Three years ago the Dolphins signed Ndamukong Suh to the largest contract ever for a defensive player. Now, his time in Miami could be running out
The NFL New Year comes next week, but it’s not time to celebrate yet. Before we can enjoy the promise of new beginnings, we get a slow undoing of past forays—a string of reminders that many moves ultimately end in regret. Since Monday, a Legion has been disbanded and a No-Fly Zone dissolved, as well as a dozen other deals nullified as teams part ways with former stars. And in Miami, the ultimate act of amends looms over the Dolphins.
Three years after signing Ndamukong Suh to the biggest ever contract for a defensive player (six years, $114 million), Miami is reportedly considering cutting the defensive tackle. "At this point, the Dolphins are trying to determine whether a Suh restructuring (if Suh is willing) or a release is the better option," Barry Jackson reports in the Miami Herald. "The least appealing option is keeping his cap hit at $26.1 million for next season." Suh has played well in his three seasons as a Dolphin, but they finished 16th, 29th and 25th in yards allowed, going a combined 22-26 with zero playoff wins. And Suh has lasted longer in Miami than did the recipients of the next three biggest free agent deals in the winter of 2015—Darrelle Revis (Jets), Jeremy Maclin (Chiefs) and Julius Thomas (Jaguars).
By my math, no player has ever won a Super Bowl after going elsewhere for a $100 million deal (and only three players, Drew Bledsoe, Fletcher Cox and Ben Roethlisberger, have won a ring playing on a nine-figure contract.) So enjoy a weekend of free agency speculation, but remember, Jan. 2 always comes. Just ask the Dolphins.
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1. The trades keep coming. Wednesday saw Michael Bennett shipped to Philadelphia (even if the Patriots might have offered more). The same day, the Eagles' NFC East rival Giants also bulked up their defense for a draft pick, getting linebacker Alec Ogletree from the Rams, who stayed busy by bringing in Aqib Talib for a fifth-rounder on Thursday night.
2. Meanwhile, releases continue apace. Thursday, the Titans moved on from 30-year-old running back DeMarco Murray. He was the AFC's leading rusher in 2016. Richard Sherman's departure from Seattle is still to come (maybe by the time you read this?).
3. Le'Veon Bell said he won't report to camp if he doesn't get a long-term deal (in a re-run of what transpired in Pittsburgh last year). That comes after the running back claimed he might skip as many as the first 10 games.
4. Bradley Chubb is the draft's best edge rusher. He was ranked 734th in high school. Jourdan Rodrigue fills in the gap.
5. Less than three years after being shot twice in the head, former Rams receiver Stedman Bailey is trying to return to the NFL.
6. Marquise Goodwin is getting $10 million guaranteed from the 49ers. He was third in the NFL with 17.2 yards per catch in 2017.
7. A father has gone to court to keep one of his sons from playing football, and now the story is in The New York Times. One more from the Times: "Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football." Meanwhile, The Athletic has a lengthy profile of a Harvard football player whose life was altered by a "regular" hit.
8. Washington players who filled in during the 1987 strike will finally receive their Super Bowl rings.
9. Danny Heifetz considers Eric Reid and what might happen now that the safety and protest leader is going to be a free agent.
10. Jeremy Towns got into medical school the day before his Pro Day in 2014. After a stint in the NFL, he's now becoming a doctor. "I lived out the professional sports imagination. Now I'm living out the med school imagination," he said. "At the same time, I'm living out the imagination, that 'I might not be able to change the entire globe, but I can change my part of the globe.' To me, that's like changing the world."
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