Ndamukong Suh is one of the most notable players eligible for unrestricted free agency this coming offseason, but the Lions’ standout defensive tackle doesn’t sound overly excited about the possibility of going through the free agent process. The Pro Bowler told reporters today, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, that agent Jimmy Sexton will decide where Suh plays next season.
“It’ll be Jimmy’s decision, so we’ll go with that,” Suh said. “You can call Jimmy if you want to.” Asked if he meant that his agent will choose the team he plays for in 2015, Suh replied, “Probably will. Yup.”
While there are likely plenty of players who let their agents seek out the highest offer and then agree to sign it, it’s unusual to hear a player – especially one of Suh’s caliber – acknowledge it so openly. At a time when most free-agents-to-be would express a desire to remain with their current teams, Suh didn’t even pay lip service to the idea of wanting to keep playing in Detroit.
Still, Suh’s indication that Sexton will play such a major role in the free agent process doesn’t necessarily mean that the 27-year-old is opposed to the idea of remaining a Lion, or that the team will even let him get away — the franchise tag is one option the Lions could explore, even though the cost would be massive. ESPN’s Michael Rothstein argued earlier in the week that using the $26MM+ franchise tag on Suh could be worth it for Detroit, since he plays such a significant role on defense, and the salary cap figures to be on the rise again in 2015.
Wherever Suh lands for 2015 and beyond, his free agency will be one of the most interesting subplots of the offseason. We ranked the Lions star second in the most recent installment of our free agent power rankings, and perhaps no player near the top of our list has a more realistic chance of switching teams than Suh.