Top defensive player on the market is Detroit's Ndamukong Suh after he wasn't franchise tagged by Monday's deadline. Here we project his top suitors along with potential odds.
Oakland Raiders: +200
The Silver & Black have pretty much been irrelevant since the team lost to former coach Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXII. Last season was Oakland's 12th straight non-winning campaign since then. The good news is that GM Reggie McKenzie finally has the team out of salary-cap hell. Suh could help change the losing culture and the Raiders have more than $50 million under the cap to spend. Add Suh to a defense that already has what looks to be a future star in linebacker Khalil Mack and you might have something. Presumably the Raiders will grab a receiver with their No. 4 overall NFL pick in this year's draft to help young QB Derek Carr. Plus wouldn't the renegade Suh just fit perfectly with this organization?
Detroit Lions: +400
Not a huge surprise that the Lions didn't franchise Suh because that would have meant a $26.9 million cap hit. Suh wants to be the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL, and I have little doubt that happens. Detroit would be wise to lock him up before March 10 as currently only the Lions can sign him. That window closes on that date when anyone can. Lions GM Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand have been confident for over a year about being able to sign Suh to a long-term deal. In five seasons, Suh, the second pick of the 2010 NFL draft, has 36 career sacks, three first-team all-pro selections and has helped lead the Lions to two playoff appearances.
Jacksonville Jaguars: +500
No team is projected to have more cap space than the Jaguars, somewhere around $65 million. Not that Suh will need to count his pennies, but Florida also offers the advantage of no state income taxes. Pairing Suh with breakout tackle Sen’Derrick Marks would make that Jaguars defense formidable, and they are likely to add another guy on that side of the ball with the No. 3 overall pick this spring. The question is whether Suh would want to go to a franchise that has been lousy for so long.
Indianapolis Colts: +600
Suh can feel confident he will be on a winning franchise for the foreseeable future with Andrew Luck entrenched in Indianapolis. Can the Colts afford a huge extension for Luck and another $100-plus million on Suh? No offense to Indy, but it's not exactly a destination city for free agents.
Atlanta Falcons: +1000
Let's see how good of a recruiter new Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, the former Seattle defensive coordinator, is. Suh would seem the prototype three technique tackle in Quinn’s defense. Atlanta is a very popular city among athletes and the Falcons will be playing in a glistening new palace in 2017. Can Atlanta afford to give Suh what he wants while also paying huge money to quarterback Matt Ryan and, soon, receiver Julio Jones? Atlanta also has major needs elsewhere on defense and may choose for quantity over quality.