It’s too bad that all the buzz around the start of the Detroit Lions’ minicamp has to be about someone who did not show up versus the excitement of the new players and old players that did present themselves at Allen Park; but that’s professional sports. There are a few players missing, but everyone’s all up in arms about Ndamukong Suh’s absence because of his highly publicized contract negotiations.
With all the offseason movements made by the Lions and from Jim Caldwell’s words, and everyone else’s, we know that the Lions need to win now. Suh’s contract should be taken care of sooner than later, and then all will be back to normal. It would be foolish to let him go and pick up a young defensive lineman for an upcoming season with more anticipation than the Game of Thrones premier.
Chris Houston is another starter who failed to make minicamp, but he has a slightly better excuse as he recovers from a toe injury. There is some speculation that Houston is also holding out for a contract situation, but that’s mainly because Caldwell did not confirm Houston’s toe injury when asked.
If Houston is actually holding out or trying to negotiate in some way, that might be something that actually turns into a move. The Lions have seen nothing but underproduction from Houston, so I would hope they would either keep him at a low cost or get rid of him without much fanfare.
If Suh does continue to hold out, it may cause some concern, but through reputation only. Suh is already considered by many around the league as a selfish player, and with continuing issues on the contract side, those feelings may begin to trickle into the minds of his own teammates. That’s especially the case with some new guys coming in who have been hearing about Suh from the other side of the ball.
Regardless of what’s being said negatively about Suh so far in the offseason, his teammates continue to not only support Suh, but also not give a hoot about him missing minicamp. They all know it’s a business, and Suh is a big-time player dealing with big-time money. This is what happens.
The only other player who is missing minicamp so far is Carlin Isles, the Lions’ fun rugby experiment. This is a bummer only because everyone is crazy curious about what he can do with pads on, but he has to continue to honor his commitment to his rugby team until the season is over.
The start of minicamp for the Lions should be exciting for most, so let Suh and management worry about their negotiations while fans should be stoked about the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft and the potential of a deep playoff run.