The Detroit Lions are allowing the team’s top defensive player to test the open market in search of a new contract.
The Lions could have given Ndamukong Suh the so-called “franchise tag,” meaning the team would keep him for at least one year.
But tagging Suh would cost Detroit somewhere in the neighborhood of $27 million for that one year, a neighborhood team officials simply did not want to approach.
The Lions still have the right to be the only team to bargain with Suh — at least for this week.
But free agency opens next week, and by allowing the star defensive tackle to test free agency both Suh and the Lions will get a sense of what his value might be to other teams and what Detroit might have to pay to keep him.
The supremely talented Suh, who has been fined numerous times by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct on the field, is listed by Sports Illustrated as the top free agent available this year if he does not sign with Detroit.