<
>

Tagging window for Ndamukong Suh opens Monday

The long-awaited will-they, won't-they on using a franchise or transition tag for Ndamukong Suh can officially be answered starting Monday.

The two-week window for the Detroit Lions to make a decision on whether to use the tag on Suh goes from now until March 2 at 4 p.m. and the decision could dictate every offseason move the team will make in free agency and potentially the draft.

Despite his immense talent and overall worth to the Lions, Suh's tag number of more than $26.7 million is massive, complicating the decision for the Lions, who still don't know exactly what the salary-cap number for 2015 will be.

Colleague Ed Werder reported Monday morning on SportsCenter that the Lions are still determining whether tagging Suh at that number is a plausible option considering how much the team already has tied up in quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Suh has $9.7 million in dead money that will be on the Lions' cap payroll no matter what in 2015, so if the tag is used, that means he'll take up more than $36 million of the team's cap space in 2015 if a long-term deal can't be reached.

The Lions also have to weigh how much Suh wants to remain with the Lions in the long term considering what the cost would be to retain Suh at that number. It would potentially mean cutting somewhat valuable starters -- Reggie Bush, Stephen Tulloch, and Jason Jones would be possibilities -- and also decimating the team's ability to make a run at other free agents to help improve a roster that reached the playoffs last season.

What happens with Suh will be the major talking point for the Lions through the NFL combine this week as the franchise tries to figure out exactly what is going to happen and considers options on every level for its future.