Report: Dolphins 'nervous' about possible investigation over Suh deal

Did the Dolphins make a deal with Ndamukong Suh before they were allowed to? (USATSI)
Did the Dolphins make a deal with Ndamukong Suh before they were allowed to? (USATSI)

One of the first deals struck during free agency came Sunday when the Dolphins and Ndamukong Suh agreed to terms on a six-year, $114 million deal that included $60 million in guaranteed money. 

The deal potentially has one big problem though: Suh and the Dolphins agreed to it 48 hours before anyone's allowed to agree to anything, and now the Dolphins are "nervous" that the NFL might punish the team for breaking the rules during the league's legal tampering period. 

According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins could face sanctions that include "fines on the club or individuals and may also rise to the level of costing a team a draft pick or picks."

The NFL sent out a memo on Monday that clearly stated the rules of what teams are and are not allowed to do during the legal tampering period. 

Clubs were advised of the rules for the three-day negotiating period in PP-23-15 (attached). These rules include limitations such as that a club cannot make an "offer;" or enter into a written or oral agreement of any kind, express or implied, or make promises or representations of any type concerning the terms or conditions of employment to be offered to any Unrestricted Free Agent for inclusion in a Player Contract after the start of the new League Year; or provide assurances of intent as to the future execution of an NFL Player Contract.

The news of the Suh deal was first reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who tweeted at 1:05 p.m. on March 8 that the two sides had agreed to a deal. As the Miami Herald points out, Mortensen is represented by CAA, the same agency that represents Suh. 

Under the NFL's rules, teams weren't supposed to be making offers during the March 8-10 legal tampering period. 

Suh hasn't signed a deal with Miami yet, but if it turns out that he does sign the exact deal that Mortensen reported, then that means the two sides agreed to a deal before they were allowed to. 

The NFL memo has emphasized that there could be punishments for any team violating the league's rules 

Clubs were further advised that "Any attempt to undermine the purpose of this negotiating period may be considered conduct detrimental to the League." At this time, the League office is beginning investigations into a number of reported agreements with clubs. Violations will be dealt with accordingly.

The NFL may not go after every team, but the Dolphins would be an easy target since they would be signing the biggest free agent to the offseason's biggest contract.  

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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