Miami Dolphins have just made a huge mistake. There is no denying it and no point trying to dress it up any other way.
You might have already heard by now, but if for some reason you have been asleep for the last couple of days straight, Ndamukong Suh has been pre-announced as the NFL’s newest highest-paid defensive player.
That’s right, pre-announced, because like with all of the NFL’s top breaking news, an NFL expert has reported in advance that Suh will sign a record-breaking contract with the Dolphins on Tuesday.
Miami will be spending $114 million on Suh as long as formal contract negotiations don’t fall apart in the next 48 hours. To add to that, the controversial defensive tackle will get $60m guaranteed.
Notice how I added ‘controversial’ into the previous sentence, well that’s the first and most compelling point. In essence, the Dolphins are spending nine figures on a man-child. Suh is a player that is dangerous for his own team as well as the opposition.
His problems with discipline are the stuff of legend, and it’s a miracle he wasn’t suspended for longer last season for clearly attempting to injure Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in week 17. Had Suh done that to more of a loudmouth quarterback with a huge ego, i.e. Tom Brady, we would have never heard the end of that disgraceful stomp.
Suh is a gamble based on character regardless of how much you are paying, but when you give him $60 million guaranteed and you deduct no income tax whatsoever, you are just asking for trouble.
Albert Haynesworth is the perfect example of what can go wrong when you put a shocking amount of money in the hands of a troubled star. Washington Redskins felt the brutal blow of that situation when he practically stole $35.5 million from them after playing 12 games and getting suspended.
But let’s say for a minute that Suh does keep his nose clean and continues to dominate on the field without the incentive of getting a big contract, this is also terrible for Miami because it’s the wrong area of the field to be spending huge amounts of money.
The Dolphins will have Suh on essentially what is a quarterback’s contract.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady probably headed straight to the gym after getting a bout of paranoia following the realization that he will have to go face to face with both Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh twice a year for the rest of his career.
Miami needs to address other problems
But what should scare Brady and Patriots fans from an injury perspective should also give New England a sense of satisfaction.
Miami’s defensive has plenty of issues at linebacker, and spending big in that area would have been a good idea headed into next season. There are also huge issues for the Dolphins at receiver and cornerback, and now Miami will have to fill those holes with considerably less money than before.
I may be completely wrong and it wouldn’t be the first time, but signing Suh on such a deal may make sense for teams with top quarterbacks and solid receiver corps like Indianapolis Colts or New York Giants, but for a team like the Dolphins it’s a huge mistake. And there’s just no other way to dress it up.