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Reasons for, against Ndamukong Suh signing with Rams, Saints or Titans – NFL Nation

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Ndamukong Suh has made the rounds on his free-agency tour, visiting teams such as the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans over the past week. So which team should the former All-Pro defensive tackle choose?

Rams reporter Alden Gonzalez, Saints reporter Mike Triplett and Titans reporter Cameron Wolfe break down the cases for and against Suh signing with each of their teams:

Case for Suh signing with Rams: Suh seemingly has a chance to be a part of something special with the Rams. He can join the same defensive line as Aaron Donald, forming what might be the greatest pairing of interior defenders in NFL history. Suh, Donald and Michael Brockers would create unrelenting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and a star-studded secondary — featuring Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner — can manufacture constant turnovers. It would all be overseen by Wade Phillips, one of the game’s most celebrated defensive coordinators. The offense, which helped lead the NFL in points last season, is led by one of the game’s sharpest minds — 32-year-old coach Sean McVay. In short: Suh has a legitimate chance to win a championship in L.A., something he hasn’t come close to doing in prior stops.

Case against Suh signing with Rams: The Rams offer a clunky scheme fit. Suh has spent the vast majority of his career lining up as a left defensive tackle, specifically as a 3-technique, between the opposing tackle and guard. But that’s the space Donald occupies for the Rams. So Suh would probably have to play nose tackle. He would also be transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4, though Phillips’ 3-4 has 4-3 principles in that it is still a one-gap penetrating front. But the biggest deterrent, as is usually the case, might be money. The Rams wouldn’t be paying Suh top dollar. They have somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million remaining in cap space if you account for their draft pool, but they have to set aside space to potentially make Donald the game’s highest-paid defensive player. Suh might have to take a pay cut.

Case for Suh signing with Saints: If he’s looking for the most Super Bowl-ready contender, it’s probably a tie between the Saints and Rams — and Suh himself might serve as the tiebreaker. Both teams are in win-now mode after stocking up on veterans in free agency, and Suh would be flanked by one of the NFL’s best offenses in either city. The Saints have the more proven quarterback — Drew Brees — but the Rams might have a brighter long-term future with Jared Goff. If it comes down to scheme fit, the Saints could also have an advantage since they run the same 4-3 base system that Suh has played in throughout his NFL career with the Lions and Dolphins.

Case against Suh signing with Saints: It’s hard to imagine the Saints can offer the most money since they have less than $10 million in salary-cap space right now (though general manager Mickey Loomis & Co. always find a way to move the money around if they truly covet a player). It’s also unclear just how aggressive the Saints will be in trying to sign Suh, since their visit with him was portrayed as a feeling-out session for both sides rather than an all-out recruiting mission. Finally, if Suh is thinking long-term, he might wonder what will happen with the Saints whenever Brees, 39, is done playing. But they have done an excellent job of rebuilding lately, led by both of the NFL’s 2017 Rookies of the Year — running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

Case for Suh signing with Titans: Let’s hit the money first. Tennessee has $44 million in cap space left and can offer more than the Rams and Saints. Plus, Tennessee has no state tax, which could make a noticeable difference in take-home pay. Suh would also reunite with defensive line coach Terrell Williams, who coached him for the past three seasons in Miami; so if familiarity is important, he’s got it in Tennessee. Also, Suh could become the face of a Titans defense with a lot of talented pieces around him, including Jurrell Casey, Kevin Byard and Malcolm Butler. The Titans are a playoff team with the potential to be even more with Suh.

Case against Suh signing with the Titans: Tennessee certainly cannot offer the West Coast appeal, the same branding opportunities or Donald like the Rams can. Suh also wouldn’t have a seamless transition in the Titans’ scheme as he would in New Orleans where the Saints run a 4-3 defense. Finally, there will be a bit more of an adjustment period for the Titans as Mike Vrabel settles in to his first head-coaching job. On the other hand, the Rams and Saints have settled in and are contending for a championship in 2018.

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Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. out indefinitely after surgery

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INDIANAPOLIS — Colts rookie receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is sidelined indefinitely after having unexpected surgery Sunday night to deal with compartment leg syndrome in his calf, coach Frank Reich said Monday.

Pittman Jr., who was taken in the second round of this year’s draft, suffered what was initially called a lower leg injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. He returned to the game in the second half and finished with three catches for 26 yards.

“He had the injury, whatever happens when you get that, but the symptoms don’t crop up until later,” Reich said. “Later (Sunday) the symptoms started cropping up in a more severe nature and (Pittman Jr.) called the trainer, the trainer called the doctors, they met right away and determined you have to relieve the pressure.”

Compartment syndrome is caused when there’s increased pressure in at least one of the compartments of the lower leg. The pressure in the lower leg compresses against different areas, including nerves, arteries and veins.

The Colts are going to be overly cautious with Pittman Jr.’s return because Reich mentioned that Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni suffered an infection after surgery when he also dealt with compartment leg syndrome.

“(The infection) made it a whole lot worse,” Reich said.

Pittman Jr. is the latest Colts receiver to go down with an injury. The Colts announced Monday that second-year receiver Parris Campbell will have surgery on his left knee. The team isn’t ready to say his season is over, but like with Pittman Jr., there isn’t a timetable on his return. Campbell suffered his knee injury in the first half of the Colts’ Week 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Marcus Johnson and rookie Dezmon Patmon are two options to replace Pittman Jr. Johnson is on the practice squad and Patmon has been on the inactive list for the first three games of the season.

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Former Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas to visit Houston, will likely sign with Texans, source says

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The Houston Texans are bringing in safety Earl Thomas for a workout and his signing this week is more likely than not, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Baltimore Ravens abruptly parted ways with seven-time Pro Bowl selection in August after Thomas had an on-field altercation with teammate Chuck Clark.

The Ravens said they terminated Thomas’ contract for personal conduct that adversely affected the team. A source told Schefter that Thomas, 31, punched Clark during the practice.

On Monday, the Texans put safety A.J. Moore on injured reserve with a hamstring, although he is expected to return later this season. Moore is eligible to return from injured reserve after Week 6. If Thomas signs and plays significant snaps for Houston, he will replace Eric Murray, who signed a three-year, $20 million contract in March as a free agent. He played 91% of the defensive snaps in Sunday’s loss but struggled in coverage against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Through three games, Houston does not have an interception, one of three teams this season in that fold. Thomas’ 30 interceptions rank third since he entered the NFL in 2010.

The Texans also rank 29th in opponent QBR (75.6) and have allowed at least 28 points in all three games this season.

It all adds up to an 0-3 mark after losses to the Chiefs, Ravens and Steelers. The Texans sit three games back of the Titans in the AFC South.

While the Texans have held opposing quarterbacks to fewer than 220 net passing yards in every game this season, that is in part because of how well opponents are running the ball against them. After Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 138 yards in his debut in Week 1 and the Ravens ran for 230 yards the following week, the Steelers had 169 rushing yards on 38 carries on Sunday.

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Green Bay Packers LB Christian Kirksey out at least one game, source says

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Packers will be without Christian Kirksey for at least a game and possibly longer, sources told ESPN after the starting linebacker suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s win over the New Orleans Saints.

A source said the injury is not considered season ending, and although Kirksey is awaiting a second opinion, surgery likely will be avoided.

The best-case scenario is that Kirksey will miss next Monday night’s game against Atlanta and then return after the Packers’ Week 5 bye to play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 18.

However, injured reserve is a possibility, meaning Kirksey would be unavailable for at least three weeks.

The Packers signed the former Cleveland Browns starter to a two-year, $13 million contract in March to replace Blake Martinez, who signed with the New York Giants in free agency. Kirksey played every snap in the first two games and until he got hurt on the 17th defensive play against the Saints.

Kirksey missed all but the first two games last season because of a broken collarbone and played in just seven games in 2018 while missing time because of hamstring, ankle and shoulder injuries.

The injury means the Packers will be without their two preferred starters at inside linebacker. They lost rookie fifth-round pick Kamal Martin, a projected starter, to a knee injury in training camp. Martin was expected to miss at least the first six weeks of the season. Undrafted rookie Krys Barnes, out of UCLA, has filled in for Martin, but Kirksey’s shoes may be tougher to fill because he’s the defensive signal caller.

Second-year pro Ty Summers, who had not played a snap on defense before Sunday, took over for Kirksey against the Saints and played the final 44 snaps. He wore the speaker helmet, taking the playcalls from defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and relaying them in the huddle. The speedy Summers, a seventh-round pick in 2019 who had played only on special teams in his first season-plus, led the Packers with nine tackles. The team reported no communication issues with Summers in charge.

“Ty stepped up,” said Packers defensive tackle Kingsley Keke, who had two sacks against the Saints. “At practice, you can tell he’s dialed in, he’s locked in. I know he prepared well at practice, you know, it’s going to happen into the game. Kirksey went down and Ty stepped in and made some key plays for us. So it’s all about trusting each other and keep building.”

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