According to ESPN.com, Tampa Bay has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Ndamukong Suh, who was arguably the biggest name left in the NFL free agency pool. Suh was in Boston over the weekend, which had Patriots fans hoping that he was going to sign with New England, but it appears that he has now made his decision and will be heading to Tampa after one year with the Rams.
Despite the report that Suh to Tampa is a done deal, Bucs coach Bruce Arians wasn’t ready to confirm anything just yet on Tuesday, but based on his description of Suh, we can probably safely assume this is going to happen.
For the Bucs, this signing makes a lot of sense, and that’s because they absolutely had to make some kind of move after releasing McCoy, which left a gaping hole on their defensive line. The team was basically forced to release the six-time Pro Bowler for salary cap reasons. McCoy was scheduled to count $13 million against the salary cap in 2019.
As for Suh, although he appeared to mail it in at times during his time with the Rams last year, he was still pretty dominant, especially in the playoffs. During the NFC title game, Suh proved that he can still play at a high level, as a matter of fact, Suh had as many sacks in that game against the Saints (1.5) as he did in the Rams’ final 11 regular-season games combined.
Suh also seems to be somehow getting better as he gets older. At age 32, Suh had the second most productive season of his career last year while playing with the Rams, according to Pro Football Focus. The veteran defensive tackle has also impressively graded out with a score of 80 or higher by PFF in each of the past four seasons.
Although Tampa might seem like an odd choice for Suh, it turns out there are multiple reasons why the defensive tackle wanted to play there. According to ESPN.com, Suh wanted the chance to play for new Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. The money-savvy Suh also liked that Florida has no state tax.
Suh must really like the tax break, because this will be the second time he’s signed with a team in Florida. From 2015 to 2017, Suh played for the Dolphins. Before that, he spent the first five years of his career in Detroit after the Lions made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Coincidentally, when he gets to Tampa, Suh will be replacing the guy (McCoy) who was the No. 3 overall pick in the same draft.