Ndamukong Suh Rumors: Buccaneers in 'Talks' with Star DL About Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Ndamukong Suh (93) walks to the locker room prior to an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Kevin Sabitus)
Kevin Sabitus/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to re-sign Ndamukong Suh and have engaged in "talks" with the five-time Pro Bowler, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini

Suh finished with 44 tackles, six sacks and one forced fumble for the Bucs in 2020.

Tampa Bay is looking to run it back in 2021 with the bulk of the roster responsible for a victory in Super Bowl LV. The team has already lined up deals to retain Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowsksi.

Suh is clearly no longer the player who made three All-Pro teams with the Detroit Lions, but he remains a steady presence along the defensive line. The 34-year-old was excellent in that Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, registering 1.5 sacks and one tackle for loss as the Buccaneers put consistent pressure on Patrick Mahomes.

Durability is a mark in Suh's favor as well. He hasn't missed a game since 2011, and Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site wrote how important the defensive tackle was for the team.

"Counting the playoffs, he was on the field for 992 of the team's 1,346 defensive plays, or 74 percent," Smith said. "No other Buccaneer down lineman played more than 55 percent of the available snaps in 2020."

Tom Brady signed a contract extension with the team earlier this month that provided some much-needed salary-cap flexibility. The move also signaled Brady and the Bucs' desire to keep contending for championships.

With the franchise's focus on a Super Bowl repeat, keeping Suh around is the obvious play.