It appears the lure of playing alongside Tom Brady was enough to convince defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The veteran defender is reportedly coming back for at least one more year, and it seems he might have taken a bit of a hometown discount to the Bucs in order to make that return.
ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported early Wednesday evening that sources told him the deal was all but done. Suh is returning for one season and $8 million. The site points out that the defensive tackle had what had to be considered a down year for him, but he still had plenty of impact on the defensive front.
He finished the 2019 campaign with a near career-low 41 tackles and an actual career-low 2.5 sacks. People in and around Tampa argue that one of the reasons his statistical impact was so low is because he was being constantly double-teamed. The Tampa defense switched to a 3-4 defense in Todd Bowle’s first season in town.
He was brought in by new head coach Bruce Arians, who is now busy building an offense to go along with a defense that struggled to overcome Jameis Winston’s league-leading interception total.
Some analysts have said Suh was eager to spend another season with Bowles, despite being a focal point of offensive blocking schemes. Last season, he was third in the NFL in snaps where he was double-teamed with 261.
While his unit did struggle at times, it was tops in the league against rushing offenses and was tied for seventh in sacks with 47.
Arians was clearly happy with the notion of bringing Suh back. He talked to the media on Wednesday about the move and what he has planned for the upcoming season.
“I wanted the entire defense, if we could, to stay together. They played so well together. Each piece of the puzzle knew each other. Suh was a big, big part of it. Not as much in the sack game as much as his interior pressure and the great job he did last year against the run.”
While Tampa clearly wanted Suh back, getting it done wasn’t always a certainty. There were several other teams that were also hoping to lure the former Nebraska football star. For a short period of time, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys might be the winners of that particular sweepstakes. They eventually turned to another tackle in Dontari Poe on what is thought to be a cheaper deal.