I hear the train a comin'
It's rolling round the bend
And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when,
I'm stuck in Folsom prison, and time keeps draggin' on...
It seems that the late great Johnny Cash pens the best lines when it comes to describing the state of the Detroit Lions, so marinated in pain after a life time of being kicked around.
And we the Lions faithful are the prisoners, albeit of our circumstance, of our geography, of our franchise, and of our own loyalty.
But I hear that train a comin'; it's rolling round the bend.
This time, however, the Motown rail holds the real promise to deliver us away from our incarceration and away from a past that Mr. Cash, try as he might, could never quite reconcile.
And who better to blow the whistle than a boy named Suh.
After a brief holdout, the Lions number one draft pick (No. 2 overall) Ndamukong Suh signed a five-year $60 million dollar deal with $40 million in guaranteed money, although the terms of the deal have not been finalized.
And the man who was featured on Sports Science and compared to a locomotive will now be the engine that pulls a Lions Defense in dire need of a shiny new diesel with a relentless "I think I can" drive.
The deal comes at a time when some Lions fans were getting a little nervous about wild media reports claiming that Suh wanted more money than first round pick Sam Bradford, reports that apparently had little credence given the rather "modest" sum eventually agreed upon between Suh and the Lions front office.
In fact, it looks like everyone got what they wanted.
Suh claimed he wanted to be "compensated fairly," and he certainly was.
Number one pick Sam Bradford received $50 million in guaranteed money, whereas number three pick Gerald McCoy received $35 million.
Slotting Suh in between those numbers would place him in the $42.5 million range which means the deal he eventually struck was right in the ballpark.
The Lions claimed they didn't want to pay Suh more than they gave Matthew Stafford, the young engineer of the new Motown Express, feeling that it wouldn't properly reflect their positions within the organization.
They got their wish.
Stafford's contract contained $41.7 million in guarantied money.
And given his agents long history of holding players out of camp when their ridiculous salary demands weren't met, I can't help but feel that Suh was exerting pressure on his handlers to get a deal done once the numbers were reasonable.
And I also feel that fan ire directed toward Suh after holding out for just a couple days was incredibly pre-mature, with many questioning his character which has proven to be nothing less than stellar over the course of his career as a football player and generally solid citizen.
With Javid Best also recently on board and a pain train already hitched and ready to go, the boxcars are filling up, but there's plenty of room for a full fledged jailbreak and I'd encourage even the most cynical and withered Lions inmate to jump on board.
I bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
They're probably drinkin' coffee and smoking big cigars...
That's how I hear it goes when you've jumped on a rail with some track laid down and a group of players all pulling in the same direction.
There's no doubt that the Lions are chugging along now and with Ndamudong Suh signed and ready to go, I'm starting to feel that whoosh of air that always proceeds a train with a head of steam.
Well if they freed me from this prison,
If that railroad train was mine
I bet I'd move it on a little farther down the line
Far from Football prison, that's where I want to stay
And I'd let that lonesome whistle blow my Honolulu blues away.....
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