Dolphins owner Ross hopes to become mentor for Suh

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Phoenix — Since starting a relationship with Warren Buffett a few years ago, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been an apprentice of sorts to the billionaire.

Suh has other business ventures outside of football and has said his career goals are not only football related. He has attended the shareholders meetings for Berkshire Hathaway as Buffett's guest multiple times.

Now that he's with the Dolphins, Miami owner Stephen Ross hopes to become a mentor to the supremely talented player, too.

"When the word got out that he was coming to Miami, Warren Buffett called to congratulate me and tell me what a good kid he was," Ross said Monday at the NFL annual meetings at the Arizona Biltmore resort. "I think he's mentoring him, and I love mentoring young guys. That's how I built my company and a guy of the character he has and the opportunities that he'll have, it's kind of fun to work with a guy like that."

Ross, 74, is the chairman of Related Companies, an international real-estate development firm. According to Forbes, his net worth is about $6.6 billion.

The Dolphins signed Suh this month to a six-year deal worth up to $114 million with $60 million guaranteed, the largest contract for a defensive player in NFL history.

The Lions offered Suh a six-year deal worth up to $102 million with $58 million guaranteed, but he chose to leave the team that drafted him second overall in 2010. Suh has been a first-team All-Pro in three of his five NFL seasons.

Ross, who went to Michigan for undergrad and Wayne State for law school, indicated signing Suh was a top priority for the Dolphins this offseason.

"Just as important as it was for Detroit to try to keep him," Ross said. "He's a hell of a ballplayer. The nicest thing about him that I'm finding out and many people have told me, as great a ballplayer as he is, he's a better person. And just in my first meetings with him and getting to know him, he certainly comes across as a very impressive guy."