1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

What they’re saying about the Bucs signing Ndamukong Suh

Suh reportedly wanted to play under defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and return to the state-tax free state of Florida.
Former Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, played well for Los Angeles in the postseason. Now the Bucs hope he'll shine in the regular season. [AP Photo/Gregory Payan]
Published May 21
Updated May 21

TAMPA ― When Bucs coach Bruce Arians deflected a question about Gerald McCoy Tuesday by saying the team has already moved on, he wasn’t kidding.

In less time than it took to take McCoy’s nameplate off his locker, the Bucs were nearing a deal with his replacement, closing in on a one-year agreement with Ndamukong Suh, according to an ESPN report. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed.

The move essentially swaps McCoy, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 draft, for Suh, the second overall pick in the same draft. A free agent who made $14 million last season playing for a vaunted Rams defense that went to the Super Bowl, Suh’s deal is expected to be significantly less, allowing the Bucs to come out saving money after freeing themselves of McCoy’s $13 million.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who first reported the news, offered some reasons why Suh chose to sign with the Bucs.

Suh flourished last season with the Rams in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, so he should adjust well to Bowles’ 3-4 scheme as returning players make the transition from the 4-3 front.

And there’s no question that no state tax is an added perk of working in Florida, especially when you’ve already made nearly $139 million in your career.

Bowles nearly landed Suh last year when he was head coach of the Jets, but an offer was rescinded, and Suh signed with the Rams and went to the Super Bowl.

When it comes to production, Suh has recorded four straight seasons of 80-plus Pro Football Focus season grades after posting just one 80-plus season in his first five years in the league. Last season, he posted a 82.6 grade, which is the second-highest of his career, though he had to be helped by playing for a Rams defense that was one of the leagues best and playing beside Aaron Donald, who is arguably the NFL’s best defensive lineman. He won’t have those luxuries in Tampa Bay.

NFL Network’s Steve Wyche notes that Bowles has has success with interior linemen in his defensive systems, most recently Leonard Williams with the Jets. Williams saw success lining up on the inside and the outside, and Suh could do that too in the Bucs’ 3-4 front, offering the flexibility that it’s clear Arians and Bowles are looking for.

There should be some concern that while Suh was the Rams’ best defensive player in the postseason, he didn’t show the same consistency during the regular season, but that the Bucs “could be getting a good player at a good price that is a scheme fit.”

NFL Network reporter James Palmer broke down some comparison numbers between Suh and McCoy.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at Follow @EddieInTheYard.


  1. In this Sept. 15 file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) on the sidelines,during the first half against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots released Brown on Friday. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    New England had signed Brown this month hours after he was released by Oakland.
  2. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) breaks away for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) ADAM HUNGER  |  AP
    Coaching staff presents Bucs a Saquon highlight reel in an effort to prevent a sequel from the running back.
  3. Running back Peyton Barber has 31 carries this season, the 11th most over the first two weeks of the NFL season. Is that what's best for the Bucs offense? MONICA HERNDON  |  Times
    In this preview: Why the Giants would have been better off the past four seasons with Jameis Winston instead of Eli Manning. Plus, how the G-Men will attack the Bucs defense and why you should keep an...
  4. It's early, but Jameis Winston (3) and the Bucs defense has Tampa Bay in first place in the NFC South. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco) BRIAN BLANCO  |  AP
    Martin Fennelly: That 1-1 start feels a little ragged, but things are breaking right so far for the Bucs.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45) takes the field for warm ups before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2019 in Tampa, Florida.  MONICA HERNDON  |  Times
    Rookie inside linebacker didn’t practice all week.
  6. Bucs running back Peyton Barber will be key in helping Tampa Bay elevate its struggling defense. MIKE MCCARN  |  AP
    New York enters with quarterback Daniel Jones starting his first NFL game
  7. Tim Tebow. [Associated Press)] Associated Press
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tom Jones and Rick Stroud debate Tebow, Dickie V, the first-place Bucs and the Rays playoff chase
  8. Paul Spicer, left, is now a defensive line coach at the University of South Florida. Skyler Fulton, right, is now a wide receivers coach at Portland State University. University of South Florida | Portland State University
    Former Bucs assistants Paul Spicer and Skyler Fulton faced accusations of violence against women before coaching in Tampa Bay under Dirk Koetter, according to a USA Today investigation.
  9. Kevin Minter played linebacker for Todd Bowles in Arizona, was released by Bowles last year when Bowles coached the Jets and is starting Sunday for the Bucs' defensive coordinator when Tampa Bay plays host to the New York Giants. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    When rookie linebacker Devin White went down, the Bucs turned to a player who keeps showing up in Todd Bowles’ defenses.
  10. Cameron Brate (84) tries to get some extra yards during the Bucs' 38-35 loss to the Giants on Nov. 18, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. JULIO CORTEZ  |  AP
    Tampa Bay Times staff picks: What the Bucs have in common this week with the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys.