Tuesday, July 27, 2010
BBAO: The timing of Suh's negotiations
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
As we push through the final week of the offseason, one of the biggest news stories in the NFC North will be when -- and for how much -- the Detroit Lions sign No. 2 overall draft pick Ndamukong Suh.
Lions players report to training camp Friday and will have their first practice Saturday. This year might be the last financial bonanza for NFL rookies before a tighter rookie cap is put in place in the next collective bargaining agreement, placing additional pressure on negotiations around the league. But as John Niyo of the Detroit News points out, the Lions have typically gotten rookies signed on time over the past decade.
Niyo suggests, and I agree, that it's likely Suh will wait for the St. Louis Rams to sign No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford before committing to a contract of his own. So the question becomes how fast the Rams move, and if the eventual conclusion of their negotiations will leave Suh and the Lions enough time to establish his specific market value and complete a deal before Saturday's first practice.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press offers four players and one coach who will be crucial to the Lions' success this season.
- The Lions' coaching staff trusts defensive end Jared DeVries, who is expected to compete with Cliff Avril for the left defensive end job. Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com has more.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune offers six points of focus for the Chicago Bears' new offense.
- Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: "There's simply no way to overstate the delicate balance that exists between quarterback Jay Cutler and offensive coordinator Mike Martz. If the two find a way to maintain a professional and positive working environment, the Bears will be a playoff contender. If the relationship falls apart, the Bears are doomed to miss the postseason for a fourth consecutive year, which would likely lead to massive organizational changes next offseason."
- Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson, who fractured his femur in December, could be cleared to practice for the first day of training camp, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune. This development would be a minor miracle, given the severity of Henderson's injury.
- Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com reviews the Vikings' linebacker position overall.
- Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette describes Packers running back Ryan Grant: "A tough, physical runner who can handle a heavy workload, a back who shows some power and burst but with only OK ability to avoid tacklers."
- Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "From flip-flopping Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji to experimenting with Cullen Jenkins at linebacker -- yes, linebacker -- the Green Bay Packers' offseason along the defensive line was all about diversifying."
- The ascension of Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is not a sure thing, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.