A week into the free agency period, All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is the best available talent left on the open market. As a result, he has drawn a significant amount of interest from several different teams around the league.
The Oakland Raiders had emerged as a potential landing spot for the 31-year-old with a scheduled visit to take place on Wednesday. However, Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network revealed that Suh has reversed course on that plan by canceling his meeting with the Raiders:
Free agent DT Ndamukong Suh’s visit to the #Raiders is now off, sources tell me and @MikeSilver. He’s back home and not likely to make a decision today. The #Rams made a strong impression on him, but he’s also considering the #Saints & #Titans. Nothing done yet.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 21, 2018
Suh had already held visits with the New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans, and Los Angeles Rams. In fact, it is being reported that his meeting on Tuesday that included a dinner went quite well, which may have led to him deciding to not talk with Oakland.
It would have been an interesting fit for the Raiders given that they are limited in salary cap space and won’t have a clearly defined role as being a primary fixture on the defense. He would have provided a significant upgrade on the defensive line while potentially forming a highly formidable duo with former NFL Defensive Player of the Year defensive end Khalil Mack.
Entering his ninth season, Suh is still regarded as being one of the top defensive tackles in the league behind five Pro Bowl selections, four First-Team All-Pro nods, and two Second-Team All-Pro selections.
Instead, the Raiders will have to look elsewhere for help along the defensive line to bring more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The team struggled on the department last season ranking 24th overall with 31 total sacks. This saw Mack and Bruce Irvin be responsible for 18.5 of that total this past season.
The Raiders have put forth some effort to keep some unity in the front seven by re-signing defensive tackle Justin Ellis to a three-year, $15 million deal last week. The front office could look to add more talent in free agency or through the upcoming draft next month.