Reality TV star, submarine sandwich salesperson and mythic defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh made headlines again this week by being absent from the first day of the Lions' off season program.
It was the start of new head coach Jim Caldwell's regime and his defensive star, a captain last season, wasn't there.
It brought a major distraction.
|Suh: Unnecessary distractions|
Caldwell was asked about it.
QB Matthew Stafford was asked about it.
RB Reggie Bush was asked about it.
So was safety, James Ihedigbo, a free agent from the Ravens who hasn't even played with Suh yet.
It wasn't about the team, and bouncing back from a terribly disappointing 7-9 season.
Nope. It was about Suh. Again.
There is a large segment of the Lions' fan base who buy into the Suh myth about how he makes everybody around him so much better despite statistics which are solid, but anything but great, since his rookie season. They will point out how these workouts are voluntary, and how Barry Sanders didn't show most of the time in the off season.
I find such defending of Suh misguided.
First of all, it wasn't good thing about Barry Sanders that he didn't involve himself more in the team's offseason program.
Secondly, Suh doesn't have remotely the same impact on games Sanders did.
The Lions aren't being unfair here. They want to sign him to a long-term deal, and could have improved their off-season position in free agency if Suh had been signed to a contract extension.
But that ship has sailed...
As is, Suh is a $22.4 million salary cap hit, which has become an Albatross hanging around the franchise.
All this for 5.5 sacks and 49 tackles last season, continued headlines for the wrong reasons, which have become a collective head for the team and its fans, the latter who, frankly, deserve better.
My column. Unsolicited advice for Pistons owner Tom Gores: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140409/some-unsolicited-advice-from-pat-caputo-for-owner-tom-gores-and-the-detroit-pistons
My column. Michigan football seems a little too confused for comfort: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140409/michigan-football-seems-a-little-too-confused-for-comfort-pat-caputo-writes