For the second year in a row, the Detroit Lions went to DT Ndamukong Suh and asked him to restructure his deal to free up cap space so the team could go on their mini free agent shopping spree last week.
There is not a lot of risk here for Suh. He takes guaranteed money up front instead of money to be paid later and the Lions get to apply that figure to the length of is deal. Suh's cap numbers is certainly a hindrance to team trying to improve its roster via free agency and yes Suh should get some credit for being willing to work with the team to help his front office put the best Lions roster on the field that they can.
Zac Snyder of the Side Lions report doesn't see it that way, Zac wrote the following:
It’s obviously great that Suh was willing to do so, but I’m often confused by the praise lauded to players for such a decision. The opportunity to do what Suh did should be a no-brainer for any player in his position even beyond the ability to help the club field a better team.
Snyder goes on to point out that this kinds of deals are little more than an accounting trick used by NFL teams to create as much cap space as they can. He is right in that, but it still takes the willingness of the player to restructure his deal, and that is where Suh has shown incredible value to the Lions.
The simple fact here is Suh's deal is from a bygone era of the NFL. He signed a deal before the NFL changed the rules about rookie deals and therefore he is costing this team far more than he would have had he been drafted one year later.
On top of all that the Lions, and their fans, are looking for Suh to step up and be a leader not only on the field but in the locker room as well. His willingness to help his team get better is a very positive sign towards that end. Sure, ultimately Suh is helping himself first, but the team was able to create enough cap space to make some moves that hopefully will help this team get back to the NFL playoffs.