Tag Archives: sacks

Ndamukong Suh’s next 5 years

The Dolphins just handed Ndamukong Suh the key to their safe-deposit box: a 6-year, $114 million deal ($60 million guaranteed) that dwarfs his original 5-year, $60 million contract ($40 million guaranteed) with the Lions. (And let’s not forget: His rookie contract, under the old CBA, enabled him to earn a lot more than the second pick in the draft can now.)

In situations like this, the Albert Haynesworth Effect — a player getting buried in free-agent dollars and suddenly losing his enthusiasm for his job — is always a concern. There probably isn’t a team in the NFL that doesn’t have a horror story like that.

But an equally pertinent question is: What’s the likelihood Suh’s next five years will be as good as his first five? Because by paying Suh franchise-quarterback money, the Dolphins are saying, unequivocally: We think this player is still ascending. We think he’ll be worth more — substantially more — from 2015 to 2019 (and even 2020, if it comes to that) than he was from 2010 to 2014.

Here’s the thing, though: If you look at the top defensive tackles in recent years, you’ll see that’s rarely the case — in terms of sacks, at least. Granted, there are many ways to evaluate a player at Suh’s position, but certainly pass pressure is a big part of it. In today’s game, especially, a DT had darn well better get to the quarterback (if he wants to have much value of the free-agent market, that is).

Anyway, check out these well-known defensive tackles — and the sack totals they posted in their First 5 Years vs. their Second 5:

SACKS IN THEIR FIRST 5 YEARS VS. THEIR SECOND 5 YEARS (DT DIVISION)

Years Defensive tackle Teams(s) 1st 5 2nd 5 Diff.
1985-93 Keith Millard Vikings/3 others 51.0   7.0  -44.0
1990-99 John Randle Vikings 48.0 58.0 +10.0
1983-92 Bill Pickel Raiders/Jets 43.5 12.5  -31.0
1997-06 Trevor Price Broncos/Ravens 42.5 34.5    -8.0
1995-04 Warren Sapp Bucs/Raiders 42.0 37.5    -4.5
1996-05 La’Roi Glover Saints/2 others 42.0 29.5  -12.5
1988-97 Michael Dean Perry Browns/Broncos 41.5 19.5  -22.0
1992-03 Dana Stubblefield 49ers/Redskins 39.5 14.0  -25.5
1993-04 Bryant Young 49ers 37.0 29.5    -7.5
1992-01 Chester McGlockton Raiders/2 others 35.0 12.5  -22.5
2003-12 Kevin Williams Vikings 34.0 22.5  -11.5
1987-96 Henry Thomas Vikings/Lions 34.0 38.5   +4.5
1994-03 Dan Wilkinson 49ers/2 others 32.5 17.5  -15.0
1990-99 Cortez Kennedy Seahawks 32.0 25.0    -7.0

Suh has 36 sacks through his fifth season, so I limited the list to guys who were in that neighborhood at that point in their career. I also didn’t include erstwhile Eagle Andy Harmon (38.5 sacks) — because he didn’t last much more than 5 years. At any rate, we’ve got two gainers (Randle, Thomas) and 12 decliners (ranging from -4.5 to -44) — not the most encouraging odds for the Dolphins.

Of course, every player is different, particularly in the Internal Wiring Department. Maybe Suh will prove to be one of the exceptions. But chances are better Miami will be glad that “only” $60 million is guaranteed.

Source: pro-football-reference.com

The Dolphins are betting $114 million that  Ndamukong Suh will keep doing this to quarterbacks.

The Dolphins are betting $114 million that Ndamukong Suh will keep doing this to quarterbacks.

Stat of the Day, Sept. 15, 2014

The Redskins’ highlight reel is pretty short since Joe Gibbs first retired in 1993. Two playoff wins, to be exact — one less than in their ’91 championship season. Even their 41-10 win over the Jaguars on Sunday was marred by injuries to Robert Griffin III (serious) and DeSean Jackson (less so), which tells you all you need to know about the franchise’s Overall Karma.

But the victory did produce one cool stat. The Redskins became just the second team since 1940 to (a.) score 40 points; (b.) rack up 10 sacks and (c.) outgain their opponent by more than 300 yards (in their case, 301 — 449-148). The other team? The ’61 Bears in their season finale against the expansion Vikings. Here’s the box score of that game if you want to look it over.

A couple of things jump out at you. First, the quarterback the Bears sacked 10 times was Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. Yes, Scramblin’ Fran was more like Scrambled Eggs Fran on that day. But he picked himself up off the ground, again and again, and threw four touchdown passes, one in each quarter. Has any quarterback ever thrown four TD passes in a game in which he was sacked 10 times? Not that I can find. This was one tough guy. (Oh, and by the way, he was a rookie that year.)

Second, another Hall of Famer, the Vikes’ Hugh McElhenny, opened the scoring with an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown. Hurryin’ Hugh was just two weeks shy of his 33rd birthday. How many players that old have had a punt return that long for a TD? Answer: three. (The others were the Raiders’ 35-year-old Tim Brown in this game and the Redskins’ 33-year-old Eric Metcalf in this game.) So at the time, McElhenny was the oldest — and would remain so for almost four decades.

The most interesting thing about this game, though — for our purposes, anyway — can’t be found in the box score. One of George Halas’ assistants on that Bears’ coaching staff, you see, was George Allen. And who is the general manager of the Redskins team that just whacked the Jaguars? His son, Bruce. You can’t make this stuff up. Only two 40/10/300 games in the last 75 seasons, and they’re both in the Allen family.

Source: pro-football-reference.com