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Suh’s Big Cap Hit Could Mean Contract Restructure

Mere weeks into their 2016 offseason, the Miami Dolphins put pen to paper on a lot of new front office contracts, and could also be looking to restructure the contract of their premier defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh.

Freshly signed general manager Mike Tannenbaum told reporters at the Senior Bowl that “certainly [the franchise] will be looking at Suh’s contract” and that “by the time we get to the first day of the league year, we should have plenty of room to address the needs that we have.”

Those needs would be much easier dealt with if Suh’s hefty contract can be tamed into a more cap-friendly deal for at least the upcoming season. In March 2015, Suh signed a six-year, $114 million deal, making him the highest paid defensive player in NFL history.

Peculiarly, his base salary earnings this past season weren’t even a measly $1 million, but were supplemented by a gratuitous $25.5 million signing bonus. If nothing changes, Miami will have to fork out a monstrous $23.4 million to Suh this year.

For a team still struggling to climb out of the pit of mediocrity, such a huge cap hit doled out to anyone but an elite, once-in-a-generation quarterback isn’t exactly going to help keep the team together.

Suh endured a frustrating start with his new team, even daring to criticise the coaches, defensive schemes and fellow teammates in November. The fiery address worked to some degree, with Suh looking more comfortable in his new role as the weeks progressed, and finishing the year with 6 sacks.

Still, the numbers need pumping up at a much more rapid rate next year. The Dolphins will be keen to save cash for free agents in March, but will need to keep an eye on future figures. Pushing back the inevitable will only result in a ballooning figure in years to come, and a hole the ‘Phins might find too deep to dig themselves out of.

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