Like Shaquil Barrett, Ndamukong Suh signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. And like Barrett, Suh proved to be a perfect fit in Tampa, one that both sides wanted to keep in place. Mission accomplished.
On Thursday, the Buccaneers announced that they had re-signed Suh, the powerful defensive linemen who helped the team lead the NFL in rush defense last season. That agreement is part of an ongoing effort to keep as much of the 2019 defense intact as possible after that crew developed into one of the league's best over the second half of the season. It also came just six days after the Buccaneers officially announced the landmark signing of quarterback Tom Brady, making it a very good week for both the offense and the defense.
At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Head Coach Bruce Arians expressed a belief that the Buccaneers would be able to retain the difference-making front-seven trio of Barrett, Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul, all of whom were ticketed for unrestricted free agency this week. Apparently, he had reason to be confident. Prior to re-signing Suh, the Buccaneers also used their franchise tag on Barrett – all but assuring he would be in a Tampa Bay uniform this fall – and struck a new multi-year deal with Pierre-Paul.
View photos from DL Ndamukong Suh's time with the Bucs so far!
Suh was a force in the middle of the Bucs' defensive front in his first year with the team. He collected 41 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits while drawing frequent double-team blocks. The attention opposing lines paid to him in the trenches helped create pass-rush opportunities for Barrett and Pierre-Paul, who combined for 28 of the team's 47 sacks. Suh also teamed with rising star Vita Vea to make the Bucs' defense nearly impenetrable up the middle. The Buccaneers set a franchise record by allowing only 73.8 rushing yards per game, along with 3.3 yards per carry.
Suh also frequently proved to be in the right place at the right time. He tied rookie linebacker Devin White for the team lead with four fumble recoveries and, like White, returned two of those for touchdowns. Suh's 37-yard fumble return to the house against the Los Angeles Rams secured a 55-40 road win for the Buccaneers in Week Four.
Suh came to the Buccaneers after nine strong seasons with Detroit, Miami and the Rams. The second-overall pick in the 2010 draft, Suh spent five years with the Lions, earning four Pro Bowl berths and three Associated Press first-team All-Pro honors. He recorded 36.5 sacks in those five seasons in Detroit before leaving for Miami in free agency in 2015.
Suh earned another Pro Bowl invitation and recorded 15.5 more sacks during three seasons with the Dolphins. In 2018, he signed a one-year deal with Los Angeles and helped the Rams advance to the Super Bowl. In all, Suh has played in and started 158 games and amassed 519 tackles, 58.5 sacks and 180 quarterback hits. He has never missed a game or a start due to injury.