The Dolphins are done with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Unless they aren’t.
A source with knowledge of the situation has disputed the report from Jason La Canfora of CBS that Suh is not in the team’s plans beyond 2017.
La Canfora specifically reported that owner Stephen Ross is “ready to move on” from Suh, who less than three years ago became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
The structure of the contract forces a quick decision after each of the next three seasons. In addition to having the first three years of the deal fully guaranteed, Suh has a rolling guarantee in 2018, 2019, and 2020, with his full base salary in each season becoming fully and completely guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year.
A trade or a release of Suh in the near term also would result in a significant cap charge, thanks to a $25.5 million signing bonus and another $20 million lump-sum paid out in 2016.
While it’s entirely possible that Ross has become disenchanted with Suh, who had three different in-game incidents on Thursday night (including a hand on the throat of Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett), there’s no reason to believe that coach Adam Gase or executive V.P. of football operations Mike Tannenbaum share that view. Unless Ross plans to tell them how to do their jobs, any reluctance by Ross to keep Suh won’t matter.