LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Rams have secured what might be the greatest pairing of interior linemen in NFL history, adding five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh to the same unit as Aaron Donald, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
The Rams reached agreement with Suh on a one-year contract, the team announced from the owners meetings in Orlando, Florida, on Monday. A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter the deal is worth $14 million.
Suh met with the Rams last Tuesday, the last stop in a three-city free-agency tour that included visits with the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans. He was scheduled to sit down with the Oakland Raiders the following day, but cancelled his visit. The New York Jets were reportedly willing to offer the most money, but they ultimately rescinded their offer.
"We are excited to have Ndamukong as a part of the Los Angeles Rams," 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 been named first-team All-Pro three times since being drafted second overall by the Detroit Lions eight years ago. Suh compiled 51½ sacks from 2010 to 2017, trailing only Geno Atkins for the most by a defensive tackle during that time frame, and has also recorded 55 run stuffs, the most by an interior defensive lineman. Suh also ranks seventh among all NFL players with 26 batted passes and first among defensive linemen with 6,773 snaps over the last eight seasons.
Under Phillips, Suh is expected to play nose tackle in 3-4 base sets. In that scenario, Donald would remain the 3-technique -- lining up between the left tackle and the left guard -- and Michael Brockers would return to playing defensive end on the opposite side.
The Rams began 2017 on the heels of 10 consecutive losing seasons, including a 4-12 showing in their 2016 return to L.A. But they experienced a dramatic turnaround under Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history (he's 32 now). The Rams went 11-5 in 2017, winning the NFC West while becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to go from last to first in scoring from one season to the next.
Since then, they have built a star-studded defense to go along with a young, surging offense. The Rams traded for a couple of All-Pro cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, then, after a drawn-out wait, they signed Suh, giving themselves arguably the game's best defensive line and secondary.
After five years with the Lions, Suh joined the Miami Dolphins on a six-year, $114 million contract that at that point made him the NFL's highest-paid defensive player. Suh performed well during his three seasons in South Florida, compiling 15½ sacks while playing in all 48 regular-season games.
But the team managed only 22 wins, and Suh was released in the middle of March as part of what was deemed a culture change by the Dolphins.
Suh has been widely described as a dirty player throughout his career, drawing an NFL-leading 74 total penalties since he came into the league in 2010. Suh's only missed time was the result of a two-game suspension in 2011 for roughing up then-Green Bay Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. Suh has also been seen stepping on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' ankle and grabbing Ryan Mallett, then a backup quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens, by the throat, among other transgressions.
But his productivity and durability have never been in question. Pairing Suh with Donald, a three-time All-Pro who led all NFL players in total pressures last season, will give the Rams an unrelenting pass rush, which should lead to more turnovers for a team that intercepted 18 passes last season.