Despite the overwhelming perception that Ndamukong Suh was desperately trying to hightail it out of Detroit, the richest defensive player in NFL history says he never planned on it happening that way.
"For me, my goal was always to come back," Suh said in an interview with The Detroit Free Press. "I was never looking to want to leave and figure out a different situation.
"But at the end of the day, I have to do what's best for myself and for my family because at the end of the day, those are people I have to look in the eyes each and every single day for the rest of my life and know I made the right decision for us as a whole and for my future and my future kids, my wife, that I'll eventually hopefully have soon."
Suh said that when the Lions opted against a franchise tag, a monumental commitment that would pay Suh more than $25 million for the 2015 season, he was contacted by team owner Martha Ford. It was another continuation of a process that led him to believe he'd be a Lion for life.
Things ended up not going that way, of course. Suh ended up taking a tax-free option that would financially secure him for the rest of his days.
Even though Suh has typically been considered a cold person or a recluse, this interview has the feel of a player trying to make things right on the way out.
Whether or not he truly wanted to stay in Detroit is up for debate -- he made it clear to the organization early in the process that he wanted to be the league's highest paid defensive player, and Miami's offer significantly eclipsed that of Detroit's -- but it sounds like Suh didn't want to leave his first NFL city with a bad taste in the fans' mouths.