The Raiders expected pursuit of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh may be over before the official start of free agency.
Suh, according to an ESPN report by Chris Mortensen, will sign a six-year contract with $60 million in guaranteed money with a maximum value of $114 million, making the highest paid defensive player in NFL history.
Teams were able to submit parameters of a contract deal to prospective free agents starting Saturday. Contracts, according to NFL rules, cannot be negotiated until free agency officially begins Tuesday at 1 p.m. (PDT).
Presumably, the Raiders were one of several teams that outlined deals to Suh’s agent, Jimmy Sexton. According to the ESPN report, the Miami deal was considerably higher than the rest. The most ever paid to a defensive player is last year’s extension to Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who got $51.8 million guaranteed and $100 million over six years.
There remains the possibility of issues with formal contract negotiations that could put Suh in play, but chances are the Raiders are closely examining other interior defenders such as Terrance Knighton (Denver), Jared Odrick (Miami), Henry Melton (Dallas) and Dan Williams (Arizona).
If the Raiders were to exceed the Miami offer, general manager Reggie McKenzie would have go well above the $114 million and $60 million guaranteed given California’s 13.3 percent tax rate as opposed to Florida, which has no state tax.
It was the second time in two days a top-tier free agent linked with the Raiders could be going elsewhere. Green Bay wide receiver Randall Cobb, who had 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, opted to sign a four-year, $40 million to stay with the Packers.