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.
The official start to free agency is now just a few weeks off, and NFL teams are beginning to gear up for their annual spending spree.
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.
Ndamukong Suh has worn the same jersey number since he left the Detroit Lions to sign with the Miami Dolphins back in 2015, and he is not planning to find a new one out of respect for the man he is replacing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes, Suh has decided to wear No. 93 with the Bucs, which is the same number Gerald McCoy wore there for nine seasons.
Suh wore No. 90 for the first five seasons of his career in Detroit, and there will be some people who say he should have gone back to that rather than slipping right into McCoy’s jersey. McCoy was a fan favorite during his time in Tampa and is one of the best defensive players in Bucs history, but Suh obviously doesn’t think much of the nostalgia. Given the reputation of the guy we are talking about, that shouldn’t come as a huge shock.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a surprising decision to release star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on Monday, but it now looks like they had his replacement in mind all along.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Bucs have agreed to a one-year deal with Ndamukong Suh.
McCoy was set to make $13 million in 2019, which was an amount the Bucs were not comfortable paying. Suh made $14 million in his lone season with the Los Angeles Rams last year.
Suh is actually a year older than McCoy at age 32, and McCoy has more sacks in each of the past four seasons. McCoy was signed with Tampa through 2021 prior to being released, so the move was probably more financially motivated than anything. The immediate signing of Suh is further evidence of that.
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.
After the initial rush of NFL free agency, it turns out there are still plenty of good players available. Sure, they all have flaws, be it age, a part of their game that’s not quite as prominent as teams would like it to be, or an extensive injury history that has teams questioning whether they can stay on the field. But all of these players have had success at the NFL level and can be key contributors in the right situation if they stay healthy and find the right fit.
Here are ten NFL free agents who rank as the best still available.
10) Darqueze Dennard, CB
A slot corner turned starter for Cincinnati last season, Dennard grew into his role in the Bengals’ secondary during his time with the team. Ultimately, his financial demands forced the pair to go their separate ways this offseason. The slot corner market has been robust, and Dennard figures to play heavily into it. There are injury concerns here — Dennard has just one 16-game season to his name in his NFL career thus far — but if he can stay healthy, he’ll be a worthwhile investment for someone.
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.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman hauled in 10 receptions for 141 yards on 12 targets in a 13-3 Super Bowl LII victory over the Los Angeles Rams, ultimately earning the game’s MVP honors.
It was a well-deserved award as Edelman was the cream of the offensive crop on Sunday evening, out-gaining all other players from each team and coming up big on several third downs. However, in the mind of Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Edelman was a non-factor.
“He’s an elite player, plays hard, found some holes in our defense in the first half and pretty much the third quarter,” Suh said via WEEI. “In my opinion, just thinking back, we eliminated him, even though he got yardages. We just have to not allow points to get on the board and give our offense more opportunities to score.”
The Rams did hold the Patriots to just 13 points and held Edelman out of the end zone, but double-digit receptions and nearly 150 yards is hardly “eliminating” anyone. And on the drives in which the Patriots did score, Edleman hauled in three receptions for 44 yards, so he most certainly factored in.
Needless to say, if that was being “eliminated,” Edelman will take that 100 times out of 100.
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.
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.
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.
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.