The Miami Dolphins officially ended the Ndamukong Suh era on Wednesday at the start of free agency, announcing the release of the defensive tackle who . The contract didn't work out for the Dolphins, .
The big name here is Suh, though, and the defensive tackle is once again an unrestricted free agent who will command plenty of attention on the open market. Suh isn't likely to earn another $114 million payday, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him get something in the range of three years and $36-$40 million depending on where he signs.
Suh is 31 years old but was highly productive last year, generating 4.5 sacks from the interior of the Dolphins' defensive line. Pressure is disruption and Suh can bring pressure with the best of them. Don't read too much into the "locker room concerns" chatter with respect to Suh -- he's been dogged by an on-field reputation in years past, but he fits in fine.
Let's rank some landing spots for Suh, bearing in mind that, apparently, money is all that matters.
He is best friends with Warren Buffett, so this kind of makes sense. To the possible spots:
Born in Portland, Oregon, Suh could consider heading back to the Northwest in order to help kickstart the Seahawks defense after they purged veterans like Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and (coming soon) Cliff Avril/Kam Chancellor. Read Peter King of TheMMQB.com here, though, and you get the sense the Seahawks might like to instill more competition by bringing in younger players, in a churn reminiscent of Pete Carroll's days at USC. The Seahawks defensive line is getting stripped down. Avril could retire, Bennett is already traded and Sheldon Richardson is a free agent. Adding Suh to Jarran Reed and Frank Clark wouldn't be a terrible little consolation prize though, especially with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright behind them. Seattle has enough cap space to make this work if Suh isn't trying to break the bank.
If we're talking strictly finances, the Colts are definitely in play. With more than $72 million in cap space, the Colts have cash to spend on a big-ticket free agent as they continue to rebuild and also try to win now, assuming Andrew Luck is healthy. New defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is expected to transition to a 4-3 defense in the mold of the Cowboys and Marinelli's scheme. From that perspective, Suh would be a nice jumpstart to a defense that isn't loaded with talent. The Colts could then use the No. 3 pick on Bradley Chubb and all of a sudden would be cooking with a little bit of gas on the defensive line.
The Saints are clearly all in on 2018, having re-signed Drew Brees before free agency. Their defense took a major step last year, but they could absolutely use some more interior pressure and have never shied away from chasing after big-name stars. There is interest from the Saints end in Suh, per Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate.
Saints are expected to have interest in Suh, I’m told. Lot of moving parts. Money is a huge one.— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) March 14, 2018
The Saints have been wizards at pushing money down the road in terms of finagling their cap space in recent years to ink big-name veterans, so them landing Suh on some kind of crazy deal isn't out of the question. It would also be a strong message to Brees that he took less money for a good reason. Suh and Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins could be scary next year.
A Boy Named Suh in Black. Give me all of your Johnny Cash jokes. Also give me Suh in Silver and Black terrorizing quarterbacks. That sounds scary as hell and he would look AWESOME in those uniforms. Is that a stupid reason to suggest someone would land with a team? You bet and I don't care. Just like Marshawn Lynch, there's something appealing about a rebellious on-field guy like Suh suiting up for Oakland. The Raiders could also put him on a defensive line with Khalil Mack, Mario Edwards and Justin Ellis (who the team just re-signed this week) and drastically improve the defense by generating pressure up front. We'll need to pull the tape on Jon Gruden talking about Suh, but the guess here is it was positive. "This guy is nasty, Sean." The Raiders have more than $20 million in cap space and need to improve the defense out of the gate under Gruden.
Another big-money spot that could make sense from a profile perspective -- Suh is all about image, New York is good for marketing and the Jets have a ton of money, especially after missing out on Kirk Cousins in free agency. Suh would slot into a defensive line that was ravaged by attrition, having lost Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson in the last few years. Suh and Leonard Williams would be a nice pairing up front and Suh could be a disruptive force in Todd Bowles' defense. Did I mention the Jets have tons of money?
Not entirely sure this makes the most sense in the world from a personnel and scheme perspective, but the Browns also have lots of money and haven't been shy about chasing some big-time players this offseason. Suh would fit the bill on a defense that could be better than people expect and the Browns are a little lighter on the defensive line after losing Danny Shelton in a trade to the Patriots. A lot of the interest here probably depends on how John Dorsey feels about the current defensive players on the Browns roster. Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah, Nate Orchard, Larry Ogunjobi and Carl Nassib were all drafted in the first three rounds over the last two years and it wouldn't be stunning if the Browns considered Bradley Chubb in the draft. In short, they are heavily invested in their defensive line so chasing Suh's hefty price tag might be too much, but the Browns are loaded with cap space.
7. New England Patriots
Is [Player X] a talented, veteran player who hasn't won a lot in his career? Sign him up for New England! But seriously, if a player has spent a career making piles of money but never winning football games, the Patriots are always a possibility. Suh started out with the Lions under the old CBA and signed that massive deal in Miami. He's set for life. You could pair him up with Malcolm Brown in the middle and cause some issues for offensive linemen. They did just acquire Shelton from the Browns, so maybe the setup wouldn't be ideal. Suh would be guaranteed to destroy the Dolphins twice a year; he's got that sort of streak in him. But the price tag here is probably too prohibitive, given Suh's age and likely salary demands. If he's willing to take a lot less money to win, New England is a good landing spot.
8. Dallas Cowboys
There's a report from Dianna Russini of ESPN that the Cowboys, along with Seattle, are interested in Suh's services. Dallas would make a lot of sense from the perspective that they need defensive help and Suh could be a legit mauler in Rod Marinelli's scheme in Dallas. The Cowboys tendered David Irving this year in free agency and have Maliek Collins on the defensive line, but Suh would be a major upgrade on that defensive line. With Taco Charlton and DeMarcus Lawrence on the outside, the Cowboys defensive line would suddenly be pretty foreboding. Tank even agrees.
Fwiw … spoke with DeMarcus Lawrence yesterday: "Having a big guy like Suh on the inside would take a lot of pressure off"— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) March 14, 2018
But Josina Anderson, sitting on the same set with Russini, says there's no interest with the Cowboys.
Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported something similar and later emphasized it was a firm "no."
Per source in a text, the Cowboys are not interested in Suh. So there is that— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) March 14, 2018
The Cowboys are $14 million over the cap right now and used the franchise tag on Lawrence, who apparently is going to bet on himself and play out said tag. They might be a fit from a scheme perspective, but could be a problem from a cash standpoint. Never say never but this feels like a long shot out of the gate.
There are rumors Suh once said, in a joint Dolphins-Eagles practice, that he would play for the Eagles for free. If that's the case then maybe this happens, otherwise it's unlikely. The Eagles aren't currently under the cap as of Wednesday afternoon per NFLPA records and they already added Haloti Ngata to the defensive line so unless Suh really is willing to play for free (spoiler: he isn't!) then good luck with this one. Howie Roseman is a magician but this would require a full Houdini to pull off.