I say this because the Detroit Lions are in a very bad bargaining position here. In the 2009 draft they gave first overall pick Matthew Stafford a NFL record contract for a rookie. In 2010 they had the second overall pick, and they need Ndamukong Suh on the roster to improve a defense that has not played up to snuff in recent years. Suh’s agent knows this, and plans to use that as his leverage in getting a huge deal for his client. No matter what it is going to take a huge deal, with a lot of guaranteed money to get Suh to sign his first NFL contract.
The second overall pick in 2008 (Chris Long) got a six year deal worth 56.5 million dollars with 29 million guaranteed. Last year second overall pick, Jason Smith, got 61 million for six years with 33 million guaranteed. That means the likely starting point for Suh is going to hover right around 66 million dollars with 37 or so guaranteed.
The only good news for the Lions is there is no salary cap to worry about, but even so they are very likely to have more than 100 million dollars tied up in just two players. That is not a good thing for a team that still has some rebuilding to do. Given his extreme value to this team, I suspect Suh and his gent are going to push for a deal in the 70 million dollar range.
Again given the value he has for this team, the Lions may have to go ahead and pay that price. It is not like Detroit, where winter is the best six months of the year and the summers are hot and humid, is a real destination for NFL free agents. They have to get the Suh deal done before training camp. That leaves them next week to get another huge rookie contract done and signed.