The Dolphins will release defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh before the start of NFL free agency, reports ESPN. The move will free up roughly $17 million in salary cap space if Suh is designated as a post-June 1 cut, otherwise it will save just $3.9 million if it happens now.
Suh’s career with Miami was a mixed bag after signing a monster six-year, $114 million contract with the team in 2015. He made the Pro Bowl in 2016 but never quite reached the same heights as he did with the Lions. Over three seasons with the Dolphins, he recorded 108 tackles and 15.5 sacks.
Bears fans know Suh well from his time in the same division. The defensive lineman, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, can be an overwhelming physical presence in the trenches at his best. He’s also known for crossing the line with his conduct on the field, which has led to various fines and one suspension during his career.
The Dolphins could’ve brought Suh back for another year, but his current contract carries a $16.985 million base salary and $26.1 million cap hit number for 2018. Each summer, the NFL allows each team to designate two players as post-July 1 cuts, when the rules for how salary cap figures work change, so by using one of the designations on Suh, they’ll be able to get out of $17 million of his cap commitment. Releasing him now without that designation would save less than $4 million in cap space.
Suh immediately becomes one of the top defensive tackles on the open market. His top competition for offers includes Sheldon Richardson, Dontari Poe, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Star Lotulei.