Ndamukong Suh signed a six year, $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, including a $25.5 million dollar signing bonus, $59.95 million dollars in guaranteed money, and an average salary of just over $19 million dollars. Listed below are the details and cap hits for each year of Suh’s new contract with the Dolphins, courtesy of Over The Cap. Below all of the images is an analysis breaking it all down in simpler details for you.
If the Dolphins cut Ndamukong Suh before June 1 of any year
If the Dolphins cut Ndamukong Suh with a post-June 1 designation
If the Dolphins traded Ndamukong Suh at any point in the year
As you’ll notice, the 2015 salary cap hit is fairly low, with the largest hit (almost one-fifth of the salary cap) coming in 2016. The Dolphins were projected to be approximately $50 million under the 2016 salary cap prior to Suh’s contract, so they do have room to absorb the hit from Suh’s contract. It remains to be seen how this affects negotiations with impending contracts for QB Ryan Tannehill, C Mike Pouncey, and others.
If money is tight, there will obviously be a lot of pressure on the front office to make solid draft decisions and use their expertise to fit future contracts and salaries under the cap. Fortunately the Dolphins have one of the NFL’s top cap specialists in Dawn Aponte, who excels at structuring contracts.
Looking at the structure though, the Dolphins can realistically get out of the contract starting in 2018. However, if anything were to happen before that time, it's just about impossible to get out of the contract.
In 2018, a post-June 1 cut would give the Dolphins only $5.10 million dollars in dead money while saving them $17 million dollars. If they were to cut Suh before June 1 so they can be active in free agency, it would be almost a wash with them having a $10.2 million dollar cap hit while saving $11.9 million dollars. The same numbers apply if they were to trade Suh in 2018.
The contract becomes even easier to get out of in 2019. A pre-June 1 cut would still give the Dolphins $5.10 million dollars in dead money but they would save $19 million dollars. A post-June 1 cut and trade would give the Dolphins the same numbers.
Finally, in 2019, the last year of the contract, it becomes the easiest. In all three scenarios - pre-June 1, post-June 1 and trade - the Dolphins would have $0 dollars in dead money and $18.375 million dollars in cap savings.
Of course, we all hope that Suh plays out his entire contract at a high level and then signs one more at a lower number to finish out his career as a member of the Miami Dolphins. Only time will tell if that comes true. Hopefully, the pursuit of Suh and this monstrous contract pays off for years to come.
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @ejfootball. Matthew Cannata contributed to the story. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs