Perhaps the biggest prize of 2015 NFL free agency is off the market even before free agency even officially begins. According to Chris Mortensen, Ndamukong Suh and the Miami Dolphins have an agreement in place for a six-year, $114 million deal with $60 million guaranteed that will be signed once the league year begins on Tuesday.
While Suh’s former team, the Detroit Lions, were among the teams making competitive proposals, the Dolphins’ parameters far exceeded the rest of the clubs interested in the defensive tackle.
Based off the parameters, Suh will get $60 million in the first three years on a contract that is expected to average $19 million over the six years of the deal, sources said.
A league source told ESPN.com that Detroit’s offer to Suh was $17 million per year with $58 million guaranteed — a deal that would have still made Suh the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.
The deal would be considerably higher than the six-year, $100 million deal (with $51.8 million guaranteed) that J.J. Watt signed to stay with the Texans last year.
Miami has been a team willing to make splashy free agent signings in recent years, albeit with mixed results. Though Mike Wallace was somewhat productive in his first two years with the Dolphins, he’s been considered something of a disappointment after signing a five-year, $60 million deal in 2013 and the team has been mulling whether or not to get rid of him this offseason. Ultimately, landing another marquee free agent will put a lot of pressure on head coach Joe Philbin, whose job was already in danger at the end of last season, after the team lost three of its final four games to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs for the third straight year under Philbin.