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March 12, 2018

Killing time: Should the Eagles pursue DT Ndamukong Suh?

When I woke up this morning ready for the start of the "illegal tampering period of free agency" (or more accurately stated, free agency), I was ready for a flurry of activity.

And then... (fart noise).

There was a report that the Philadelphia Eagles were expected to agree to a new deal with cornerback Patrick Robinson before the noon start of the tampering period, but noon came and went, seemingly with no deal done.

And so, on this boring 2018 kinda-sorta first day of NFL free agency, let's turn our attention to defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who the Miami Dolphins are expected to release as early as today:

Suh is arguably the most dominant defensive player to come out of college into the NFL in the last decade. While he has had a good NFL career, Suh has unquestionably been something of a disappointment based on his limitless potential. Still, he is a force in the middle of the defense and a player who commands added attention of opposing offensive lines every week.

As such, whenever Suh hits the open market, he will be pursued heavily by teams looking for a playmaker on the interior of their defensive lines. Because Suh previously played for Jim Schwartz in Detroit, the Eagles will know everything they need to know about him both on and off the field.

Suh also said (or maybe he didn't) that he would play for the Eagles for free, in a piece by Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated

When the team practiced against Miami, Dolphins players took note of how fast Eagles players moved from drill to drill. Lee recalls Ndamukong Suh being so impressed with the team that he approached defensive line coach Chris Wilson with an offer: “Suh told our defensive line coach, ‘The way y’all practice is unbelievable. I don’t care about money at this point—I think I want to play with y’all next year for free,’” Lee says. “Our coach was like, ‘Uhh, can we get that in writing?’” (Suh, through a Dolphins spokesman, denies the incident.)

If Ndamukong Suh wants to play for the Eagles at a severely discounted price, would they sign him? Uh, hell yes. They'd have a defensive line that would look like this on game day:

DE Brandon Graham Chris Long 
DT Fletcher Cox Timmy Jernigan 
DT Ndamukong Suh 
DE Derek Barnett Michael Bennett 

That would potentially be an all-time great defensive line.

However, counter point: I claim no inside info here, but Suh probably won't play at a severely discounted price. He's likely going to get paid, again, on the open market, and it will be at a price the cash-strapped Eagles almost certainly cannot afford.

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