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Fletcher Cox contract compared to Ndamukong Suh deal

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We take a look at the contract details of Ndamukong Suh’s 2015 six-year deal and Fletcher Cox’s 2016 six-year deal.

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles signed defensive tackle Fletcher Cox to a six-year contract extension, a deal that guarantees him the most money in NFL history for a non-quarterback. That sounds a lot like the contract the Miami Dolphins gave defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh during the 2015 free agency period - a contract that analysts deemed way too expensive for a defensive tackle.

How close are the two contracts? While all the fine details of the Cox contract are not yet known (what kind of guarantee is “guaranteed?), we can take a look at the basics of the two monster, six-year contracts.

Suh signed his contract on March 11, 2015, receiving $59.55 million in guaranteed money with a total value of $114.375 million. The guarantees included a $25.5 million signing bonus, with the full salaries for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 season guaranteed. This works out to just over $19 million per season. The contract also includes roster guarantees where, if Suh is on the roster on the fifth day of the league year for each of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons, he is guaranteed $8.5 million, $9.5 million, and $9 million, respectively.

The Dolphins restructured Suh’s contract this offseason, using a clause in the deal that allowed them to convert his base salary for the year into a bonus, allowing them to spread the cap hit across five years, rather than all of it impacting the 2016 year.

That restructure makes Suh’s six salary cap numbers:

2015: $6.1 million
2016: $12.6 million
2017: $19.1 million
2018: $26.1 million
2019: $28.1 million
2020: $22.375 million

The contract Cox signed this week was a six-year extension (2017-2022), worth a total of $102.6 million with $63.299 million guaranteed. The guarantees include $26 million in signing bonus and a $6 million option bonus. If Cox is on the Eagles’ roster in March 2017, his 2018 salary will become fully guaranteed, as well as $7.75 million of his 2019 salary. Another $7.75 million in 2019 will become fully guaranteed in 2018, and he is due a roster bonus of $1 million in each of the final three seasons on the deal.

Cox’s contract works out to $17.1 million per season on average.

His salary cap numbers in the six-years are:

2017: $9.4 million
2018: $17.9 million
2019: $22 million
2020: $20.3 million
2021: $17.2 million
2022: $17.1 million

The 2016 year falls under Cox’s former contract, which

(All contract data from

Comparing the two deals, Suh still has the highest per-season salary, $19 million compared to $17.1 million, while Cox takes the guaranteed amount at $63.299 million compared to $59.55 million. Suh’s contract is also worth more total money, $114.375 million to $102.6 million.

In terms of total value, Suh has the second highest valued contract in the NFL, behind just Jay Cutler’s $126.7 million deal. Cox is eighth on the list, the only other non-quarterback in the top eight with Suh. In terms of average per year salary, Suh is the first non-quarterback, 13th on the list, one spot behind Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill ($19.25 million). Cox is 20th on the list, again the only other non-quarterback in the top 20 with Suh.

Cox was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2015, tallying a career high in sacks at 9.5. In his four seasons in the NFL, Cox has 215 tackles, 22 sacks, nine passes defensed, five forced fumbles, and six fumble recovers, including a touchdown.

Suh has played six years in the league, recording four Pro Bowl appearances and three First-Team All-Pro selections, alon gwith 301 tackles, 42 sacks, one interceptions, 20 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery, with a touchdown. Last year with Miami, he tallied six sacks.

Suh’s contract came with a lot of derision from analysts, who prior to the signing expected Suh to get a record-breaking contract, then immediately panned the signing for being record breaking, with most people saying a defensive tackle was not worth that king of money and that Suh could not live up to that kind of deal. Cox just jumped into the same realm as Suh. Suh may have jumped to the top of the market with his contract with the Dolphins, but it does not appear he is so far ahead of the market that others will not be joining him in the neighborhood.