The Detroit Lions made it official Monday morning -- they will not be placing the franchise tag on All Pro defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh. The franchise tag deadline happens today at 1:00pm Pacific time (4:00pm Eastern) which means they had to make their decision by then one way or the other.
Had the Lions placed the franchise tag on Suh, it would have cost them a whopping $26.9 million for next season and they would have been in this situation again next offseason.
The franchise tag was the only way for the Lions to guarantee Suh doesn't hit the open market when free agency opens on March 10. And should they not reach an agreement before then, Suh will be in very high demand.
The Raiders, with what could be over $65 million in cap space money available are in position to be a player in that sweepstakes and according to NBC's Dianna Marie Russini, the Raiders are among three teams who will be showing considerable interest.
The Lions want to resign Suh but if he makes the market the Bucs, Jags, Raiders will ALL be hot after him per multiple team sources— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 2, 2015
Suh sat atop our Raiders Free Agent Wishlist at the defensive tackle position. The question was not so much if the Raiders would be interested but rather if Suh would be available. With his franchise tag cap number, that was always a possibility.
If the Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Raiders are the only three teams who are willing to step up with the kind of financials to secure Suh, his best bet would probably be the Raiders among those three choices. All three teams are in a rebuilding process but Suh was said to have wanted to return to the West Coast and the Jags and Bucs are both on the East Coast.
That being said, it could ultimately come down to being all about the financial side. And that side always revolves around guaranteed money. Reggie McKenzie has never been keen on handing out large amounts guaranteed money. If that remains the case, he and the Raiders will be left wanting while Suh signs elsewhere regardless of geography.