndamukong Suh has a $22.4 million salary-cap number in 2014, which gives him plenty of leverage for his expected long-term contract talks with the Detroit Lions this offseason.

Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp suggested Tuesday that the Lions avoid the issue altogether by trading Suh right off the team for draft picks.

"It's not that Suh is a malcontent troublemaker as one national report suggested. It simply doesn't make fiscal sense when there remain so many potholes on the defensive side of the ball," Sharp wrote.

Detroit plans to start renegotiation talks when Suh hires an agent, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. It obviously indicates a desire to keep him. Internally, the Lions see Suh as someone who not only wasn't late to meetings, but they note he was elected captain by his teammates, Rapoport reports, per sources familiar with the Lions' thinking.

Welcome to the offseason. This idea provides a fine column topic, but it's essentially nonsense with no chance of happening. (This is the same columnist that suggested trading Calvin Johnson a few years ago.) Lions president Tom Lewand says the team and Suh have expressed mutual interest in a long-term deal, and that's what we expect to happen. Suh is coming off perhaps his best season yet.

Yes, the Lions pay an inordinate amount of their cap to three stars: Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Suh. Sharp mentions the Seattle Seahawks' model of finding bargains in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft as an avenue to success. But there's nothing preventing the Lions from doing that with a star-heavy approach. That comes down to new coach Jim Caldwell and his staff's ability to develop players.

The Seahawks example is instructive. Seattle has Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman approaching free agency soon. Thomas is the priority, but both players should get big deals eventually. Teams don't get better by getting rid of their best players in their prime.

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