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Hyde: Yes, Suh! Signing unique player is Dolphins' best move

Ndamukong Suh wouldn't represent the Miami Dolphins spending big on yet another free agent. That's because he's not just another free agent

One of Joe Philbin's favorite shows is Seinfeld, and one of his favorite episodes is when the lovably dim-witted George Costanza is doing everything wrong in life and so starts doing the opposite of his initial thought.

"Do you know that one?" Philbin once asked.

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I did. It's a Seinfeld staple. It's also relevant to Philbin's Dolphins today. No matter what they do, the first reaction is it's all wrong and they should have done the opposite.

For too much of the past 15 years, George as GM would have been an upgrade, too. Sign Drew Brees or Daunte Culpepper? Draft Jake Long or Matt Ryan? Throw on third down in the final minutes against Green Bay or run it and punt to the game's best quarterback, Aaron Rodgers?

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Oy. If only they'd done the opposite.

Now the Dolphins are doing something completely right in trying to sign the biggest free agent in two decades in Ndamukong Suh, and fans are so conditioned by history they can't see the unique chance here.

Many want the Dolphins to buy three good players for the price of Suh. Spread the money around, the thinking goes. Fill some holes. That's how you win in football. Everyone knows.

In other words, the Dolphins should do what they always do, which is overspend for mostly average talent and have everyone think it's good. And, folks, it's mostly average talent, by definition, in free agency.

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Buying a player like Suh actually is doing the opposite from this team's calling card, too. It's not overspending on the best available player in a given free-agent class (Mike Wallace, Branden Albert, Dannell Ellerbe …)

It's spending bigger money on the best player in the game at an impact position who is in his playing prime. Suh just turned 28 in January. He's the type of player who never comes on the free-agent market, because teams refuse to let them go.

Except Detroit did. Or will. Or could. Maybe. The Dolphins appear to be the leader in the clubhouse, but nothing can be officially signed until Tuesday at 4 p.m. That leaves time for potential back-room dealings to get done.

An NFL Network report Saturday said San Diego is, "preparing to make a run," at Suh. Will Detroit, too? And is Suh's motivation just to go to the biggest contract or does it involve something else?

Suh instantly would become the best player on the Dolphins. He's 28. He's a force of nature, the kind of talent not available in free agency since Reggie White left Philadelphia for Green Bay in 1993.

The Dolphins know this first-hand. On the opening plays against Detroit this year, Suh split Samson Satele and Dallas Thomas resulting in a 2-yard loss and then bulled over Mike Pouncey to sack Ryan Tannehill.

First series ruined, the Dolphins went to the sideline and changed some things to account more for Suh. Just as New England would for fear, he'll crush the pocket on Tom Brady. Just as Buffalo will do with Rex Ryan's power running game behind LeSean McCoy.

Detroit had the second-ranked defense last year with Suh and safety Glover Quin being the only Pro Bowl players. Suh made his fourth All-Pro team (the best of the Pro Bowlers). It was Quin's first Pro Bowl in seven seasons.

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Translation: Suh raised a defensive unit of good and average players to an elite level. He made everyone around him better. That's something to consider when saying the Dolphins should sign three players instead.

But the question isn't so much about Suh's game. It's the involved money. And it will be daunting. An NFL Network report has it reaching $17 million a year and $60 million guaranteed. That seems high, and the agent often is the source of such numbers. But we'll see.

The point is J.J. Watt signed for six years and $100 million with $51.8 million guaranteed. He didn't hit the open market of free agency. He also signed before his contract ran out, meaning he got some beefed up paychecks in return.

If the Dolphins do sign Suh, it puts an added burden on drafting well. Actually, that's not right. There's always a burden to draft well. That's when championship teams are built.

Suh offers a unique short-cut to building a winner. The Dolphins have overpaid in free agency for years and crossed their fingers, hoping it worked out. It's time to try the opposite. Pay a lot of money for the best free agent in decades.

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