The Miami Dolphins sent shockwaves through the NFL on Sunday by agreeing to a $114 million contract -- including $60 million guaranteed -- with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Miami secured the top free agent on the market and one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL.
This signing makes sense on so many levels.
However, there will be fallout from the Dolphins making Suh the NFL's highest-paid defensive player. Last year's starting defensive tackle Randy Starks is scheduled to make $5 million in 2015, which is too much for a backup to play behind Suh and fellow starter Earl Mitchell.
Miami spent the past couple of weeks slashing expensive veteran salaries such as Cortland Finnegan, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Philip Wheeler and Nate Garner to help make room for Suh. Expect Starks and his $5 million salary also to be on the chopping block as the Dolphins look to create more cap room in free agency.
Starks, 31, has been one of Miami's most consistent defensive players for seven years. But he finally showed signs of slowing down when he struggled in the second half of last season holding the point of attack. The Dolphins were ranked 24th against the run in 2014, and Starks was among several players who ran out of gas as the team failed to make a playoff push. He finished with 28 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Suh led the Detroit Lions to the NFL’s No. 1 run defense last season. The Dolphins will pay Suh top dollar to bring that kind of force in the middle.