ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the belief around the NFL is that the Lions will not use their franchise tag on impending free agent DT Ndamukong Suh in the coming weeks.
- Schefter suggested that the Lions could consider using their transition tag on him, which gives Detroit the right of first refusal to match any offer Suh would receive on the open market.
- The transition tag is equal to the average of the top-ten salaries at his position.
This probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise given that it would run Detroit $26.9 million to apply the designation.
However, Lions GM Martin Mayhew mentioned a few weeks ago that they are willing to franchise to Suh in order to keep him in Detroit for another year, per Dave Birkett.
Mayhew said that they will have to “step up financially” in order to retain Suh. Although, he wouldn’t commit to keeping Suh at any cost.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports previously reported there are as many as 10 NFL teams prepared to make “titanic pitches” to Suh if he were to reach the open market.
This level of interest would likely force the Lions overpay Suh in order to prevent him from fielding offers of interested teams.
Robinson’s source specifically mentioned that cap-rich teams like the Jaguars, Browns, Raiders, and Jets are expected to be among the interested team’s in Suh this offseason. The Falcons could also be a team to keep an eye on.
Suh, 27, has recorded 51 tackles, 8.5 sacks and three pass defenses over the course of 16 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 3 defensive tackle in the league.
We have Suh ranked as the No. 2 player in our Top 50 – 2015 Free Agents List.