A Look into a Potential Ndamukong Suh contract with the Dolphins.

Kdawg954

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So the idea of Suh has been the rage of Finheaven over the last week or so . . . hell I'm excited myself.

The big concern seems to be "How can we afford this guy".

I will attempt to put the numbers of a fictional contract on display to give you a better sense of how it would all break down.

First things first . . . The announcement: The Miami Dolphins sign Ndamukong Suh to a 6 year 100 million dollar contract with 55 million guaranteed (15 million dollar signing bonus)


What does all of that mean?

In its easiest form, it means Suh will be a Dolphin until a minimum of $55 million has entered into his pocket. I know the tendency is to divide the 100 million by 6 to get a nice average figure . . . but that really means very little in the overall grand scheme of things.

Secondly, how does this big old contract effect the Miami Dolphins, the salary cap and our ability to get other people on this team. We are only 10 million under the cap in 2015?

I'm not going to go into details of who gets cut, or guys who will help us clear cap space. I'm going to take the 10 million and show you how it works.

The Contract Structure

The amount of money that actually changes hands and how that effects the cap can be very different.

The important thing to realize is, you don't divide that 100 million by 6 years to get a 16.67 million amount per year. No, that won't be our 2015 cap hit or our every year cap hit.


Miami would structure it to where he gets roster bonuses and guarantees the first 3 years of the contract. Basically put, the contract would be a 3 year, 55 million dollar contract.


So in a sense:

The first money comes in the form of a signing bonus of $15 million. He gets that money immediately. You then have to factor in how that $15 million plays a role on your cap space. Since he signed to a 6 year deal, Miami has the ability spread that out evenly over the 6 years . . . so 15 million over 6 years gives us a 2.5 million a year average. That would be the "prorated" cap hit for every year on the contract.

Years: Base Salary / Cap # (Base Salary + $2.5 million a year for the prorated signing bonus)


2015: 2.5 million (guaranteed) / $5 million cap #
2016: 20 million (guaranteed) / $22.5 million cap #
2017: 17.5 million (guaranteed) / $20 million cap #
2018: 12.5 million / $15 million cap #
2019: 15 million / $17.5 million cap #
2020: 17.5 million / $20 million cap #


So in 2015 . . . Suh would earn $17.5 million (A $15 million dollar signing bonus and $2.5 million in salary . . . guaranteed)

In 2016 . . . Suh will make the most money. A guaranteed 20 million. 2 years 37.5 million. The cap hit is HUGE this season, but with an expected increase in the works and contracts like Wheeler/Ellerbe off the books, plus already having plenty of free space, this is the year to make that hit.

In 2017 . . . He makes another guaranteed 17.5 million. 3 years, $55 million. Another big cap hit . . . i think this will be the toughest year to swallow.

In 2018, the contract is no longer guaranteed. Miami can cut him after year 3 and will have paid him 18.33 million a year. This 4th year is actually quite enticing for Miami to hold onto. He would only count toward 15 million on the cap (the only other lower year is in his first year) and the cap hit for cutting him would be 7.5 million (2.5 million times 3 years remaining). So you'd save 5 million because you'd subtract the cap hit (7.5 million) from the base salary (12.5 million). Really doesn't make sense to cut him here as where are you going to find a player like Suh for 5 million in savings.

In 2019 being cut becomes "more realistic". Cap hit is 5 million and he makes 15 million . . . you cut him, you save 10 million on the cap. If he is on a clear downward slope of his career, Miami would be wise to make the move here. If he's still dominant, they can keep him and take that 17.5 million dollar cap hit. Suh will only be 32 . . . he can grab one more decent contract at that age, so it's a potential break year.


2020 is pretty much a throw in year, Miami isn't going to keep a 33 year old DT with a 20 million dollar cap hit, when they can clear 17.5 million by cutting him.

In the End

The contract plays out like a 3 year, 55 million dollar guaranteed contract with a "team option" for year 4 (and year 5) making it 67.5 million over 4 years (or 82.5 million over 5 years). . . or just under 17 million per season. Year 6 is a disposable year.

Remember, with cap space going up, contracts like Tannehill and Pouncey can be structured in ways to make it all work. Plus guys like Wake and Grimes will eventually be off the team and that money will come back . . . it is an ongoing cycle.

The key is of course to draft well. Rookie contracts during this time and getting production from those rookies is so vital when you commit big money to guys like Suh and Tannehill.

It's a risk, but don't let "the money" stop you from embracing it. We got the money and we got the cap room . . . we are talking a once in a decade type of free agent (available one) that would be a perfect fit for our defense. If you got the chance, you better go for it.
 

nando03

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Great write up KDawg. I just hope we don't start bidding with ourselves for Suh and drive those figures up more than clsoe to that.
 

Jeep

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Thats it.. I'm quitting my job and becoming a NFL football player
 

So Be

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Nice job KD. I did a simple 4 year, $60M, with no signing bonus, and like yours better.

I've also seen some talk on a 2 phase guarantee, like Watt, where $30M would be fully guaranteed but the other $25M or so would not be until year #2 or #3. It would give Miami an early out, to a degree. Don't see it mattering but, is out there.
 

Jehuty13

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I don't know anything really about salary cap or contracts, so maybe someone here could answer this: Percentage wise, how much of our cap space would be dedicated to Suh and Wallace, assuming we acquire Suh and keep Wallace?
 

datruth55

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Team needs to improve just like Buffalo and the Jets have with their trades.
Who said the Jets and Buffalo has improved with their trades. I'd be surprised if the Jets don't tear each other apart with Marshall and Harvin in that locker room and Geno Smith throwing them the ball...or trying to. That has disaster written all over it.

And Buffalo...trading for a back to run in what looks like a power scheme...only problem is the back they traded for isn't a power back.

You can crown them if you want...but they are who I think they are. Paper champions.
 

So Be

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I don't know anything really about salary cap or contracts, so maybe someone here could answer this: Percentage wise, how much of our cap space would be dedicated to Suh and Wallace, assuming we acquire Suh and keep Wallace?
This year, Wallace would count $12M, and Suh likely around $5M, with a HUGE increase next year. The cap is set at $143M for 2015. So around 12%, with an artificial low for Suh.
 

TruePoizon

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i wasnt aware we had interest in Suh. You'd think with our recent issues, we'd keep away from people who are hot tempered
 

Jehuty13

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This year, Wallace would count $12M, and Suh likely around $5M, with a HUGE increase next year. The cap is set at $143M for 2015. So around 12%, with an artificial low for Suh.
Thanks. That actually doesn't sound so bad although there are 50 other players to worry about. I'll take Suh over Wallace if it comes down to it.
 

artdnj

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Agreed on Harvin and Marshall but they're not done and will most likely upgrade QB position and have a ton of loot and picks to work with.they're sitting sweet at 6
 

Fintastic17

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Who said the Jets and Buffalo has improved with their trades. I'd be surprised if the Jets don't tear each other apart with Marshall and Harvin in that locker room and Geno Smith throwing them the ball...or trying to. That has disaster written all over it.

And Buffalo...trading for a back to run in what looks like a power scheme...only problem is the back they traded for isn't a power back.

You can crown them if you want...but they are who I think they are. Paper champions.
Reports are:

The Jets are going to let Percy and his contract go. And I read on a Fins page that the Jets and Eagles have agreed to a draft day trade.

Foles,2015 1st & 2nd, 2016 1st & 3rd for this years 6th overall pick. I would be pretty upset if that last part comes to fruition.

ON TOPIC - Great write up KDawg, I really didn't understand a lot of the cap hit particulars. Thanks for simplifying it.
 
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