After the Detroit Lions failed to place a franchise tag on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the best defensive player in the league, according to most, will officially be a free agent tomorrow. According to reports, the Miami Dolphins have emerged, along with the Lions and Oakland Raiders, as the best bets to sign him.
On one hand, the Dolphins' defensive line suddenly is a weak spot that is in desperate need of extra power. On the other, Suh's on-the-field behavior has the tendency to make Richie Incognito look like a saint.
So are the Dolphins going to sign Suh or nah?
Here's what the sports beat guys are saying:
The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero reports the Fins are ready to offer him a $102 million, six-year contract:
I'm told the Dolphins are confident they're going to put a great offer on the table for Suh. They are confident they can get him. They are not certain because, obviously, this is a still a competition.
The discussions between Suh's agent and the Dolphins will include a repeat of the message the team has already heard unofficially: Suh wants to be the NFL's highest-paid player (negotiable) but definitely its highest-paid non-quarterback (not negotiable).
Mike Florida of NBC's Pro Football Talk was on WQAM this morning claiming that the race for Suh is basically down to the Lion and Dolphins:
"My understanding is it's the Dolphins or the Lions, and the other teams are just leverage for whatever package agent Jimmy Sexton ultimately can negotiate with the Dolphins. I've heard $15 million a year is the likely ending point. They'd like to get to $17 million a year, but $15 million on a seven-year deal or a six-year deal ... something like that is what's been percolating on the grapevine."
But then the folks over at Bleacher Report wonder if the Dolphin's are just creating a "smoke screen" and trying to push up Suh's price so other teams competing for Suh will overspend, and the Fins will come in and swoop up some other defensive players at a bargain.
Then there's reports that in order to sign Suh, the Dolphins would have to part way with existing defensive tackle Jared Odrick.
Meanwhile, over at Grantland, Brian Phillips wonders that given Suh's less-than-sportsmanlike behavior if any team should really want him:
It's no mystery why Suh is so -- I almost wrote "polarizing," but that would imply the existence of a large segment of neutrals who defend him. Since his debut as the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, Suh has been responsible for some of the most flagrant player-safety violations in the league; he's a cheap-shot all-star, a player who's provoked not one but several national scandals just by being a dick. Suh is the guy who stomped Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm (on Thanksgiving), who kicked Matt Schaub in the groin (also on Thanksgiving), who drew a record $100,000 fine for chop-blocking John Sullivan (not on Thanksgiving, but Sullivan might have woken up thinking it was).
Of course, the Dolphins just got done dealing with a player who was a league-renowned dick. Then again, he didn't really help us win, and all Fins fans want at this point is a shot at something beyond the regular season.
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.