The Detroit Lions have announced they will not place the franchise tag on DT Ndamukong Suh. The franchise tag would have cost the Lions a hefty $26.8 million. This puts Ndamukong Suh on the open market when free agency begins March 10th.
ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter put the word out on Twitter this afternoon:
It is rare to see a team allow one of their marquee players to enter the open market, especially during his prime years. Suh will have teams lining up to make a move for his services, including the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans have a clear objective of improving their defense this year. They made that clear when they signed former Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau.
The possible addition of Suh will make Tennessee’s defensive line a formidable force. It will also allow the Titans more flexibility during this year’s NFL Draft, including the possibility of trading their number two pick to teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, who are eager to move up for the possibility of drafting Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Ndamukong Suh will however seek a huge contract from teams. A contract possibly in the neighborhood of Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who signed a mega six-year $100 million contract extension last summer.
Whether the Titans will open up their checkbooks for Suh remains to be seen, but with nearly $45 million in cap space the Titans will have enough to entertain top free agents this off-season.
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The Tennessee Titans currently have stud defensive lineman Jurrell Casey on their roster through 2018, after signing him to a four-year $36 million extension just last year. Casey finished last season with 5 sacks and is just one year removed from his great 2013 season, which saw him finish with 10.5 sacks.
The possibility of acquiring both Ndamukong Suh from free agency, and Leonard Williams from this years draft is something to get excited for. If the Titans could end up with all three, their defense under coordinator Dick Labeau could become a serious force to reckon with. It would provide an immediate boost to a Titans defense that finished 31st in the league in stopping the run last season.
Ndamukong Suh has a past reputation of being a dirty player. However I don’t think that reputation should stop anyone from pursuing Suh. I believe that the Titans should aggressively pursue signing Suh to the roster this off-season.