Per writer/scout Scott Bischoff, the Detroit Lions are toying with the possibility of dealing captain Ndamukong Suh.
Insanity right? Dealing an All-Pro defensive tackle that anchors your defense? Coming off arguably the most complete season of his career? How can you deal your defensive catalyst in the prime of his career?
As wacky as it sounds, there's just enough logic to pitch Suh's name during the draft.
Suh has been face of the Detroit's defense since being drafted in 2010. The former first-rounder exploded in the NFL with 10 sacks his rookie season and creating a fearsome pass-rush for the Lions.
He has also created negative headlines for personal foul penalties each season of his career. Some deserved, some blown way out of proportion. His reputation has gotten him in more trouble than he deserves, but his ability as a player speaks greater volumes.
Suh is entering his contract year hungry for a monster deal. After paying franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford last offseason as well as superstar receiver Calvin Johnson in 2012, the Lions have one more star to pay. Detroit isn't working with lots of cap space, but general manager Martin Mayhew has made a habit of working through these situations.
But the greatness Suh brings to the Lions is nothing we haven't seen before. Despite arguably being the best at his position, defensive tackles come in and out of the NFL often. It's the most replaceable position defensively.
You don't pay athletes for the work they've done in the past, you pay them for what they're capable of in the future. That's not to suggest Suh is on the decline, but the last thing the Lions want to do is break the bank for an Albert Haynesworth-like situation.
As mentioned, Detroit signed Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford to major extensions. Johnson is a once-in-a-lifetime talent and it's no question this offense can't survive without either of these players. Keep these two in Detroit is mandatory.
While Suh is in his prime and makes everyone around him that much better, you have to question how much better. Last season the Lions finished a disappointing 28th in the NFL with only 33 total sacks. They did finish a much-improved 6th against the run, but didn't get to the quarterback as often as advertised allowing teams to carve them up through the air, ranking 23rd in the league.
Over the past few years under former head coach Jim Schwartz, the Lions made it an imperative task of loading the defensive line. You can't survive on defense when your focal point is at the bottom half of production and the rest of the unit is lacking.
Moving Suh removes Detroit's star power, but there's still plenty of fire on the defensive line. Tackle Nick Fairley and defensive end Ziggy Ansah each have star potential when healthy, plus contributing role players in recovering lineman Jason Jones and budding rusher Devin Taylor.
Trading Suh brings back a ton of value with a high first and other mid to late round picks. You can replace him with Pittsburgh tackle Aaron Donald, move up for pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney or even the fan-favorite receiver Sammy Watkins.
The Lions have great depth on the line, but still need help at linebacker, safety, and cornerback. They could address those options at their No. 10 pick, helping the balance of the defense.
This isn't a plea begging for Suh to be traded. Just suggesting the idea isn't as outlandish as one would think. President Tom Lewand has made note they want they to keep Suh with the Lions, but other options should be kept in mind.