The Miami Dolphins have agreed to make Ndamukong Suh the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player – to the tune of six years and $114 million with $60 million guaranteed. The Dolphins, who had a glaring need up the gut, cleared cap space and came out of nowhere to land Suh, arguably the most intimidating player in football.
“Well, he’s getting paid more money per year by far than Peyton Manning is – and a lot of big-name quarterbacks,” NFL.com writer Gregg Rosenthal told John Jastremski, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “It’s a new era in the NFL. Wherever Mike Tannenbaum goes, you see a lot of big-splash types of moves. Whether it ends up well or not, he keeps it interesting.
“Look, this isn’t an Albert Haynesworth situation,” Rosenthal continued. “Suh has been very consistent. He’s a top-five player. He’s motivated. I don’t think any of that is going to be a problem. It’s just whether any defensive tackle is ever going to be worth $20 million. But I can tell you what: AFC East offensive lines have their work cut out for them, having to face him and Cameron Wake on the same team.”
Thus, the Dolphins added Suh, The Jets added Brandon Marshall and the Bills added LeSean McCoy and Rex Ryan. That’s quite a haul for the AFC East. And yet, the road to a division title still goes through New England.
But which rival has closed the gap the most?
“I think it’s Buffalo,” Rosenthal said. “I think they’re better at head coach, and I think they had the best defensive line in the league last year and they managed to keep Jerry Hughes. You add LeSean McCoy to an offense that has a lot of pieces (but) does not have a quarterback. They’ve got to figure out what they’re going to do there. Matt Cassel is not really a long-term answer, to put it mildly. But I do think they’re a team that’s going to be competitive and be a playoff type of team next year.”
The Patriots, meanwhile, did a great job re-signing Devin McCourty, but they may be without Darrelle Revis next season. According to reports, Revis will either stay with the Patriots or return to the Jets, with New York looking like the favorite.
“From everything we’re hearing, it’s going to be one of those two teams.” Rosenthal said. “I just think for him to not have come to terms on a contract with the Patriots yet, it gives him a little extra leverage. He knows what’s out there on the open market. This is a situation that he’s been dreaming for. This is the contract he’s been waiting for and pushing for his whole life. He has Woody Johnson fighting to get Revis back. He has Bill Belichick, who doesn’t want to give up Revis to the Jets. And it’s just a recipe for a team to get crazy and spend some really big-time money on a guy that is still playing really well but is in his 30s. I think the Jets are ultimately more likely to be that team that just gets crazy and gives just a huge whopper of a contract.”