The Rams are unlikely to re-sign Ndamukong Suh, GM Les Snead says (via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry). Bringing the defensive tackle back is “pretty much guaranteed to be off the table” due to “budgetary constraints,” which means that one of the best remaining free agents will be changing teams in 2019.
The Rams have limited cap space to work with after re-signing outside linebacker Dante Fowler and adding safety Eric Weddle, quarterback Blake Bortles, and linebacker Clay Matthews. Last year, the Rams gave Suh a one-year, $14MM deal, and he could command similar money on the open market.
The Rams also have future extensions to keep in mind. They want to keep cornerback Marcus Peters in L.A. for the long haul and, eventually, they’ll want to sit down with quarterback Jared Goff to discuss a new contract.
While Suh is still an imposing presence, he didn’t look like his old self in 2018. The five-time Pro Bowler finished out with 4.5 sacks from the interior, but the Rams allowed a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry to opposing teams. On the plus side, Suh did seem to get more comfortable with his shift from playing as a 4-3 three-technique tackle to a 3-4 nose tackle as the season progressed.
“There was an early-in-the down transition to that position change and I do think as the season went on he did improve,” Snead said. “And you felt more of the Ndamukong that maybe you had gotten to know over the years.”
It’s also worth noting that Suh was effective in the club’s first two playoff games against the Cowboys and Saints. And, ultimately, Suh finished out as the No. 20 ranked interior defender in the NFL last year, per Pro Football Focus. That’s not quite as strong as his placement in his prime years – Suh was ranked in PFF’s top 5 as recently as 2017 – but he’s still a productive player at the age of 32.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.