The Miami Dolphins are getting Ndamukong Suh. That is not a surprise.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting Suh on Tuesday will sign a contract with Miami based off parameters around $114 million and $60 million guaranteed on a six-year deal.
Suh will be averaging a whopping $19 million per season. That is a staggering contract that dwarfs the deal J.J. Watt signed for $100 million with $51.8 million in guarantees with the Houston Texans last year.
The Dolphins have been in contact with the representative for Suh and other free agents they are interested in on an official basis since Saturday. I was told today the team's push for Suh has been fully blessed by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who is ultimately paying the freight for the NFL's highest-paid NFL defensive player.
It has been a mixed bag for the Dolphins in chasing signature free agents and coaches and Ross has been somewhat stung by that. No real estate man wants a reputation for failing to close. The Dolphins not only failed to get Peyton Manning, they had trouble getting a meeting with him, and it disappointed Ross that the team could not compete for the best and brightest on the market
That changes in this instance.
The Dolphins are making a splash and Ross loves it.
So what are the Dolphins getting?
Everyone knows Suh is a great player. There is no doubt when he is right and engaged, he is virtually unblockable by one offensive lineman. But a league source tells me the Dolphins had better have done their homework.
My source said Suh is a "very quirky individual" thus not the easiest person to understand. One person that apparently did a good job of forging some kinship with Suh is Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell, so it is clear Suh is open to leadership and a strong, quiet authority figure.
And now, make no mistake, this deal will shape the course of this franchise for years.
Now, the reputation of every person in the organization involved in this process, including Ross himself, is on the line.
Coach Joe Philbin and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle must get as much, if not more, out of Suh as what he delivered in Detroit the last five years. In Detroit, Suh averaged 36 tackles and more than seven sacks per season with the Lions.
If that doesn't happen in Miami, is Ross going to hold it against his people when he himself endorsed and indeed pushed for this deal?
The question is who will Ndamukong Suh be in Miami? Is he going to be Reggie White? Or is he going to be Albert Haynesworth?
Is he going to be a transformational cornerstone player who lifts a moribund franchise with past glory to a future championship?
Or will Suh be an embarrassment and an albatross hovering over Miami's salary cap and reputation for years and years and years?
The Dolphins have had little of the former recently. They've had some of the latter.
The Dolphins best free agent acquisition in recent years was cornerback Brent Grimes in 2013. He came on a one-year prove-it contract and went to the Pro Bowl. He re-signed and was a Pro Bowl player again last year.
But there is another side to that free agency success. In getting Mike Wallace and Branden Albert the past two years and paying a high price on each, the Dolphins for whatever reasons made up no ground in getting to an actual title.
The signings won Miami offseason titles in 2013 and 2014, but the additions didn't move the chains for a team seeking to advance from its 7-9 or 8-8 mediocrity.
So will Suh's addition pave the Dolphins road to the playoffs?
Or will we be talking about him in the same conversation as past Miami free agents that came with so much promise -- Eric Green, Gene Atkins, Joey Porter, Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, Dannell Ellerbe, who will be cut as early as Monday -- and yet failed to raise the Dolphins to any significant heights compared to the money the team paid them?
We shall see.