The NFL is abuzz about Ndamukong Suh entering the free agent market. It is uncommon for a defensive tackle to get this much attention. There are numbers being throwing out there in the $100 million dollar range. That big of a cap hit seems ludicrous for a defensive lineman. The only defensive lineman I can remember with this much attention was Reggie White going from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Green Bay Packers. Is Suh the White of today’s NFL? There appears to be many teams that think he is, including the Miami Dolphins. A miss on a $100 million dollar player can set a team back a long time. In this article, I take a look at the film to see why Suh is such a hot commodity.
If you have been following some of my articles and reviews in 2014, you know that I have been pounding the table for a defensive tackle that can hold and anchor on the line of scrimmage. It is really quite simple. If you have a guy in the middle the other team can’t move, it makes it hard to run the ball in the middle of the field. Finding a stout guy is really not that hard - just look in the 330 plus crowd like Paul Soliai. What is hard to find are guys that can anchor and also are athletic enough to rush the passer and run down running backs. Think Soliai - big and slow, hard to move, but not much mobility. Earl Mitchell, good mobility but can’t anchor well and he gets moved off the ball often.
I think you get the idea. He requires double teaming on pretty much any running play and he disrupts the pocket on passing downs. He would immediately fix our run defense and then some. So is he worth $100 Million? I am not sure about that. Those kinds of numbers mean less quality depth on your team at positions like cornerback. Suh does not do you much good when you are playing Tom Brady with a weak defensive backfield.
With that said, he does have a small weakness. He is so quick off the ball at times, he can run himself out of play. The Jets of all teams were able to exploit this on a few running plays.
In summary, I really hope we get him as he would immediately upgrade us to one of the best lines in the league. But I am on the fence on giving him a $100 million contract.
This column was written by Chad Ronnebaum. Follow him on Twitter: @GoFins4SB