The Miami Dolphins have officially signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. As one of the top defensive players in the league, Suh was the biggest name in free agency. He was already one of the highest-paid players in the league a season ago, and he will remain as such on his new six-year deal worth $114 million, with $60 million coming in the first three years.
Players of Suh’s caliber rarely reach the open market. The Detroit Lions didn’t give him up without a fight, however. They were willing to pay $17 million per year with $58 million guaranteed to hold on to Suh, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The offer surpassed the record six-year, $100 million deal that Texans defensive end J.J. Watt signed last offseason, but it was just below the $19 million per year the Dolphins are set to give Suh.
When asked the inevitable question about the upcoming draft and Marcus Mariota, Kelly quickly shot down any speculation that the team will trade up for the former Oregon quarterback. He admitted he thought that Mariota is the best quarterback in the draft, but insisted that the Eagles would not “mortgage the future” because they have too many other needs to fill this offseason.
Even before the official free agency period opened, the Eagles sent shockwaves across the league when they traded LeSean McCoy to the Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Kelly justified trading away the franchise’s all-time leading rusher for a player who missed all of last season with a torn ACL because, financially, it allowed him to also sign cornerback Byron Maxwell. He didn’t want to lose McCoy, but noted that “you have to give something up to get something” in this league.
Kelly also addressed the dynamics of the power and decision-making structure within the Eagles organization. Notably, he confirmed that he would have final say on all moves made this winter and during the draft. However, he is not in charge of the personnel department, per NFL Network’s Albert Breer, and he also confirmed that it was not his decision to initiate the front office shakeup last December, which included the firing of VP of Player Personnel Tom Gamble.