Dolphins: Team secures free agent prize, Suh

| 2 years ago

Dolphins: Team secures free agent prize, Suh

PFF-headlinesIt didn’t take long for the biggest name in free agency to find a new home with the Miami Dolphins officially acquiring Ndamukong Suh today in a deal reportedly done over the weekend. The kind of player who rarely hits free agency, Suh exploded into the league as a rookie in 2010 with a double-digit sack season that immediately caught the eye. However, it took him time to develop into the well-rounded player that today makes him one of the best defensive players in the league; in 2014 he was among the Top 10 defensive tackles for both his run defense and pass rushing grades.

In the last three seasons Suh has finished inside our Top 5 defensive tackles by overall grade and brings the kind of all-around game that teams crave and that competition ratcheted his value beyond a point that the Lions felt they could match. The beneficiaries are the Dolphins who will pair Suh with Cameron Wake to bring a pass rushing threat of the left side of their defense that teams in the AFC East will struggle to cope with. Last season the duo combined to record 122 pressures and the devastation they can bring to the field (both individually and working together on stunts) will have Miami fans desperate for the new season to arrive.

The Dolphins’ defensive tackles got off to a fine start last season but as a group their performances and production fell away after their Week 11 win at home to the Bills. This signing is a clear statement of intent from Miami that decent is not good enough and they will hope that in adding Suh the whole defense will take a step forward allowing them to make that stride into being a playoff team in 2015.

PFF Podcast: Ndamukong Suh to Miami


| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • corners


    There is an arms race going on in the AFCE to see who can make Brady retire first.

  • Jason Williams

    I don’t see this working out for Miami. We’ll find out.

    • Jaguars28

      Suh is amazing, but this contract is ridiculous. He’s not gonna have nearly the amount of talent around him that he had in Detroit. And now they’ve lost Odrick and Starks.

      He should’ve stayed with Detroit IMO.

  • tee

    Yeah, and they payed to much for him too.

  • ThinkerPrime

    The Dolphins owner is laying out $450M for a new stadium – his money, not the taxpayers. He wants it full. In Miami a winning team will do that but a so-so team will not. The owner is a multi-billionaire in his 70s and making this team a winner as it was in his youth growing up in Miami Beach is a mission to him beyond money. So Miami is willing to spend big.

    The Dolphins got Suh with little salary cap hit this year. They are dumping expensive players who did not perform up to their standards but are bringing in players who have been quite capable at comparable prices. Their model is simple. Pay top dollar but you only get to stay if you perform. Very capitalistic. They have a further systematic advantage since there is no personal income tax in Fla, zero, compared to 10-15% for this bracket in NY, JN, NE, CA and many other states – so the same money is worth a lot more in Fla.

    Suh likely solves their problem with run defense, requires a double team and still provides center pressure – so Wake and Vernon cannot be doubled. If Miami puts Dion Jordan as OLB he could play the Lawrence Taylor role, let the opponents offensive line commit to Miami’s defensive line then run in through the gap – perfect for his freakishly excellent physical skills. With the run game better defended and a more aggressive pass rush teams will have to throw quickly. The challenge for Miami is to come up with another cornerback to match Grimes, a safety to complement Reshad, and a middle line backer smart enough to see what is coming.
    My bet is that their defense rises to top 5 at least next year.

    Losing Wallace and Hartline hurts the passing game a lot. The trade with NO may cover the loss of Wallace but they need another starter WR. The TE they picked up is good enough to replace Clay but if they can keep Clay they will have an awesome two TE offense – perfect for Tannehill who throws more accurately short and intermediate than long.

    The GM Hickey is doing a great job. The weak link is the HC Philbin. He cannot handle players who are not yes men and this has caused Miami to lose some real talent motivated to win, vocal about it and intolerant of half-hearted efforts and mediocrity including Brandon Marshall, Wallace, Bush, Dansby, Long and others.

    • tee

      What does he do next year when Suh’s cap it goes through the ceiling and the Dolphins have to start dropping their players to pay it? 58 million of that money is guaranteed, but knowing Suh it’s constructed to let him hit every incentive in the book. He will hit them all for a few more years until someone takes out his knees. Surprised that didn’t happen in Detroit with his dirty reputation. Delmas has that rep too, so Miami now has the dirtiest team in the NFL. Penalties were a problem in Detroit because refs were looking at them to play dirty because of Suh.

      • ThinkerPrime

        The cap rises next year. Miami will do fine money wise. They have been quite excellent in salary cap management.
        You posit Suh being injured. Anyone can. But he has played at this level for several years, takes care of his body and I expect him to be a dominant HOF player.
        In terms of Suh having a “dirty reputation”, I will leave that concern to prissy little girls who care. “Mean” Joe Greene was called “Mean” for a reason. That did not stop him from a HOF career and being a key contributor to a number of Superbowl victories. I am fine with Suh playing with an attitude, the great ones do.
        Delmas is excellent when healthy. Hopefully he stays healthy. If so Miami has a great set of safeties. If they play with attitude that is fine. Eat your heart out with envy when they win then go back to playing with your dolls.

  • tee

    Yup, and they sold there future doing so.

  • tee

    Suh has never done very well against Brady, so if the reasoning was that would help Miami they have some bad news coming.

  • Seabass120

    It’s all about one thing: grinding Brady’s head into the turf. If he doesn’t do that, he’s a bust.