Suh ends holdout, signs with Lions

After a lengthy holdout, Ndamukong Suh has agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions.  Suh, the second overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, agreed late Tuesday to a five year contract worth a maximum of $68 million dollars with at least $40 million in guarantees. 

The Nebraska standout is expected in training camp by late Wednesday afternoon.  Suh has missed a total of four days worth of practice and the team is excited to have him ready by the first game of the preseason as they travel next week to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Though some members of the Lions team and staff expressed frustration with the amount of time it took to sign Suh, the negotiation pales in comparison to that of wide receiver Calvin Johnson who waited roughly twice the amount of time to reach a deal. 

The deal came days after Sam Bradford, the first overall pick in the draft, agreed to terms with the St. Louis Rams.  Bradford wound up with a contract of $78 million over the next six years with $50 million guaranteed.  Historically speaking, Suh wound up where many second picks normally do – with slightly less than the first overall pick received.

Regardless, the deal will make Suh one of the highest-paid rookies in the NFL and brings him close in contract value to the number one Draft pick of 2009, teammate and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.  Stafford immediately agreed to a contract of $78 million with $41.7 million of which is guaranteed on the day before the 2009 Draft.

At the end of the college football season, Suh was considered to be the likely number one pick of the 2010 Draft.  Suh has been considered possibly the most skilled defensive tackle to be drafted in the past 30 years and those close to him describe his work ethic and determination for success to be “relentless”.  However, the Rams decided to go with a quarterback with the first pick allowing Suh to fall into the welcoming arms of the Lions. 

As the first defensive tackle taken with one of the two overall picks in the draft since Darrell Russell was selected by the Oakland Raiders in 1997, Suh will roll into camp having missed some practice but with plenty of the training camp and preseason still lying ahead.

Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

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