Ndamukong Suh is staying in Tampa.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the veteran defensive tackle is staying with the Buccaneers on a one-year deal worth $8 million.
Suh may not be the force that he once was, but he remains a quality NFL defensive lineman. His 2.5 sacks last season were a career low, though he did score two defensive touchdowns.
There is obviously a lot of excitement about what may happen on the offensive side of the ball in Tampa next season. However, the defense was improving as the season went on, and it will be imperative to keep that momentum going into 2020. Retaining Suh should certainly help with that as the Bucs look to be playoff contenders with Tom Brady under center.
However, for every top-end free agent capable of changing the trajectory of a team, there is a landmine sitting around the corner that could derail an organization financially. So with that in mind, here are five free agents — some of them controversial — who teams should avoid.
5. Tyler Eifert, tight end
Tyler Eifert was finally healthy in 2019 and played all 16 games, so a team should be willing to take a high-priced flyer on him now, right? Wrong. While Eifert deserves a pat on the back for appearing in all 16 games for the first time in his career, teams looking for a tight end cannot ignore the fact that he had played in just 14 games over the previous three seasons (2016-2018) and just 43 games over his first six seasons, with 15 of those coming as a rookie. Not only that, but despite being completely healthy for the first time in his career, Eifert didn’t produce. His 10.1 yards per reception was the lowest of his professional career, while his catch rate dropped to 68.3 percent. Once a potential star, Eifert has been reduced to a quality depth tight end and should be paid accordingly.
As expected, the Los Angeles Rams have essentially confirmed that Ndamukong Suh’s stay with the franchise will be a short one.
Rams general manager Les Snead admitted Tuesday that Suh’s financial demands were going to be higher than what the team would be willing to offer, and Suh is not expected to return next season.
“Based on the fact that from our budgetary constraints this year, it probably doesn’t fit in his desires,” Snead said, via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry.
Snead added that retaining Suh was “pretty much guaranteed to be off the table.”
It was reported earlier in March that the Rams were disappointed with Suh’s contributions and weren’t going to come close to matching his contractual demands, and adding Dante Fowler for $14 million was a clear sign that the report had some truth to it. Suh looks headed for his third organization in as many years.
Ndamukong Suh’s stay with the Rams may be brief.
The Rams are expected to part ways with Suh, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport said Monday that the Rams were disappointed with Suh’s performance during the regular season, which is playing a big factor in their plans.
Suh had 59 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries while not missing a game for the NFC champs. He is still a good defensive lineman, but the issue is the pay he will likely command. The 32-year-old made $14 million last season and will probably be seeking a similar amount in 2019.
According to Rapoport, Suh has interest in remaining on the West Coast, potentially with the Seahawks, 49ers or Chargers. Suh and Seattle had mutual interest last year before the lineman ended up with the Rams.
Los Angeles seemed to make a choice about their linemen when they committed $14 million to Dante Fowler.
Ndamukong Suh better not try any dirty tricks on Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, because New England Patriots will be watching … and are threatening retribution.
Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, attended Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday in Atlanta. He is a huge Boston sports homer and humorist, and his exchange with the Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman is one you have to see.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) January 29, 2019
You can tell that Suh seemed to enjoy the questions. But if I’m the Patriots, I don’t like that. You’re just giving Suh ideas and more motivation to potentially end Brady in the big game. This is actually tame for Portnoy, who once got arrested on behalf of his team.
Ndamukong Suh has been guilty of committing numerous dirty plays throughout his NFL career, but future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald insists what Suh did to him on Sunday was not another example of that.
A video clip that has been circulating from the Los Angeles Rams’ win over the Arizona Cardinals shows Suh putting his hand in Fitzgerald’s facemask and appearing to poke him in the eye. Football fans were outraged that Suh would do something like that to one of the most respected players in NFL history.
Did Ndamukong Suh seriously try to poke Larry Fitzgerald's eye on Sunday? That's messed up.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 25, 2018
If Suh really was trying to gouge out Fitzgerald’s eye, it was somewhat bizarre that the star receiver did not have a more angry reaction. On Wednesday, Fitzgerald explained that he is close friends with Suh and the two were just horsing around.
Wanted to address the video circulating from Sunday: I’ve known @NdamukongSuh since his college days and he’s a close friend of mine. Quality as a person matches his quality as a player.
That video is just a friend clowning with another friend. No negative intent! It's all love
— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) December 26, 2018
Fitzgerald has no reason to lie, so that should save the NFL’s disciplinary department some trouble. While Suh has deserved to be punished for some of the cheap shots he has thrown in the past, the latest incident was obviously taken out of context.
Ndamukong Suh is apparently still harboring some hard feelings towards the Detroit Lions despite his tenure with the team long having passed.
The Los Angeles Rams travel to Detroit for this weekend’s game against the Lions. That means Suh will face off against the team with whom he started his career. Ahead of the matchup against his former team, Suh chose to bite his tongue when he was asked to comment about the Lions. Suh was complimentary of the city and its citizens. However, it’s obvious he was in no mood to speak about the Lions’ organization in good terms.
Ndamukong Suh, asked if he had any feelings about the Detroit Lions: “I’ll refrain from my comments about the organization. The city is an amazing city. Great people there. … But I’ll refrain from (comments about) the organization.”
— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) November 29, 2018
Suh spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Lions after being drafted No. 2 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. During that time, he established himself as a dominant defensive force. Since then he has played for the Miami Dolphins and Rams.
The reason for Suh’s hard feelings towards the Lions are unclear, but he was part of numerous controversies while playing for the team. Of course, he’s not the first star player to have issues with the Lions.
It will be interesting to see what kind of reception Suh receives on Sunday.