WILLIAMSBURG—Among the sticking points in the ongoing labor dispute between NFL owners and players is a proposed rookie salary cap. Detroit Lions tackle Ndamukong Suh, the 2010 Associated Press defensive rookie of the year, didn't have to worry about that when he signed a five-year deal with a base salary of $60 million, including $40 million in guaranteed money, as the Lions' top draft pick, but he sees some merit in the idea of a cap.
"The owners have to take some risk, and the players have to, at some point in time, prove that they deserve that amount of money," Suh said. "Give guys an opportunity to prove themselves, prove their worth. ... I think it needs to be fair for both sides. I'm not sure what that fairness may be, but at the moment, I think they're going to reach an agreement (that is) fair to both sides."
Suh did his part to justify his own windfall, making 66 tackles and recording 10 sacks to earn a Pro Bowl nod (offseason shoulder surgery prevented him playing) in 2010.
"I'm not going to complain, by any means," he said. " ... We're all blessed to be in the position that we are, and we just want to keep playing the game of football."
Suh's appearance at William and Mary's Colonial All-Pro football camp on Monday was sandwiched between two members of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Linebacker Clay Matthews was in town on Sunday, and quarterback and Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers will work with campers on Tuesday.
Suh has met both Packers, and had dinner with Matthews on Sunday night. Obligations at his own camp in Detroit, however, will prevent Suh from showing up to greet Rodgers with any surprise pass rushes.
Suh talked about the importance of teaching kids to compete, in football and in life, and shared his optimism that the young Lions are on the verge of turning around one of the NFL's most moribund franchises.
He's equally excited to see how his alma mater, Nebraska, does in its first season in the Big Ten. Suh already has Nov. 19's game at Michigan (the Lions have a home game against Carolina the next day) circled on his calendar.
"I look forward to seeing them play. They're going to be closer to me (in Detroit)," Suh said. "I know I'm definitely looking forward to going to that Michigan game. Hopefully I can sneak out of our walk-through on Saturday pretty early and head down to Ann Arbor. It's going to be fun.
"I think the Huskers are going to be a team to be reckoned with as long as they put that work in."