Ten years after he became the second pick in the draft, Ndamukong Suh officially is back for a second season with the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay announced the deal on Thursday.
Reportedly worth $8 million for one year, Suh gets $1.25 million less than he did in 2019, his first year in Tampa.
The move helps keep together a potent defensive front that includes Suh, Vita Vea, Shaquil Barrett, and Jason Pierre-Paul. Still, it’s fair to wonder whether Suh is anything close to the guy he used to be, while with the Lions and then the Dolphins.
With the Rams in 2018, Suh didn’t do much during the regular season. (They traded for Dante Fowler due to their disappointment with Suh’s pass-rush skills.) But he found a higher gear while chasing a championship. Which suggests that, if/when his buttons are properly pushed, he may still be capable of being one of the most dominant defensive forces in the league.
Which brings back into focus the value of having Tom Brady on the team. Intensely competitive during every game and every practice, Brady’s mere presence may coax out of Suh whatever remaining greatness he’s capable of achieving.
That mindset potentially applies across the board. Brady’s influence could push Suh and the rest of the holdover Buccaneers to find a level of performance they’ve never before realized, collectively or individually. And that’s another reason why the Bucs got a steal when then managed to land Brady for only $25 million per year.