Suh’s Contract With Lions Will Not Be Based On Past Deals

With training camp just nine days away, the Detroit Lions’ two first round picks Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best remain unsigned – along with the other 30 players selected in the opening round of the NFL Draft.

Ndamukong Suh will command big money from Detroit (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The holdup appears to hinge on the No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford and his negotiations with the St. Louis Rams. However, Suh’s agent, Roosevelt Barnes, is taking a different approach to negotiating a fair contract for his client.

“I’m negotiating for Ndamukong Suh, and the player that he is and the person he is — on and off the field,” Barnes told the Detroit News.

Barnes is adamant that previous deals will have no impact on Suh’s contract with the Lions, which could make it even more difficult for the Lions and Suh to reach an agreement.

“A player like Ndamukong Suh hasn’t come along in many years, so it’s hard to say anything about what has happened in the past and how much impact that would have as a reference point,” Barnes said.

Stafford received $41.7 million guaranteed as the No. 1 overall pick in 2009.

Will Suh and his agent demand more than that? How do you place a dollar number on a player’s impact on a team before even putting the pads on?

One way is to create a deal that is largely incentive laden. A team is more than willing to pay a player if they are performing on the field, than a contract that is mostly guaranteed (see Albert Haynesworth).

Suh has said from the beginning how important it is to him to get into training camp on time. But will his agent’s attitude toward negotiations hinder the chance of that happening?

Stay tuned. Next week should provide a clearer picture for Suh and the other unsigned first round picks.

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