A running joke in NFL circles is that, in the eyes of coaches, though the offseason conditioning program is voluntary, "so is making the team."
There's no questioning Ndamukong Suh's place on the roster. The Dolphins' $114 million man could probably not show up until Labor Day and still start Week 1.
But Suh, who has a history of skipping these weight-lifting sessions during his time in Detroit, made a strong first statement Monday that he takes seriously the Dolphins' massive investment in him.
Suh was among the dozens of players to report for the first formal lift of the year, a source tells the Miami Herald. The Dolphins' other top two offseason acquisitions — tight end Jordan Cameron and wide receiver Kenny Stills — were also in the building Monday.
Other Dolphins starters to arrive in Davie, Florida, early Monday were Ryan Tannehill, Mike Pouncey, Branden Albert, Cam Wake, Olivier Vernon, Reshad Jones and Brent Grimes.
During the first two weeks of the nine-week program, the league limits teams to strength and conditioning activities and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase 2, which begins May 4, allows for individual on-field player instruction and drills as well as a light team practice with no live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills.
The final four weeks of the program includes 10 days of organized team practice activity, or "OTAs". Again, no live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.