As the Detroit Lions perhaps look to free agency to reinforce their defensive line, could a reunion with Ndamukong Suh be in play?
The Detroit Lions had the league’s 28th-ranked run defense this season (135.1 yards allowed per game), albeit skewed some by a few games where they were simply dominated on the ground. In any case, adding talent to the front seven will be an order this offseason.
The playoffs have provided the Lions and other non-playoff teams a look at some upcoming free agents who could be of interest. Vito Chirico of SI.com put together a list of six free agents to watch during Divisional Round Sunday, and he included a pretty interesting one at the end.
Buccaneers DT Ndamukong Suh
Reunited, and it feels so good. How about a reunion for the 2010 No. 2 overall draft pick in the Motor City?
The now 35-year-old has been an ironman in his career, having failed to miss a single game since suiting up for just 14 contests in 2011 with the Lions.
Additionally, the Nebraska product has recorded six sacks each of the past two seasons, andhas only gone one year without producing at least four (2019; 2.5 sacks). He’s also posted 12 or more QB hits each year since 2012.
He won’t be an every-down player, but that won’t matter as long as he’s getting after the opposition’s passer when he’s in the game.
Lions free agency rumors: Reunion with Ndamukong Suh?
Suh was drafted second overall by the Lions in the 2010 draft. He spent his first five seasons in Detroit, earning three Pro Bowl and three All-Pro selections before leaving for a nice contract with the Miami Dolphins in 2015. After three years in Miami and one with the Los Angeles Rams, he has spent the last three seasons in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers.
Suh indeed has not missed a game since 2011 (his second season), and he has remained a productive pass rusher. In Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Rams, he had a key forced fumble and four hits on former teammate Matthew Stafford–including a notable one after which he was called for taunting and alleged Stafford kicked him.
Suh’s last season as a Lion was Jim Caldwell’s first as head coach, which feels like longer ago than it even was. Martin Mayhew was the general manager then, and he was fired in November of 2015.
Even in a part-time role, as he played less than 70 percent of his team’s defensive snaps for the first time this year, Suh would certainly bring some inside pass rush force to a Lions’ defensive line that lacked it this year. And any ill-will he might’ve had, attached to a previous regime, should be long gone. It’s hard to call a Lions-Suh reunion likely, but it’s definitely in the realm of free agency possibilities.