For the third year in a row, Ndamukong Suh has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This time he's returning to defend a Super Bowl title.
Suh, a five time Pro Bowler, re-signed with Tampa Bay on Monday, essentially completing an impressive effort to keep the core of a championship team intact. Suh originally joined the Buccaneers on a one-year deal in May of 2019 after helping the Los Angeles Rams advance to Super Bowl LIII the previous season. He then chose to return in 2020 on another one-year pact, shortly after the team brought quarterback Tom Brady into the fold.
Suh first joined the team on a one-year deal in 2019, and his re-signing in 2020 was part of a successful attempt to retain the key components of a defense on the rise. That proved to be critical to the second championship run in franchise history, as Tampa Bay led the league in rush defense and tied for fourth with 48 sacks. Suh was a big part of both efforts, dominating in the middle against the run and adding 6.0 sacks and 19 quarterback hits, the latter just one off Will Gholston's team lead.
Now the Buccaneers have once again managed to 'keep the band together' for another run at the Super Bowl, and retaining Suh is a big part of that, as his contributions would have been difficult to replace. Suh has racked up 79 quarterback pressures over his first two seasons in Tampa, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, which ranks fifth among the league's interior defensive linemen. The Buccaneers have also ranked first against the run in both of those campaigns. In addition, Suh handles a very large workload, playing approximately 75% of the Bucs' defensive snaps since joining the team. He and fourth-year man Vita Vea form one of the most imposing defensive fronts in the league.
In addition to Suh, the Buccaneers have also re-signed wide receiver Chris Godwin, inside linebacker Lavonte David, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Leonard Fournette, kicker Ryan Succop, defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches, inside linebacker Kevin Minter, guard Aaron Stinnie and tackle Josh Wells.
Suh originally entered the league with the Detroit Lions as the second-overall pick in the 2010 draft. He played five seasons for the Lions, earning four Pro Bowl berths and three first-team Associated Press All-Pro selections. He then spent three seasons with the Miami Dolphins, going to the Pro Bowl again in 2016, before joining the Rams in 2018. Overall, he has recorded 563 tackles and 64.5 sacks and 199 quarterback hits. He also has five forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, 123 tackles for loss, one interception and 38 passes defensed. He has returned three fumbles for touchdowns, including two for the Buccaneers in 2019.
Suh has also been extremely durable during his career, never missing a game due to injury and playing in 184 of a possible 186 games over 11 seasons, including the playoffs. He has also started each of those 184 games. Suh was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2010s.
View photos of the 22 Super Bowl starters who will be returning for the 2021-2022 season.