What may be the most watched story that means nothing of the Miami Dolphins' offseason is the Ndamukong Suh attendance record. The defensive tackle signed a six-year, $114 million contract with Miami this offseason, then showed up for the first day of the team's voluntary conditioning program. After that, he disappeared.
It was news when Suh showed up, then it was news when he was not showing up. Fans of the Detroit Lions, Suh's former team, were frustrated by Suh's appearance at the workouts, because it was something he normally skipped with Detroit, then enjoyed the reports that he was no longer attending. Dolphins fans saw a leader setting the expectation of attendance at the workout program, then were confused by the absence of the league's top free agent acquisition of the year.
A report last night from the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson indicated that Suh, who is in South Florida, is expected to report to the team's training facility on Tuesday as the Dolphins open their first Organized Team Activity (OTA) of the year. This is the first time coaches and players can get on the field in a full (non-contact) practice scenario.
Suh being at the OTA will be a welcome site. Miami tries very hard to maintain perfect attendance at the practices, and usually comes pretty close. This year, only wide receiver Rishard Matthews is expected to be a no-show for the voluntary workouts. Matthews is buried on the depth chart after the trade for Kenny Stills, the signing of Greg Jennings, and the drafting of DeVante Parker, along with Jarvis Landry, and he is thought to be looking for Miami to either trade or release him.
But, none of it really matters. At least not when it comes to Suh.
Yes, it would be a great sign that Suh realizes the Dolphins made a huge committment to him, and now need him to do the same for them. It would allow Suh to work as a mentor to the younger players on the defensive line, especially rookie defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. It would allow the defensive line to begin working together and the coaches to begin to see exactly what they have for this year.
Individually, however, Suh has proven he does not need the voluntary workouts to be ready for the NFL season. He is a four-time Pro Bowl selection, with three First-Team All-Pro selections as well. He averages seven sacks a year - as a defensive tackle - and has only missed two games in his career, back in 2011 when he was suspended for two games. Suh comes ready to play when the NFL season starts, and that is all that really matters.
The Dolphins' first mandatory event of the offseason will be the team's veteran minicamp in mid-June. Until then, Suh gets the benefit of the doubt in his personal workout regimen. If he does show up today as expected, that is an added bonus for the Dolphins.