The Miami Dolphins spent a ton of money on the defensive side of the ball this past offseason, most notably by signing Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a $114 million contract. Through two games, the team can’t be feeling great about its investment.
After nearly losing to the lowly Washington Redskins in Week 1, the Dolphins gave up 396 yards of total offense in a 23-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The defensive front that Suh anchors allowed 123 yards on the ground. Not only that, but Suh may have hindered the performance of some teammates.
According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Suh “freelanced at times” on Sunday and ignored defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s schemes and play calls. When asked about his poor play, Suh seemed to blame Coyle.
“I couldn’t tell you,” he told reporters. “At the end of the day, we have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what we want to run so guys can make plays and go from there.”
Suh has recorded just three total tackles in two weeks and does not have a sack. The most notable thing he has done since signing with the Dolphins is get away with what may have been another cheap shot on an opponent.
There will be a lot of overreaction after two games, and some of it is warranted. If Suh can’t find a way to get along with his new defensive coordinator, the Dolphins could end up wasting a season.
Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Ndamukong Suh has lost the benefit of the doubt in the public’s eye when it comes to anything that remotely resembles a cheap shot, but he still has some wiggle room with the NFL.
On Monday, a league spokesman announced that Suh will not face disciplinary action for what many felt was an intentional kick to the head area of Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris.
It was difficult to tell if there was intent, but Suh has a reputation for playing dirty. He played dumb after the game and said he “tackled (Morris) plenty of times” so he was unsure which play reporters were asking him about. You can watch the video of the play here.
As we mentioned on Sunday, it’s hard to assume something with Suh is unintentional because of his history. Here he is stepping on Aaron Rodgers; here he is kicking Matt Schaub in the groin; and here’s his infamous Thanksgiving stomp. Apparently the NFL felt the circumstances were different on Sunday.
When will Ndamukong Suh learn that you can’t get away with things during NFL games because the TV cameras catch everything?
The Miami Dolphins DT made a tackle on Alfred Morris during the second quarter of Sunday’s season opener against the Redskins. As he got up after bringing down the running back, he appeared to intentionally kick Morris in the head/helmet.
There isn’t much doubt about what happened because you can see Morris’ helmet was knocked off.
When asked about the play after the game, Suh played dumb.
“I tackled him plenty of times during the game. So, no, I’m not really sure what you’re speaking of,” Suh said when asked, per The Washington Post’s Mark Maske.
Ordinarily we might say that was accidental and unintentional, but given Suh’s history we know better. Here he is stepping on Aaron Rodgers; here he is kicking Matt Schaub in the groin; and here’s his infamous Thanksgiving stomp.
Video via Bro Bible
Ndamukong Suh is the biggest free agent on the market and there has been a ton of speculation about where he will sign. From the sounds of things, Suh may end up in Miami.
Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said on Twitter Wednesday that teams believe Suh to the Dolphins is a “done” deal.
Kelly also published a column saying the Dolphins are expected to make an “all-out” effort to sign the four-time All-Pro defensive tackle. He says the team’s offer to Suh is expected to be for greater than $100 million, with over half of it guaranteed. Additionally, it should be noted that despite their lack of success in recent years, the Dolphins have landed top free agents the past two offseasons in Mike Wallace and Branden Albert.
Yahoo’s Rand Getlin echoed Kelly’s report by saying that the Dolphins and Colts are expected to make huge pushes for Suh. Getlin reports that the Dolphins have the edge, saying “a source close to Suh’s camp indicated Suh had a slight preference for Miami.”
One selling point for the Dolphins is that the state of Florida does not have an income tax, which allows players to take home more of the money for which they sign.
The Lions still have until March 10 to try re-signing Suh before he becomes a free agent, and they have been adamant that they will make a strong effort to retain him. Still, based on this video, we don’t believe Suh will return to the Lions.
Teams can begin negotiating with potential free agents on Saturday.
The Washington Redskins have already broken the bank once for a coveted free agent defensive tackle, and they appear to be ready to do it again.
NBC Washington’s Dianna Marie Russini reports that the Skins are interested in Ndamukong Suh if the Lions do not re-sign the former No. 2 overall pick.
Suh is undoubtedly one of the biggest defensive forces in the league, capable of turning around an entire unit. He is poised to become the highest-paid defensive player in the league. Luckily Washington has about $25 million in cap space, which should be enough to sign him if they want.
Russini also says the Bucs, Jags and Raiders will be “hot” after Suh. Suh was said to be interested in signing with the Seahawks, but they likely will not have enough money for him. The Raiders were also said to be another potential match.
If Washington does get Suh, hopefully he will work out for them a lot better than Albert Haynesworth.
The Oakland Raiders are being considered a potential landing spot for free agent Ndamukong Suh, and one of the leaders on the team’s defense would welcome him with open arms.
DB Charles Woodson said at a tasting event for his wine company Thursday that he would love to have Suh on the Raiders.
“I don’t think there’s a team in the NFL that wouldn’t want to see Ndamukong Suh on their team,” Woodson said via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. “I know I would be no different. That guy is one of the best, overall, period in the NFL. Would I like him on our team? Believe it.”
That’s about as strong of an endorsement for a player as it gets. Suh has a reputation for being a dirty player and even teammates have had issues with him, but there is no denying his ability as a player. The guy is a game-changer on defense, which is why he will be coveted. Expect him to become the highest-paid defensive player in football when he signs his deal.
New York, Dallas and Chicago were said to be cities that interested him, but another report indicated Oakland could be a landing spot for Suh.
Helmet Smack to Pro Football Talk
Ndamukong Suh officially became a free agent on Friday when his rookie contract voided, so the bidding process for him will begin soon.
Reports have suggested that Suh would be interested in playing in Dallas, New York or Chicago, but a new report says otherwise.
Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole says that Suh’s top choice would be to play for the Seattle Seahawks. The reasons are simple: Suh wants to play for a winner and excellent defense, and he would be thrilled to return to his home area in the Pacific Northwest. However, Cole acknowledges that this is unlikely to happen because the Seahawks do not have enough money to offer Suh a significant deal.
“He would love to be with the Seattle Seahawks. This is his No. 1 choice but it is a pipe dream” because of money, Cole says.
Cole believes that Suh would like to play for a winning team on the West Coast. He mentions the Oakland Raiders as a viable possibility because the Raiders have a ton of cap space and a need to spend money. The Raiders could also be viewed as a team with room to improve — especially if they land Suh — because of their successful 2014 draft that saw them nab productive rookies Khalil Mack and Derek Carr.
Lions team president Tom Lewan is not giving up on bringing back Suh, either. He thinks there is a good chance they can keep the former No. 2 overall draft pick.
“He wants to have success in the NFL, obviously, but he wants to do that with us,” Lewand said over the weekend via the Detroit Free Press. “And I think that — I think there’s a very, very good chance that we can get something done with him in the next few weeks.”
Despite Lewan’s optimism, few believe the Lions have a realistic chance of bringing back Suh. Perhaps Lewand was saying that to show the fans that they are making an effort to re-sign a key player. As we know, any team that signs Suh would have to be prepared to deal with his infamous antics.
Green Bay Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang says Ndamukong Suh was so charged up in the Week 17 game between the teams that the Lions defensive lineman challenged him to a fight.
Lang was on the radio Friday with 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit and said Suh stepping on teammate Aaron Rodgers led to their battle. He says he didn’t see Suh step on Rodgers (watch the video here), but Rodgers’ words were enough to motivate him.
“From my vantage point, I turned around, I saw Aaron down, and I just tried to grab [Suh] to make sure he couldn’t land on him or anything,” Lang told “Valenti and Foster.” “A couple plays later we got into it a little bit. Aaron told me that – he was complaining that his calf hurt, that he got stepped on, which, for me, I’ve got to listen to my guy, my quarterback.
“We got into it after a block and just kind of started talking a little bit,” Lang continued. “I was telling him – he was challenging me to a fight, and I’m not afraid of him … It was all part of just the frustration, I think. I’m not going to say that I shut him down the whole game because we were double-teaming him 90 percent of the time — you’d be idiotic not to do that, the type of player he is. I think he was just frustrated that we were beating them and we were kind of getting after him a little bit.”
Lang brought up another really interesting point about Suh. He says Suh’s behavior seemed to be different when the teams met in Week 3. Lang noticed that Suh, who is regarded as one of the dirtier players in the league, was helping players up and being more of a sportsman on the field. Lang surmised that the change was due to Suh’s effort to clean up his image, especially with free agency looming.
Suh cried in his press conference after the Lions’ season ended, lending credence to the speculation that that was his last game with the team. We don’t expect him to be so soft-hearted when he steps back onto the field.
The NFL admitted on Tuesday that the controversial pass interference no-call may not have been the most important gift the Dallas Cowboys were given during their win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. There was also a blatant hold on Ndamukong Suh that should have been called.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the NFL informed the Lions on Tuesday that Suh was held on the play where Tony Romo hooked up with Jason Witten on a fourth-down completion to keep Dallas’ eventual game-winning drive going. Had a flag been thrown, the Cowboys would have been faced with 4th-and-16 and punted. The Lions would have gotten the ball with the lead and less than six minutes remaining.
Schefter adds that one league source said the missed holding call was “even worse than the PI call/no call.”
The photo you see above that Zach Kruse passed along shows Suh clearly being held. We’ll let you decide if that was worse than what Anthony Hitchens did to Brandon Pettigrew, which you can watch here.
In reality, you could go through any NFL game and pick out plays where officials blatantly missed calls. The crew on Sunday just happened to miss more than one at crucial times in a close game.
As we mentioned before, Matthew Stafford could have made all of this irrelevant if he didn’t miss a wide-open Calvin Johnson late in the game. What’s done is done.
The Detroit Lions were well on their way to their first playoff victory since 1991 on Sunday, but the Dallas Cowboys came from behind to advance to the divisional round. Ndamukong Suh did not take it well.
Suh teared up while speaking to reporters after the loss. At one point, he had to leave the podium to compose himself.
He could only say that the loss “doesn’t make sense.” Suh was also asked about the controversial pass interference call that was inexplicably changed by the officials.
“We can’t let one play define the game,” he said.
The Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half and led 20-7 midway through the third quarter. Between the loss and all the controversy that surrounded Suh all week, you can understand why he was so bent out of shape.
Photo via @WorldofIsaac