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The Los Angeles Rams aren’t messing around in 2018.
The Rams could have decided to comfortably ride the wave of a surprising 2017 NFC West title into 2018, but they’re clearly trying to make a run at a Super Bowl this season. The Rams landed one of the best free agents to change teams this offseason when they signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, one of their many high-profile moves since last season ended. Suh was free after he was cut by the Miami Dolphins, and the Rams beat out other teams to land him. The Rams announced Monday evening that Suh had agreed to terms. Suh’s deal was one year for $14 million according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Rams are taking advantage of the biggest edge any NFL team can have, which is having a good starting quarterback on a rookie deal. Jared Goff counts just $7.6 million against the salary cap this season, a fraction of what many top quarterbacks cost. The Rams can invest the extra cap space into players like Suh, and also cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, two other big-time offseason additions. Having Suh on a one-year deal allows the Rams to continue to have cap flexibility in the future. Suh also “took less” to go to Los Angeles according to Schefter, a sign that he believes they’re ready to push for a Super Bowl.
It’s possible the Rams now have the best defensive tackle duo in NFL history. Perhaps Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers or a couple other tandems would argue, but at very least Donald and Suh are in the conversation. Donald is the reigning NFL defensive player of the year. Suh is a three-time first-team All-Pro. They’re going to be impossible to block.
Suh has been a force in the middle since the Detroit Lions made him the second pick of the 2010 NFL draft. He is great against the run and able to get a pass rush up the middle. He should be even better in Los Angeles. In Detroit and Miami he was the focus of opponents’ blocking schemes on the interior. That won’t be the case playing next to Donald. Both great tackles will benefit from the presence of the other.
The Rams surprised everyone last season when they went 11-5. Their offseason has been eye-opening as well.
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