That search resulted in the signing of Michael Thomas, a veteran with 24 starts in his NFL career.
Thomas, 29, joined the Dolphins in 2013, became a full-time starter in 2015 and arrives with a reputation as a strong contributor on special teams. He played in 13 games for the Dolphins last season, starting two games, before landing on injured reserve in late December.
Thomas figures to challenge Darian Thompson for the starting free safety spot. Thompson showed great promise as a rookie, winning a starting job, but lasted only two games before hurting his foot, requiring season-ending surgery. He did not have a strong season in 2017, raising doubts about his ability to be a full-time starter.
As an organization, the Phillies are trying to temper a narrative that’s hard to corral. From the moment owner John Middleton pledged allegiance to the analytics revolution in 2015, they’ve had to balance their embrace of numbers with the perception that they have strayed from traditional scouting and become oblivious to the human element. The Phillies didn’t even have an analytics department until 2013, so upper management is less concerned with achieving world domination through statistics than with playing catchup with the competition.
Suh has visited the Titans, Rams and Saints since the Dolphins released him last week.
It is surprising the Jets would target the 31-year-old Suh based off of their approach to free agency so far. They have signed players mainly between the ages of 25-28 outside of quarterback Josh McCown. Other than cornerback Trumaine Johnson, the contracts have been more team friendly than what one would expect Suh to command.
Bowles could be the driving force behind the pursuit of Suh. He probably envisions him immediately upgrading his defensive line, which has lost Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson in the past year.
While Suh’s sack numbers have decreased recently, he still is an incredibly disruptive player. He had 30 quarterback hurries last year and 4.5 sacks.
Pro Football Focus graded him as the fifth best interior lineman last year. He ranked second with a 92.4 grade against the run, trailing only Giants run-stuffer Damon Harrison.
Suh is a versatile player who can move all over the defensive line. Bowles could use him in the traditional 3-4 defensive end role or slide him inside in a four-man front. He would be like a chess piece for the defensive-minded Bowles to use.
Bowles has always spoken highly of Suh.