The winds of change are blowing once again in the Motor City. So, prepare those Taylor Swift ballads, kids, but remember, it’s not you, it’s him.
Just as the Detroit Tigers have settled in to accepting the absence of Max Scherzer, they may now be in the perfect position of offering a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to their football neighbors — the Lions — across the street as they prepare to deal with a departure of their own.
It comes as no surprise that transition has again become the word of the day for more than one Detroit franchise, because what would an offseason be without a healthy dose of contract negotiation?
The courtship of Ndamukong Suh outside of the walls of Ford Field has been hard to ignore, and with good reason. The appeal of the All-Pro defensive tackle has vaulted the 28-year-old to become one of the most sought after free agents in the league.
While the second-round pick for Detroit Lions in the 2010 draft has tread the line of being better known for his player safety violations than his accomplishments, the aggressive approach has appeared to work more in favor of the 6-foot, 4-inches-tall defensive bulldozer than against him.
Although the various terms of endearment towards Suh range from “self-absorbed” to “egotistic,” one thing is undeniable — Suh has figured out how to make a name for himself in the National Football League.
No matter the amount of love or hate you embody for the resident big man, he added yet another astounding accomplishment to his resume when news broke of the move by the Miami Dolphins to snag the Pro Bowler to a reported $114 million deal spread out over six years with $60 million guaranteed.
Barring any contract implosion, this agreement launches Suh into the role of the highest paid defensive player in the league, sliding him beyond J.J. Watt’s 2014 six-year, R100 million contract, with a guaranteed $51.8 million.
It goes without saying that the Suh’s departure will leave a gaping hole to fill in preparation for the 2015 season, but as good as the blame game feels to some, it won’t solve problems.
In the midst of the latest installment of “Detroit Heartbreak,” one thing is for sure — this city is not fond of goodbyes.
The exit of yet another roster superstar following in Max Scherzer’s footsteps has only poured more salt in the wound and the tar and pitchforks are already out in full force.
So, where does this leave the Lions? Well, for a team that displayed a level of resilience last season that has been a long time in the making, lifting the expectancy off of the performance of one could very well lead to the production of many, a vision lived out daily by Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.
For the Lions, the dust will settle and the show towards rebuilding a franchise will go on. For Suh, he will walk out a groundbreaking business move and, for the league loyalists, it’s just one more example of two worlds colliding without resolution.
Can you mix business with pleasure? Well, that all depends on which end of the deal you find yourself on and it’s a debate that could very well never come to a common ground.
And so, as with any breakup, the city will wait, take some time to heal and see that eventually, even a franchise clawing to stay at the surface, will soon be back on its way to finding life again.
Until then, pass the Ben & Jerry’s … as long as it isn’t Phish Food.
Emily Waldon was raised in Howard City and currently resides in Wyoming, Mich. A lifelong sports enthusiast, she also enjoys photography, traveling and bringing a fresh outlook to the world of athletics, both collegiate and professional. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.