ESPN reports that Ndamukong Suh has agreed in principle to sign a six-year deal with the Miami Dolphins for $114 million with $60 million guaranteed. Suh’s deal, which will average $19 million a year, puts the defensive tackle in rarified air as his deal will exceed the previous record of $100 million the Texans’ J.J. Watt signed in 2014.
Suh’s former team, the Detroit Lions, had passed on placing the franchise tag on him as it would have placed his salary in the $25 million-plus range according to SB Nation. Since quarterbacks like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady never commanded that type of salary, the Lions made him an unrestricted free agent.
Ndamukong Suh will also come with his own baggage and character issues as well. Suh has a well-earned reputation as a cheap shot artist as shown when he kicked Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin.
Suh was also suspended for stomping on Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.
He was suspended for the playoff game against Dallas because of this cheap shot on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. That suspension was overturned on appeal and Suh’s game against the Cowboys was an example of why he was expected to command such a huge free agent contract according to Bleacher Report
Ndamukong Suh is a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time first team All-Pro in his five seasons with the Lions. His career stats include 239 tackles and 36 sacks which rank him number one among defensive tackles.
Suh will join a veteran defensive line in Miami with Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Earl Mitchell and is expected to flourish immediately against the weaker offensive lines of the AFC East. Jared Dubin of CBS Sports states that he thinks Suh will also be able to instantly improve the Dolphins run defense which faded over the second half of last season.
As MLive reports, Suh was focused on becoming the highest-paid defensive player which became an obstacle the Lions would not be able to overcome. As a defensive tackle, Suh’s new contract has drawn immediate comparisons to Albert Haynesworth who signed a seven-year deal with the Washington Redskins for $100 million which, at the time, was the highest for a defensive tackle. Haynesworth washed out of Washington after two lackluster seasons.
Ndamukong Suh’s signing with the Dolphins, which cannot be official until Tuesday, will leave a lot of teams rethinking their offseason strategy as the first truly blockbuster deal is now done.
[Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]