The Lions’ decision not to use their franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh today meant the star defensive lineman moved one step closer to free agency. If Detroit doesn’t reach a long-term agreement with Suh by Saturday, his agent will be free to negotiate with rival teams, and according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 Washington (Twitter link), Washington will be among his potential suitors. Russini cites sources within the organization in reporting that Washington is interested in the 28-year-old.
Assuming Suh does reach the open market, there will be no shortage of clubs vying for his services. Players of his caliber rarely become available, and there are plenty of teams around the league with more cap room than Washington, and many with an even greater need along the defensive line. I expect many teams to kick the tires on Suh if given the opportunity.
Still, it makes some sense that new GM Scot McCloughan and the Washington front office would have interest in the former second overall pick. In 2014, five defensive linemen played in more than 25% of Washington’s defensive snaps, and only Jason Hatcher recorded a positive grade, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The club has already signed Ricky Jean-Francois to help add depth to the position, but adding a player like Suh would transform the unit into an elite defensive front.