Jets rescind 'pretty high offer' to free agent Ndamukong Suh


It came as somewhat surprising news recently that the Jets made “the biggest offer” to free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. But given that the offer was made, it came as equally surprising news Sunday when the team rescinded it.

It could, however, be a case of acting owner Christopher Johnson overruling a decision initially arrived at between Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan and Coach Todd Bowles. Johnson didn’t completely spell that out Sunday, but he made it possible to read between the lines in comments offered at the NFL’s meetings in Orlando.

“On reflection, and in concert with Mike, we’ve rescinded the offer to Suh,” said Johnson (via NJ.com), who took over the Jets last year when his older brother, Woody Johnson, became the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. “It just didn’t seem to be in keeping with our longer-term plan. Yes, I was part of this [decision].”

On Friday, Yahoo Sports’s Jordan Schultz reported that Suh told him the Jets had “emerged as a serious contender” for his services, along with the Rams, Saints and Titans. The five-time Pro Bowler, who was released earlier this month by the Dolphins, said that he had already talked with Bowles about his role in the coach’s defense, and reportedly claimed that the Jets made it “abundantly clear” they were “extremely interested” in signing him.

Johnson, though, said on Sunday that “our thinking just changed a bit” on Suh. “I had a lot of discussion with Mike about this,” Johnson said. ” … That’s where I have to leave it.”

Walking away from Suh also leaves the Jets decidedly thin at defensive line, which, at least at first glance, features talented youngster Leonard Williams and not much else. However, that’s largely a result of parting ways with Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson over the past two offseasons, and given that locker-room issues played a major role in their departures, it struck some observers as odd that the Jets would want to add Suh, who has been viewed as a divisive presence.

Suh is also 31, and while he figures to have some good years left, he wouldn’t appear to fit into the youth movement the Jets launched last year. In free agency this year, every player Maccagnan has signed, apart from 39-year-old quarterback Josh McCown, has been 28 or younger, and the team, coming off consecutive 5-11 seasons, has little reason to think that it’s one veteran piece away from becoming a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

On the other hand, Maccagnan and Bowles, who both joined the Jets in 2015, have plenty of reason to feel like they are on the collective hot seat, and thus they might be interested in a player who could help them get a crucial extra win or two. Johnson acknowledged that the Jets had made “a pretty high offer” to Suh, adding, “It’s a lot of money. All these good guys are going to be a lot of money. And he’s one of the best football players out there.”

Even after making several signings in free agency, the Jets have the salary-cap space to pay a player such as Suh a lot of money, but Johnson clearly was not on board with the former No. 2 overall pick, although he didn’t want to be perceived as having pulled rank on his general manager.

“Saying I stepped in is somewhat overstating the case,” Johnson said. “In discussion with Mike, looking into what our plan is, it became apparent to the two of us that this just didn’t work.”

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