(97.1 The Ticket) Just three years into a six-year contract, Ndamukong Suh’s time in Miami is coming to an end.
The Dolphins plan to release Suh as early as Monday, according to ESPN. (The report adds Suh’s official release will likely come Wednesday.)
Suh signed a six-year, $114.4 million contract with the Dolphins in 2015 after five stellar seasons with the Lions, including three All-Pro selections. But he never lived up to the money in Miami. The Dolphins made the playoffs just once with Suh on their roster, and the defensive tackle posted declining sack totals of 6, 5 and 4.5.
Miami’s decision to release Suh is part of an “attempt at a culture change,” per ESPN, that has also seen the team move on from the talented likes of running back Jay Ajayi and wide receiver Jarvis Landy over the past league year. Suh carried a $26.1 million cap hit in 2018. Should the Dolphins designate him a post-June 1 cut, they’ll save $17 million in 2018 and $19 million in 2019.
Even so, Miami will be faced with dead cap hits of $9.1 million each of the next two years, per OverTheCap.com.
When Suh likely hits the open market later this week — free agency officially begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. — he’ll immediately become one of the top players available. He was the fifth-best defensive tackle in the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus. The Lions happen to have a need at that position. It also bears mention that Suh’s good friend Ziggy Ansah remains on Detroit’s roster.
But any potential reunion between Suh and the Lions would gobble up a significant amount of the $27 million in cap space the team has in 2018.
Suh, 31, appears to have known the Dolphins planned to release him, as he posted a video from Seattle early Monday morning in which he said, “Stay tuned. There will be some exciting things going on.”
It remains to be seen where he plays in 2018, but one has to figure the Lions will at least entertain the idea of bringing him back. And it’s safe to say the contract he signed with the Dolphins, who outbid Detroit for his services, qualifies as a disappointment.