The Miami Dolphins are expected to sign defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a six-year, $114 million contract that includes $60 million in guaranteed money when free agency opens Tuesday, according to ESPN.
The Dolphins and Suh’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, discussed the parameters of the deal during a 72-hour window that opened Saturday for pending unrestricted free agents to talk with teams. He is expected to earn $60 million through the first three years of the deal – surpassing the $51.8 million in guaranteed money the Houston Texans gave defensive lineman J.J. Watt as part of a six-year, $100 million deal last offseason.
The Detroit Lions opted not to place their franchise tag on Suh, which would have cost the team $26.9 million, setting him up to become the prize of the 2015 free agent class. The Dolphins appear poised to make him an offer that far outweighs that of the Lions and others interested in the Pro Bowl defensive tackle.
A deal between Suh and the Dolphins cannot be made official until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
The contract is expected to average $19 million per year, eclipsing Watt’s $16.6 million average.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has reportedly been determined to land Suh, who has also drawn interest from the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts, among others. The Raiders have approximately $57 million in cap space and Suh reported was interested in playing closer to his home – he is from Oregon – but Miami appears to have offered him a deal lucrative enough to play on the other side of the country.
Suh enjoyed the best season of his career in 2014. He had 8.5 sacks and was instrumental in the Lions having the top rushing defense in the league.
The No. 2 overall draft pick out of Nebraska in 2010, Suh has lived up to his draft pedigree amid fines, suspensions and accusations that he is a dirty player. He has 36 sacks and has helped the Lions make two playoff appearances.