The All-Pro defensive tackle and best interior lineman in the game will sign with the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday, when the new league year begins for a reported deal that will pay him approximately $114 million with $60 million in guaranteed money.
The Detroit Lions gave it their best shot to keep the enigmatic Suh. They offered him an average of $17 million per season with $58 million guaranteed over the weekend. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. It could not approach Miami’s money. Suh is gone!
And while many hoped and prayed that he would have a sentimental spot in his heart for the city and the Lions – this did not come as a surprise. It had been rumored throughout the year that once free agency hit – Suh would be leaving. It became inevitable when the Lions did not use the franchise tag on him. Realistically no one was going to be able to top the bid the Dolphins put in.
Suh is undoubtedly the best player to leave the Lions as a free agent since the inception of free agency in 1993, and, aside from a useable amount of cap space, the only thing the Lions will get for his departure is a compensatory draft pick, most likely in the third round, next year. Which basically equates to nothing.
He played 80 of a possible 82 games in five seasons, including the playoffs – and leaves the team with 36 sacks, 239 tackles, and four Pro Bowl selection. Suh is on his way to a Hall-of-Fame career.
Suh was an intricate part of what made Lions what they are today. Without him, there’s a huge hole, with no idea how to fix it. The Lions have lost arguably the best pound-for-pound defensive tackles to ever wear powder blue and silver.
Suh is one of those rare men who had people convincing themselves night in and night out that the possibility of greatness by crashing his body into another man is a risk worth taking. A ghastly risk, but one so pulse quickening that it’s likened to the speed of light. The ability to play such a sport at the highest level demands not only poise in the face of impossible obstacles but also the judgment that man is not always right of mind. Needless to say, he was great.
For Suh, the risk of the football only adds to the exhilaration and urgency of the adventure. It was all for a cause. The one chance in life for recognized greatness. The opportunity to tell his kids about the accomplishments of his youth.
Suh will be missed. He was a mainstay in the rebuilding effort that made the Lions a formidable opponent and a playoff team. He gave us brashness and bravado, a workmanlike attitude and a winner’s attitude. There’s no denying that there were rough times during his tenor here with the Lions, but in reality he was the consummate pro, despite what others have said about him. He held men accountable.
Suh is gone!
Zack Burgess is an award winning journalist, the Editor-at-Large for the Michigan Chronicle and Real Times Media. He is the Director/Owner of OFF WOODWARD MEDIA, LLC, where he works as a Writer, Editor and Communications Specialist. His work can be seen at zackburgess.com. Twitter: @zackburgess1