Ndamukong Suh: The Power (And Cost) Of His Reputation
It has been a long time since a Detroit Lions player has received any consistent attention.
Thanks to a little bit of success, and a a lot of controversy, that has started to change. It all started off positive for tackle Ndamukong Suh, taking home the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2010. But even that season, from the moment he stepped on the field, he showed everyone his nasty side.
Suh will never be at a loss for money. He signed a five-year, $68 million dollar contract after he was drafted. The Oregon native also has notable endorsement deals with Subway and Chrysler, among others.
His nasty and sometimes stupid style of play, however, has earned him the reputation as a dirty player. That is a fine line to balance in professional football, particularly for successful defensive players.
Suh has coughed up $342,794 worth of fines in just over three years. Let's take a look at the plays and incidents that have taken Suh from a darling Heisman Trophy contender to frequent NFL doghouse member.
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DATE: August 28, 2010
The tackle occurred in a preseason game right before Labor Day in 2010. The Lions rookie violently took down veteran Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme. It was a "Welcome to the NFL" moment for the rookie and the league, as teams now had an edge to worry about in Suh's play, in addition to his size and strength.It was only the beginning of what was to come. (Photo Credit)
DATE: December 5, 2010
Suh has not been kind to Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. As Cutler was running for a first down, Suh came from behind and shoved him to the ground. It was a play that looked very tame compared to other instances of unnecessary roughness, but the NFL was sending message.
Suh was fined another $5,000 the previous month for another unnecessary roughness penalty. However, that flag came on a game-winning field goal attempt and didn't put anyone in harm's way.(Photo Credit)
DATE: August 12, 2011
Another preseason game, this time the first of the year. Suh wrapped up Cincinnati's Andy Dalton for a sack before he threw the ball away. But Suh continued his tackle, slamming the Bengals quarterback hard into the Ford Field turf. Dalton's helmet fell off as he was going down.(Photo Credit)
DATE: November 24, 2011
FINE: $164,000 (two games)
The infamous Thanksgiving Day stomp. As the Green Bay Packers were looking to build on their lead (in a game Detroit was still very capable of winning), Suh got a little too angry after a play, slamming lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith's head to the ground, finishing him off by shoving his foot on the lineman's midsection.
Suh was kicked out of the game (Detroit lost 27-15) and was suspended the following two games. For a player that has racked up numerous personal foul penalties in his brief time in the NFL, it remains Suh's worst day on the field.(Photo Credit)
DATE: November 22, 2012
What could have been seen as an innocent mistake for most others drew more money from Ndamukong Suh's wallet. Thanksgiving Day, again, Suh was already on his way to the ground following a Houston Texans pass attempt.
That's when the struggling tackle appeared to kick Schaub square in the groin as his legs came down. Were the referees targeting Suh at this point? Maybe, but it was not without reason. (Photo Credit)
DATE: September 8, 2013
Suh was voted as one of six captain's by his teammates for the 2013 season. His defense appeared to score their first touchdown of the year against heated rival Minnesota Vikings. That was all for naught.
As DeAndre Levy was returning his interception, Suh threw a block at lineman John Sullivan's knees. Sullivan had microfracture knee surgery in the off-season.The block was below the waist and had seemingly no affect on the play. Despite being a new rule for this season, Suh was slapped with the largest on-field fine in league history.
Until the next one...