Ndamukong Suh has made the rounds on his free-agency tour, visiting teams such as the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans over the past week. So which team should the former All-Pro defensive tackle choose?
Rams reporter Alden Gonzalez, Saints reporter Mike Triplett and Titans reporter Cameron Wolfe break down the cases for and against Suh signing with each of their teams:
Case for Suh signing with Rams: Suh seemingly has a chance to be a part of something special with the Rams. He can join the same defensive line as Aaron Donald, forming what might be the greatest pairing of interior defenders in NFL history. Suh, Donald and Michael Brockers would create unrelenting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and a star-studded secondary -- featuring Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner -- can manufacture constant turnovers. It would all be overseen by Wade Phillips, one of the game's most celebrated defensive coordinators. The offense, which helped the Rams lead the NFL in points last season, is led by one of the game's sharpest minds -- 32-year-old coach Sean McVay. In short: Suh has a legitimate chance to win a championship in L.A., something he hasn't come close to in prior stops.
Case against Suh signing with Rams: The Rams offer a clunky scheme fit. Suh has spent the vast majority of his career lining up as a left defensive tackle, specifically as a 3-technique, between the opposing tackle and guard. But that's the space Donald occupies for the Rams. So Suh would probably have to play nose tackle. He would also be transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4, though Phillips' 3-4 has 4-3 principles in that it is still a one-gap penetrating front. But the biggest deterrent, as is usually the case, might be money. The Rams wouldn't be paying Suh top dollar. They have somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million remaining in cap space if you account for their draft pool, but they have to set aside space to potentially make Donald the game's highest-paid defensive player. Suh might have to take a pay cut.
Case for Suh signing with Saints: If he's looking for the most Super Bowl-ready contender, it's probably a tie between the Saints and Rams -- and Suh himself might serve as the tiebreaker. Both teams are in win-now mode after stocking up on veterans in free agency, and Suh would be flanked by one of the NFL's best offenses in either city. The Saints have the more proven quarterback -- Drew Brees -- but the Rams might have a brighter long-term future with Jared Goff. If it comes down to scheme fit, the Saints could also have an advantage since they run the same 4-3 base system that Suh has played in throughout his NFL career with the Lions and Dolphins.
Case against Suh signing with Saints: It's hard to imagine the Saints can offer the most money since they have less than $10 million in salary-cap space right now (though general manager Mickey Loomis & Co. always find a way to move the money around if they truly covet a player). It's also unclear just how aggressive the Saints will be in trying to sign Suh, since their visit with him was portrayed as a feeling-out session for both sides rather than an all-out recruiting mission. Finally, if Suh is thinking long term, he might wonder what will happen with the Saints when Brees, 39, is done playing. But they have done an excellent job of rebuilding lately, led by both of the NFL's 2017 Rookies of the Year -- running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Case for Suh signing with Titans: Let's hit the money first. Tennessee has $44 million in cap space left and can offer more than the Rams and Saints. Plus, Tennessee has no state income tax, which could make a noticeable difference in take-home pay. Suh would also reunite with defensive line coach Terrell Williams, who coached him for the past three seasons in Miami; so if familiarity is important, he's got it in Tennessee. Also, Suh could become the face of a Titans defense with a lot of talented pieces around him, including Jurrell Casey, Kevin Byard and Malcolm Butler. The Titans are a playoff team with the potential to be even more with Suh.
Case against Suh signing with the Titans: Tennessee certainly cannot offer the West Coast appeal, the same branding opportunities or Donald like the Rams can. Suh also wouldn't have a seamless transition in the Titans' scheme as he would in New Orleans where the Saints run a 4-3 defense. Finally, there will be a bit more of an adjustment period for the Titans as Mike Vrabel settles in to his first head-coaching job. On the other hand, the Rams and Saints have settled in and are contending for a championship in 2018.