NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday the team is likely to release three-time All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh before the new league year begins Wednesday.
The move has been rumored to be a possibility for the past month, though given the massive cap hit the ‘Fins will eat to make the cut, it’s still hard to believe Dolphins executive VP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is pulling the trigger on the transaction this week.
Releasing Suh, who just three years ago inked a whopping six-year, $114 million contract with the Dolphins, without a June 1 designation will incur an astounding $22.2 million cap penalty while saving the Dolphins just $3.9 million, per NFL Research. If he’s released with a June 1 designation, $9.1 million of Suh’s $22.2 million of dead money would count against the 2018 cap while the remaining $13.1 million would count against the team’s 2019 cap.
But, as was the case when the Dolphins traded away running back Ajayi for just a fourth-round pick and agreed to jettison receiver Landry for fourth- and seventh-round picks, cutting Suh could be more locker-room based than performance based.
The big DT tallied 15.5 sacks and 181 combined tackles in his time in Miami, despite eating up double teams constantly. Since 2010, he ranks second among NFL DTs in sacks (51.5), first in QB hits (147), second in total pressures (381.5) and first in tackles for loss (103).
Ajayi found a happy home in Philadelphia when the Dolphins cut him loose. Landry sounded excited about his pending move to Cleveland. It appears Suh will have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps when free agency kicks off later this week.