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Lions Mailbag: What, questions about Ndamukong Suh?

The questions began with the emotional news conference and they won't end for at least another month -- and in reality will go on longer than that.

What will happen with Ndamukong Suh? This week's Lions Mailbag delves into all Suh, with almost every question. To ask a question of the Mailbag, either tweet with the hashtag #LionsMailbag, email me at michael.rothstein@espn.com or pop onto the Facebook page and shoot me a message (and follow over there, too).

Now, onto your weekly dose of Ndamukong Suh.

@mikerothstein: Let's start here this week since Suh dominates every discussion these days with the Detroit Lions. What happens with Suh will have a say in almost every other free agency decision the team makes -- most notably for Nick Fairley. If Detroit franchises/transitions Suh or signs him to a long-term deal, that almost assures Fairley is going to be somewhere else in 2015. If the Lions decide Suh is just too expensive, then they could end up bringing Fairley back if he is willing to take a reasonable price. From a practical and salary-cap standpoint, it would be very difficult for Detroit to bring both back. There is a better chance neither would return than both.

@mikerothstein: This is going to be a question even if Detroit brings back Suh and/or Fairley, because of the players on the 53-man roster in 2014, Caraun Reid is the only defensive tackle the Lions have under contract. It's tough to say exactly what players are going to reach the free agent market. Terrence Cody is in the final year of his deal. He's a 3-4 nose tackle, but could be an interesting investment. Chicago's Stephen Paea could also be an intriguing player. Da'Quan Bowers from Tampa Bay would be another name to consider, as would Jared Odrick from Miami. The final three all played in 4-3 systems.

@mikerothstein: It's a toss-up right now with a lot of guys. The guys under contract are ends Ezekiel Ansah, Jason Jones, Devin Taylor and Larry Webster, and Reid. Of those guys, only Jones is a potential cap cut, with a $3,983 million number and less than $1 million in dead money. Of Detroit's free agents: Ends George Johnson and Darryl Tapp, and tackles Suh, Fairley, C.J. Mosley and Andre Fluellen, I could see three or four returning. But there will be some turnover, and like everything else, so much will be dictated by the Suh situation.

@mikerothstein: This is the $100 million question, and one I don't have an answer to. It would be helpful -- and hilarious -- if Suh held some sort of Bachelor-style rose ceremony with his many likely suitors, but I don't see that happening. I don't think Suh really knows yet, although the Lions could make the decision for him with a franchise tag that would cost $26.7 million for one season. Otherwise, it's tough to say right now.

@mikerothstein: When Martin Mayhew said he believed the team would have room to make moves in free agency if Suh was franchised, it seemed like he was hinting at something like this. If Detroit really believes Matthew Stafford is the quarterback of the future, I'd start there since he'll still be in his prime in the back end of his contract. Calvin Johnson would be a riskier one, because he is going to be 30 years old in September and has five years left on his deal. According to ESPN Stats & Information, there is no dead money attached to his last two seasons, and a restructure might cause that, which could hurt in the future. Plus, Johnson is already costing $20.5 million against the cap in 2015 anyway, so Stafford would be the better option than Johnson.

@mikerothstein: Obviously, hand Suh the ball and make him a fullback. Kidding (maybe, because that could be J.J. Watt-esque). I didn't take Mayhew's chat this week as shooting down taking a running back, although it did confirm in my head that it won't be a draft priority. Truthfully, it shouldn't be, either. If the Lions can nab a Mike Davis or someone of that caliber in the middle rounds, it would be a wise investment. I'd imagine one of the things drilled into joique Bell during his exit meeting was ball security in 2015. If he can work on that, then Detroit's problems are fixed there. I'd also say a retooled offensive line would help, because it could create larger, longer holes for all of the backs. What Detroit does with Reggie Bush will be interesting and could change the picture here, too.

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