The NFC arms race just hit another level. After an off-season where the Rams revamped their secondary and traded some bad contracts, they became the landing place for defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Suh was released by the Dolphins and was courted by the Jets, Saints, Titans, and Rams. The volatile defensive tackle opted for a one-year $14 million dollar deal after the Jets rescinded their undisclosed offer over the weekend. Suh will join an already loaded defense making them prohibitive favorites in the NFC West.
The Rams already made a ton of waves this off-season. They traded for corners Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and signed corner Sam Shields. They traded defensive leaders Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree, and now they have Suh.
Suh will be paired with reigning defensive player of the year and the inspiration for the mutant bear in “Annihilation” Aaron Donald. A line with Suh and Donald in the middle makes them the most formidable unit in the West.
The Eagles won a Super Bowl with an otherworldly defensive line featuring Fletcher Cox and they added Haloti Ngata and Michael Bennett. The Vikings added Sheldon Richardson to their already stacked defensive line.
The Rams are aggressively trying to win now in an effort to make the most of third-year quarterback Jared Goff before the time comes to potentially give him big money. Suh comes to L.A. with baggage. He is a dominant force on the field, and, at times, to his own detriment. He has a reputation for being a dirty player who isn’t always checked in. By having him on a one year deal, the Rams can mitigate that, since, like Richardson in Minnesota, he is in a position to prove he’s worth a long-term deal.
Furthermore, Suh will be in a situation where he isn’t the lone star player on defense. He will be surrounded by other strong personalities such as Talib, Donald, and is working with a respected coordinator in Wade Phillips. They should keep him in check and ensure he brings it every play. If Suh proves to be more trouble than he’s worth, the Rams are ultimately on the hook for only a year so it’s a low-risk high reward situation.
The Rams are aggressively trying to win now in an effort to make the most of third-year quarterback Jared Goff before the time comes to potentially give him big money.
Last season Suh notched 4.5 sacks and 29 tackles with the Miami Dolphins. It was a down year for him but that was a by-product of increased double teams and his aforementioned mercurial tendencies.
In his career, he has 51 sacks and 289 tackles in his eight seasons with the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins respectively. Playing next to Donald will open things up for Suh and that’s a dangerous prospect for the opposing line.
The Rams can now focus their draft resources on restocking their thin linebacker corps and beefing up the interior of their offensive line. The NFC was already a gauntlet this year but now the Rams have upped the ante by bringing in Suh. The other three quarterbacks in their division, Sam Bradford, Russell Wilson, and Jimmy Garoppolo will have many sleepless nights.