The Miami Dolphins weren’t afraid to make a big splash for Ndamukong Suh when they signed him to a historic deal back in 2015. Would they be afraid to walk away now?
Dolphin owner Stephen Ross would have to eat more than $22 million in dead cap if Miami cut Suh outright. Finding a trade partner for a guy with three years left on a monster deal could be nearly impossible.
Suh is due nearly $17 million in 2018 and more than $18 million in 2019 and 2020. Yet, two essential factors conspire to work against Suh remaining in South Beach.
The first is financial: Cutting him would save the Dolphins those enormous sums the next three seasons, even if it means eating the dead cap cost as well. Miami projects to be more than $8 million over the cap and has to shed money at the top.
No one is higher on the Dolphins’ balance sheet than Suh, and he simply isn’t producing at a level worthy of that money. If this were Aaron Donald or J.J. Watt, general manager Mike Tannenbaum could justify spending all that money on an interior defensive lineman, but Suh isn’t that guy anymore.
That said, Tannenbaum was around in 2015 when the Dolphins signed Suh in the first place, so he may not want to admit defeat here.
Now we arrive at the second point: The Dolphins appear to be in rebuild mode.
Franchising Jarvis Landry appears to be a way to keep his rights long enough to trade him. Miami is reportedly shopping in this draft for a quarterback and has been linked to Baker Mayfield.
The Dolphins could cut Ryan Tannehill this offseason and incur minimal financial penalties (just $4.6 million in dead cap), but finding a team willing to trade for him seems like a better route.
Either way, that could clear nearly $20 million from the cap and get the Dolphins under the threshold.
From a financial standpoint, that makes the most sense as a way to clear space: Move the second-most expensive asset at a position the team wants to change in the first place.
Are Ndamukong Suh’s days numbered in Miami?
Fanrag Sports | Mar 5