NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Giants are reportedly considering casting their line toward the biggest fish in NFL free agency.
According to the Daily News, Big Blue is mulling whether or not to go hard after incredibly talented, but also highly volatile, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
The question doesn’t seem to be about whether Suh will fit into the generally conservative and professional Giants locker room but if they will simply have the money to get a deal done.
The Giants are believed to be around $13 million under the salary cap, and that’s not taking into consideration defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who they’ve put the non-exclusive franchise tag on and will have to pay at least $14.813 million next season, provided the sides don’t agree to a long-term deal by July 15.
So to pursue Suh, who the Detroit Lions decided last week not to franchise, mostly because the cost would have been insanely prohibitive, Giants general manager Jerry Reese would have to get very creative to get even further below the NFL cap of $143.28 million. Suh won’t make it easy on any team as he’s said he wants to be paid the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL, meaning he’ll want more than the six-year, $100 million extension the Houston Texans gave end J.J. Watt early in the 2014 season.
In other words, for the Giants to even consider targeting Suh, they would likely need to either make several cuts or request that plenty of players restructure their current deals.
Is Suh worth it? The 6-foot-4, 307-pounder is the most disruptive interior lineman in the game. He’s utterly devastating against the run and has racked up 36 sacks in 78 career games. His problem is he’s a repeat violator of the league’s player-safety rules. He’s considered by many to be a dirty player.
Suh has been fined nine times, totaling more than $250,000, during his five-year career. He was suspended two games in 2011 for stomping an opponent’s arm and was initially banned from this past season’s first-round playoff game against Dallas for stepping on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers the week before. That suspension was later rescinded and he was fined $70,000 instead.
But the Giants probably figure if they get the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft into their straight-laced culture they can reform him, while putting a tremendous player in the trenches next to Pierre-Paul, one of the league’s better pass rushers.
If they decide to go down that road, the Giants will have plenty of competition for Suh’s services. The Daily News reported Oakland and Jacksonville, the teams currently with the most cap space in the league, will be in the hunt, along with Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago and Washington.
Early in the 2014 season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Suh had an interest in playing in New York, mostly due to his being represented by rap mogul Jay Z’s Roc Nation.