ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Ndamukong Suh won’t become a New York Jet.
Acting owner Christopher Johnson said Sunday the team has rescinded its offer to the free agent defensive tackle.
Johnson was vague on reasons for the move, admitting though that it ”didn’t seem to be in keeping with our long-term plan.”
Suh has said the Jets made the largest offer, something Johnson couldn’t confirm. The owner said he discussed the offer with the former Lions and Dolphins player with general manager Mike Maccagnan ”and I think our thinking changed a bit. It was a pretty high offer; all these good guys will be a lot of money.”
New York has plenty of cap space to afford Suh, particularly after losing out in the bidding for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who chose Minnesota. But Johnson, in charge of the Jets while his brother, primary owner Woody Johnson, serves as ambassador to the United Kingdom, indicated the team is comfortable having the room to afford big-ticket players next year.
Johnson was not part of the process when Maccagnan made the original offer to Suh.
”Saying I stepped in is somewhat overstating the case,” Johnson said. ”Looking into what our plan is, it was apparent to the two of us that this didn’t work.”
The Jets have a need on the defensive line after releasing Muhammad Wilkerson, now with the Packers, and previously trading Sheldon Richardson. They own the third overall pick in next month’s draft, having traded up from the sixth spot, but Johnson indicated – while, he joked, trying to keep a ”poker face” – that the Jets will select a quarterback there.
Suh, 31, is a five-time Pro Bowler who was released by Miami at the start of free agency.
Suh was halfway through the $114 million, six-year deal he signed when he joined the Dolphins in 2015. Along with the incentive of creating $17 million in cap space this year, the move was widely seen as part of coach Adam Gase’s attempt to improve the locker room culture following a 6-10 season.
Suh’s standoffish personality raised questions about his leadership, and he has never been on a team that won a playoff game.
Johnson said there is no mandate on Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles to make the playoffs this season. The Jets were 5-11 in 2017 with an under-talented roster and actually had a shot at a .500 record until veteran quarterback Josh McCown broke his left hand in December.
”I think it’s counterproductive,” Johnson said. ”It can’t happen fast enough; I want this team to be deep in the p layoffs, the type of team that can go to the playoffs year after year. I don’t want to load up on people who can get you there, not keep you there.”
AP Sports Writer Steven Wine contributed to this report.
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