Examining Ndamukong Suh's fit with the Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints

Jay Asser 19:15 23/03/2018
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Ndamukong Suh was released by the Miami Dolphins after three seasons.

As the final big domino to fall in free agency, Ndamukong Suh has the potential to be a difference-maker for whichever team he chooses.

The 31-year-old defensive tackle is reportedly mulling over his options after meeting with three franchises this past week – the Los Angeles Rams, the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans.

Each team can offer Suh something, but they have their cons as well.

Let’s take a look at Suh’s potential fit with the three teams.

Los Angeles Rams

It’s hard to argue against the idea that the Rams make the most sense for Suh on paper.

If he were to pair with fellow defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is arguably the greatest defensive player in the league, the Rams’ interior pass rush would be practically unstoppable.

Add to that the additions of cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, alongside safeties Lamarcus Joyner and John Johnson, and the Rams could be a devastating force full of playmakers under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

Not only would Suh have the chance to contend for a Super Bowl, but he’d likely rack up plenty of stats with opposing offences having their hands full with Donald.

As far as building his value back up to where it was when he signed a six-year, $114.4 million contract with Miami in 2015, Los Angeles makes the most sense for Suh.

However, it would likely mean him leaving some money on the table in the short term due to the Rams’ current cap space situation, with them having around $28m left to spend and Donald’s mega contract extension looming.

Tennessee Titans

Offering Suh top-dollar should be of no concern for the Titans, however.

Even after the moves they’ve already made this offseason, Tennessee have around $38m left to play with in cap space. Plus, they have no state income tax, which may seem like a marginal benefit, but allows Suh to maximise his earning potential in the short-term.

And while there’s no Donald around to soak up attention and double-teams, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey is a great consolation prize.

The downside would be Suh switching from his natural position in a 4-3 defence to a 3-4 in Mike Vrabel’s scheme – as he would in Los Angeles too.

And while the Titans are a playoff team, they’re perhaps a step below the Rams and maybe even New Orleans, with the NFC teams in more stable positions compared to Tennessee who are transitioning to a new head coach.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints appear to be third on Suh’s list and may even be out of the running, but they have their own draws.

For one, they’re right there with the Rams as championship contenders, and seem to check off all the boxes for a team capable of winning the Super Bowl – an established coach, a star quarterback and an improving defence.

That defence is also tailor-made for Suh, with New Orleans running a 4-3 system that would allow him to slot into his usual spot and wreak havoc alongside defensive end Cameron Jordan.

But the Saints are strapped for cap space, having just a little more than $2m available at the moment. They can always reshuffle to create the required space, but even after pulling off some gymnastics, New Orleans probably won’t be able to give Suh the same money that Tennessee can.

Regardless of where Suh ends up, his situation will immediately be better than what it was in Miami, where he never seemed to fit in.

Part of that was Suh’s own doing, but a fresh start should make a significant difference.

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