Lions won't use franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh

Detroit's Ndamukong Suh will be unrestricted free agent unless he and Lions reach long-term deal by March 10

Ndamukong Suh appears set to hit the free-agent market.

According to multiple reports, including one on the Detroit Lions' official website, the team has decided not to use the franchise tag on Suh, meaning one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the NFL will become an unrestricted free agent on March 10.

Had the Lions opted to tag Suh, he would have cost them nearly $27 million for the 2015 season, with no guarantee he'd be sticking around any longer.

Some might feel such a move would have been worth it for the Lions, who last season went 11-5, finished second in the NFC North and made the playoffs for only the second time this century.

The two sides have been working for several months to come to a long-term deal, and they still have more than a week to continue before Suh can start negotiating with other teams.

Such a deal, whomever Suh signs with, is likely to be in the neighborhood of $100 million, reflecting the standard set by the huge contracts signed by fellow defensive linemen J.J. Watt of Houston and Gerald McCoy of Tampa Bay.

The No. 2 draft pick overall by Detroit in 2010, Suh was the defensive rookie of the year that season and has made the Pro Bowl four times. Last year he led all defensive tackles with 37 quarterback hurries and 21 tackles for a loss.

Suh was suspended for two games in 2011 for stepping on the right arm of Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. Last season he initially received a one-game suspension for stepping on the leg of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the last game of the season, meaning Suh would have missed the Lions' playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.

But that suspension was overturned a day later, and Suh instead was fined $70,000. He had two sacks and three tackles during the 24-20 loss to the Cowboys.

Twitter: @chewkiii

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