The Lions, lying in wait for the new year...
A high-profile player signed a much-anticipated, long-awaited contract extension Wednesday afternoon and unfortunately for the Detroit Lions, that player was not named Ndamukong Suh.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick agreed to a six-year extension worth at least $110 million with a reported $61 million guaranteed. It is a massive deal, for sure, and will tie the 49ers to their quarterback for a long, long time. But as is the question with every contract signing and extension in the NFL lately, when it comes to the Lions, it all goes back to Suh and his negotiations.
There is no doubt the NFL is a quarterbacks league. While Kaepernick's deal doesn't make him the highest-paid quarterback in the league, it does set the market for offseason contract extensions this year for high-profile players and Suh is one of the most recognizable names in the league. He also happens to be one of the top two players at his position in the league.
And if you think his agent, Jimmy Sexton, didn't see the Kaepernick deal and think how he could use it to help gain more of an advantage for his client in their talks with Detroit, then you might underestimate Sexton's bargaining talents. There's a reason Suh hired him -- it's because he is widely considered one of the best in the game.
Suh is the rare defensive lineman that somewhat transcends the game, so Sexton could theoretically go into negotiations using that type of face-of-the-franchise card when it comes to the Lions.
Listen, whether or not Suh signs with the Lions, he won't command high-end quarterback type of money from Detroit because defensive tackle is not the premier position in the league. But Suh is different in that he is very much one of the faces -- if not the most recognizable face -- on the Detroit Lions.
That, combined with his talent level and the Lions continually saying they would like him to return to Detroit, could give Suh even more advantage when it comes to his contract. In the one time he discussed his contract, Suh wouldn't say what he wanted out of the deal or where things stood.
All that is known is this: Suh has tried to show he wants to stay in Detroit and the Lions would like him to remain with the club. Now, though, every new deal that is done could end up shaping the price that Suh could end up receiving as well.
And now, a look at Lions news (and other interesting stories) from around the Interwebs:
Ryan Broyles is feeling healthy and is excited about his potential return to the field sooner than expected. This week's NFL Nation Buzz breaks down what the Lions could see from their new defense. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy signs his rookie contract.
Mikel Leshoure is hopeful about his new opportunity with the Lions, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions hope a leaner Nick Fairley is also meaner, writes John Niyo in the Detroit News.
Fairley likely won't be enabled anymore, writes Kyle Meinke in MLive.
Taking a quick peek at a divisional opponent, colleague Ben Goessling writes that history says Teddy Bridgewater could start for the Vikings this season.
Some pretty good stuff in here about the last day of football in Los Angeles from Emily Kaplan of the MMQB.