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Dolphins Again Make Offseason Splash, Will Make Suh One Of NFL's Highest Paid

Dolphins Again Make Offseason Splash, Will Make Suh One Of NFL's Highest Paid

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Suh's presence should bring more national attention to the Dolphins
Free agent DT Ndamukong Suh "will sign" with the Dolphins after the new league year begins tomorrow in a deal that will "pay him approximately" $114M with $60M guaranteed over six years, according to sources cited by Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com. The deal would make Suh one of the NFL's "highest-paid players" (ESPN.com, 3/8). In Miami, Barry Jackson wrote the Dolphins are "quite good at making splashy offseason signings, and this one will send ripples throughout the NFL" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 3/8). USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell writes thanks to team Owner Stephen Ross' "deep pockets, the Dolphins have clearly won the opening scene of the NFL offseason." The Dolphins have "not only purchased a new centerpiece to build a defense around and harass division rival Tom Brady with, they have bought the type of undeniable buzz factor that Ross loves." In recent years, the buzz "has been for all the wrong reasons." Bell: "A bullying scandal. Chad Ochocinco, released on Hard Knocks. Disastrous December meltdowns. Survivor coach Joe Philbin on the hot seat." But there is "suddenly a 307-pound reason to watch the Dolphins more than we have in years" (USA TODAY, 3/9).

WELCOME TO MIAMI...: In West Palm Beach, Andrew Abramson writes Suh’s presence "will boost the Dolphins’ national profile -- a point that certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed" by Ross and VP/Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum (PALM BEACH POST, 3/9). In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes the franchise "in need of sizzle got the hottest name on the market." Hyde: "Some say the Dolphins did what they always do. They won March. They won the offseason trophy." But, for once, they "didn't just spend a lot of money for a good player in free agency." They spent on the "best player in the game at an impact position," who at 28 years old is "in his prime" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/9). CBSSPORTS.com's WIll Brinson wrote the Dolphins are the "early winners of the Offseason Champs title belt." At the very least, signing Suh gives Ross a "March victory, the star power he craves and the promise of a vastly improved defense" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/8). ESPN.com's James Walker wrote Suh "brings national relevance, which cannot be ignored." Ross and the Dolphins "need an elite player like Suh who puts fans in the seats" (ESPN.com, 3/8). In West Palm Beach, Dave George writes Ross "needs somebody to show up to watch games while the construction cranes are still on site" (PALM BEACH POST, 3/9).

WHERE THE HEAT IS ON: In Miami, Armando Salguero wrote the Dolphins "get a standing ovation for chasing and apparently landing" Suh. They have "come out of nowhere to land the signature free agent" of the offseason, and they have "escaped, if only until the regular season begins, that stubborn tag of mediocrity that has stuck to them for years." But fans have "seen signings like this before both in Miami and elsewhere" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 3/8). ESPN.com's Steve Palazzolo graded the Dolphins' signing and gave them an "A," noting it is an "aggressive acquisition that moves them closer to the perennial AFC East champion" Patriots (ESPN.com, 3/8). In Miami, Greg Cote writes the Suh signing "smacks of desperate overspending, a byproduct of a franchise with dissatisfied fans." The Dolphins "need to be careful now that the windfall given Suh does not shortchange the roster in other areas" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/9). 

WHO'S THE ROSS? In Ft. Lauderdale, Perkins & Kelly note this deal would mark the "third consecutive year the team has signed one of the top free agents on the market," as the team last year signed OT Branden Albert and the year before inked WR Mike Wallace. As "good as those guys are, or have been, Suh is better" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/9). The SUN-SENTINEL's Omar Kelly writes Ross has "proven he'll go to any lengths to make the Dolphins a successful franchise." But should fans "really be surprised considering that's how Ross has conducted business for the Dolphins every offseason?" Ross "cannot win games on Sundays in the fall." But free agency, spending money and "getting business deals done -- those are things he can do" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/9).

BUNGLED IN THE JUNGLE: In Detroit, Bob Wojnowski writes whether the Lions "miscalculated or were misled by Suh and his agent, it's their own fault," as they "bungled this, long before" Suh left for Miami. Lions President Tom Lewand and GM Martin Mayhew "clung to foolish optimism, knowing it was all about money even as they ran out of cap space and time." Matching the Dolphins' offer "wasn't really an option, with the Lions' salary cap tapped." The Lions "arrived at lose-lose because of their own mismanagement, and now incredible pressure falls on Mayhew and Lewand to find replacement pieces" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/9). Also in Detroit, Drew Sharp writes Lewand and Mayhew "successfully conned themselves and others into believing that a fair, favorable deal with their perennial Pro Bowl defensive tackle was inevitable." Lewand and Mayhew "botched this," as they "should have more seriously considered trading Suh a year ago ... when it was apparent that this wasn't going to be an easy negotiation with what Suh would command" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/9).

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