Ndamukong Suh

Rams Unlikely To Re-Sign Ndamukong Suh

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.

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NFC Notes: Olsen, Suh, Remmers, 49ers

We now have some details on Mike Remmersrelease from the Vikings earlier today. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle points out (on Twitter) that the offensive lineman was cut with a “failed physical designation.” ESPN’s Courtney Cronin notes (via Twitter) that the 29-year-old was listed on Minnesota’s final injury report of the season with a back injury, but he proceeded to play the entire game.

This provides a bit of reasoning for why the Vikings decided to bail on Remmers after inking him to a five-year, $30MM in 2017. In fact, it sounds like Minnesota is actually considering bringing Remmers back. Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press tweets that the team would considering re-signing the lineman on a lesser deal.

The move ultimately saved the organization $4.55MM against $1.8MM in dead cap. The veteran has experience playing both offensive guard and offensive tackle, so a team will surely bite on his versatility.

Let’s check out some more notes out of the NFC…

  • Ndamukong Suh isn’t expected to stick with the Rams, but it sounds like the hulking defensive lineman wants to stay on the West Coast (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). As the writer points out, that’d leave Suh with three options: the 49ers, Chargers, or Seahawks. The 32-year-old signed a one-year, $14MM deal with the Rams last offseason, and he proceeded to compile 59 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 16 starts.
  • It sounds like some networks were working hard to add Panthers tight end Greg Olsen. Joe Person of The Athletic tweets that both ESPN and Fox made offers to the veteran, but it wasn’t enough to convince Olsen to retire. Person warns that Monday Night Football “could still come calling, but nothing imminent.” The 34-year-old battled injuries for a second straight season, finishing with 27 receptions for 291 yards and four scores in nine games.
  • Bradley Roby isn’t the only cornerback the 49ers are eyeing. According to Matt Barrows of The Athletic (via Twitter), the team is also showing interest in Colts cornerback Pierre Desir. The 28-year-old has a breakout season with Indy in 2018, finishing with 79 tackles, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles, and one interception.

Rams Likely To Let Suh, Fowler Hit FA

The Rams have a number of high-profile players scheduled for free agency this offseason and it sounds like they’ll allow most of them to test the waters. “There’s a good possibility” the Rams will permit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safety Lamarcus Joyner, and edge rusher Dante Fowler to reach the open market before discussing new deals with them, GM Les Snead says (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). Snead also said the team is unlikely to use the franchise tag (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Lindsay Thiry).

Suh joined the Rams on a one-year, $14MM deal last year after he was cut loose by the Dolphins. The durable lineman turned in another 16-game season for L.A. and racked up 59 tackles with 4.5 sacks. He was also a disruptive force in the first two games of the postseason, tallying four QB hits in the first two games. He wasn’t quite as effective in the Super Bowl, but then again, most of the Rams’ stars underwhelmed in the championship game.

The Jaguars more or less gave up on Fowler when they shipped him to the Rams in October. Since then, he’s shown flashes of promise and the 24-year-old (25 in August) should draw interest from clubs looking for help around the edge. Fowler had four sacks for L.A. and Jacksonville combined, just half of his 2017 total.

Here’s the full rundown of the Rams’ impending free agents (excluding exclusive rights free agents):

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Extra Points: Rams, Singleton, Pats

There is a definite post-Super Bowl lull in the NFL world right now, and while we will soon be talking about free agent rumors and the April draft in earnest, today is not that day. But there is still professional football to watch if you’re interested, and there are a few NFL items of note to discuss, so let’s get to them:

  • Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic examines how the Rams might address some of their biggest needs this offseason. The club is projected to have about $41MM in salary cap space, and Bonsignore suggests that LA must find a dominant edge rusher to take some pressure off of Aaron Donald. Luckily, this year’s draft features quite a bit of pass rushing talent if the Rams choose to steer clear of the pricey free agent market for edge defenders.
  • Todd Gurley will obviously be back with the Rams, but given his history of knee problems, and the impact that his most recent knee injury had on the team’s playoff run, Bonsignore says LA will think long and hard about adding another back to share the load (we learned last week that the club is interested in bringing back C.J. Anderson). He also suggests that the Rams could bring back Ndamukong Suh on a two-year deal, and that Mark Barron could be a cap casualty.
  • The Bengals will hire Jemal Singleton as their running backs coach, per Jeremy Rauch of Fox 19 (via Twitter). Singleton previously served in the same capacity with the Colts from 2016-17 and with the Raiders in 2018.
  • Jenna Laine of ESPN.com examines a few free agents that the Buccaneers might consider, a list that includes safety Tyrann Mathieu — who of course has a history with new head coach Bruce Arians — and kicker Matt Bryant.
  • After the recent exodus of coaching talent, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com names a few Patriots coaching assistants who could be elevated to position-coach roles. Cole Popovich, Mike Pellegrino, DeMarcus Covington, and Brian Belichick could all be promoted in short order.
  • Pro Football Focus released its list of the top 10 players eligible for free agency in March and projected the contracts those players might land. Five of the top six players are edge rushers, including Jadeveon Clowney, the top player on the list, whom PFF expects to land a six-year, $135MM deal with $85MM in guarantees. Clowney, of course, is expected to be hit with the franchise tag, so if he gets a contract of that size this year, it will likely come from the Texans.

Seahawks Notes: Kendricks, Thomas, Suh

Is the NFL mishandling the Mychal Kendricks case? Mike Florio of PFT seems to think so, arguing that a potential 12-game suspension for alleged insider trading doesn’t make sense when considering the baseline punishment for domestic abuse suspensions is a six-game ban.

The “indefinite” suspension for the Seahawks linebacker could technically allow him to return this season, but there won’t be any real progress in his case until his sentencing in January. One could argue that a preemptive suspension was not necessary since Kendricks made immediate restitution and has no criminal record.

Here’s more out of Seattle:

NFC West Notes: Butler, Cardinals, Rams

Former Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler says he signed with the Cardinals in part because of the presence of new quarterback Sam Bradford.

Yeah it was part of it,” Butler told 105.3 FM The Fan. “Sam is a top quarterback in the league when he’s healthy. The whole thing for me in free agency was I had a few teams I thought would be a good fit for me to land if I didn’t stay in Dallas. Arizona was one of those teams. The biggest thing was who are they going to get at quarterback? When they got Sam I said, ‘OK, asterisk for Arizona. Great place to be.’ When it came down to it a few weeks later, finally got a chance to visit them, finally got in contact with them … So we ran with it.”

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • Ndamukong Suh‘s deal with the Rams includes a $1MM incentive if he plays 65% of the snaps and the team wins two playoff games, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. If he reaches 65% of the snaps and the Rams make the playoffs, he’ll earn an extra $500K. With 65% of the snaps and one playoff win, Suh will see an additional $750K.
  • Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is a fit for the 49ers if he slips to No. 9 overall, but he is not the ideal guard for SF, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee opines. The 49ers are after a guard who can move while Nelson, a power blocker, struggled against speedy defenses at times, including a late season loss to Miami. The Bears, picking at No. 8, are believed to be eyeing Nelson, so the Niners probably won’t be faced with a question of whether or not to select him.
  • Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times would be “stunned” if the Seahawks end the 2018 draft with just the eight picks they currently have. He fully expects Seattle to trade down in an effort to fill multiple holes left by this year’s cap crunch.

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Suh, Seahawks

Because of the lack of a solidified position, Jimmie Ward has enjoyed a unique start to his career. He’s been shuttled between cornerback and safety throughout his run with the 49ers, and despite returning to play for the same defensive coordinator in a second consecutive for the first time as a pro, Ward still doesn’t have a surefire position. Robert Saleh used him at safety last season after Jim O’Neil stationed him at cornerback in 2016. He saw action at both spots under Eric Mangini in 2015. Now, the 49ers are again ready to see if he can play outside corner again.

Jimmie Ward is a guy who’s played some outside corner in his career,” John Lynch said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “We’re going to experiment with that this offseason and see if that’s viable and give him some time there.”

The 49ers have Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon penciled in as cornerback starters, and Maiocco reports they don’t intend to re-sign Eric Reid. So, keeping Ward at safety would make more sense from a personnel standpoint. But the team nevertheless intends to persist experimenting with the fifth-year player as a corner. However, Maiocco notes the 49ers view 2017 seventh-rounder Adrian Colbert as a possible starting-caliber safety alongside Jaquiski Tartt.

Here’s the latest from the NFC West:

  • Speaking of positioning, the Rams will play Ndamukong Suh at nose tackle in their 3-4 base set, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports. Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers will play outside in Wade Phillips‘ base set, and Suh will play a position at which he’s lined up around 3 percent of his career, per Gonzalez. “Those are things that we talked about with Ndamukong,” Sean McVay said earlier this week. “We wanted to make sure, ‘Hey, do you feel good about the way we envision you?” Suh, who’s played only for teams that utilized 4-3 sets in his eight-year career, will see plenty of time as a 4-3 defensive tackle once the Rams are in sub packages. Los Angeles used sub sets 70 percent of the time last season.
  • Expected to be in the mix for wide receivers this offseason, the 49ers instead backed off of this year’s top UFA targets. Maiocco reports they weren’t interested in either Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson but are expected to target a wideout in the draft. “What you don’t want to do is have a bunch of guys who are OK but are paid like the best,” Kyle Shanahan said. “That’s where you get in trouble and have to stay away from in free agency. It’s usually why the draft is the best way to go.” San Francisco extended Marquise Goodwin this offseason and has Pierre Garcon due back as well.
  • UFA signee Jonathan Cooper will line up at right guard initially for the 49ers. Laken Tomlinson will slot in at left guard, per Maiocco, who adds a slimmed-down Joshua Garnett will compete with Cooper for the right guard job. Tomlinson started 15 games at left guard for the 49ers last season. Last year’s right guard, Brandon Fusco, left in free agency. A 2016 first-rounder, Garnett started 11 games as a rookie.
  • The Seahawks are again in need of a backup quarterback. The team waived Trevone Boykin, and Austin Davis remains unsigned. Colin Kaepernick does not appear to be in the team’s plans, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Kaepernick visited the Seahawks last year before the team signed Davis. Geno Smith met with the team this week, and Mark Sanchez has also been linked to Seattle. Sanchez’s former backup with the Jets, Kellen Clemens, also has ties to new Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer. The 34-year-old backup could interest the Seahawks, per Henderson. Clemens also worked under Schottenheimer with the Rams.

Rams Sign Ndamukong Suh

The Rams have agreed to sign Ndamukong Suh, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s a one-year, $14MM deal for the defensive tackle. The team has also confirmed the deal via press release. 

We are excited have Ndamukong as a part of the Los Angeles Rams,” general manager Les Snead said in a statement. “He’s been an outstanding player in this league and we are looking forward to him being a part of our defense.”

Suh has long been regarded as one of the game’s best interior pass rushers. Now, he is slated to join defensive tackle Aaron Donald and defensive lineman Michael Brockers on the front line of Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme. Then again, given their aggressiveness in recent weeks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams listen to trade offers for Brockers rather than moving him permanently to the outside. Brockers is slated to carry an $11MM cap charge this season and the Rams could perhaps use that extra flexibility and draft capital to add an impact wide receiver.

After being released by the Dolphins earlier this month, at least five teams got in on the chase for Suh, including the Titans, Saints, and Jets. The Jets reportedly more money that everyone else but, in the end, he took a little bit less to play in sunny Los Angeles with a chance to win a Super Bowl ring. Suh was also scheduled to meet with Jon Gruden‘s Raiders, but that visit was called off.

Suh has racked up 51.5 sacks and four forced fumbles over the course of his career. The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro has also been remarkably durable, missing only two games in eight years.

Suh also hasn’t slowed much with age. He is now 31 years old, but he still managed 20.5 pressures and and 4.5 sacks from the interior last year while grading as the league’s No. 5 defensive tackle in 2017, per Pro Football Focus. Last season, Suh played on 883 snaps for Miami, the second-most of any defensive tackle in the league.

[RELATED: Rams Depth Chart]

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Jets Offered Ndamukong Suh One-Year Deal

The Jets’ rescinded offer to free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was for one year and came with a “hard deadline,” general manager Mike Maccagnan told reporters, including Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

New York was reportedly offering Suh the most money of any interested party, but that may have only meant Gang Green was willing to give Suh the largest annual average. An annual average doesn’t make much of a difference if the contract is only one year in length, and Suh is almost assuredly going to land a multi-season pact with a hefty guarantee.

The Rams are now considered the favorites to land Suh, although the Titans and Saints are still interested, as well. The Jets, for what it’s worth, possess more cap space than any of those clubs, but owner Christopher Johnson indicated signing Suh “wasn’t in keeping with [the Jets’] long-term plans.”

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Rams Are Favorites For Ndamukong Suh

The Rams are now the front-runners for free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). While Suh has not officially ruled out the Titans or Saints, he seems to be focusing in on Los Angeles.

Suh has been linked to five clubs since being released by the Dolphins earlier this month. In addition to the Rams, Titans, and Saints, Suh also received an offer from the Jets, and that proposal was believed to have been the largest in terms of dollars. New York, however, rescinded their offer on Sunday, with owner Christopher Johnson indicating Suh “wasn’t in keeping with [the Jets’] long-term plans.” Suh was also scheduled to meet with the Raiders, but that visit was ultimately canceled.

Los Angeles uses a 3-4 scheme, meaning Suh would be moving away from a 4-3 defense for the first time in his career. The Titans and Jets also deploy 3-4 fronts, so working in a new look clearly doesn’t present an issue for Suh. With the Rams, Suh would play end opposite superstar Aaron Donald, providing the club with what would be the most feared defensive line in the NFL.

Suh is now 31 years old, but he’s still a dominant player: he managed 20.5 pressures and and 4.5 sacks from his defensive tackle position while grading as the NFL’s No. 5 interior defender in 2017, per Pro Football Focus. He’s also incredibly durable, as he hasn’t missed a single contest since 2012. Last season, Suh played a whopping 883 snaps, the second-most of any defensive tackle in the league.

At present, the Rams possess roughly $28MM in cap space, per Over the Cap, so they’ll have enough room to fit a hefty Suh salary on their 2018 books.

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