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Bucs reach new deals with Donovan Smith, Ndamukong Suh

Suh’s return would mean the entire starting defense from Super Bowl 55 remains intact.
Bucs defensive end Ndamukong Suh, who turned 34 in January and whose wife is expecting twins, reportedly will remain in Tampa Bay for another season.
Bucs defensive end Ndamukong Suh, who turned 34 in January and whose wife is expecting twins, reportedly will remain in Tampa Bay for another season. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published March 24, 2021|Updated March 24, 2021

The Bucs’ ongoing efforts to keep their 2020 Super Bowl roster together came a couple steps closer to fruition Wednesday morning.

The team has reached an agreement with veteran left tackle Donovan Smith on a two-year, $31 million contract extension through 2023 that includes $30 million in guaranteed money. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the extension.

Additionally, the club is finalizing a one-year, $9 million deal with 34-year-old free agent defensive end Ndamukong Suh, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Suh’s return would mean the entire Bucs starting defense from Super Bowl 55 remains under contract for 2021. Coordinator Todd Bowles, a prominent head coaching candidate during the recent offseason carousel, also is expected back.

Smith has one year and $14.25 million remaining on his three-year, $41.25 million contract. That base salary will be converted mostly to a signing bonus, freeing up considerable salary cap space by lowering Smith’s 2021 cap number to $3.6 million.

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Though maligned at various points in his six seasons in Tampa Bay, Smith started 19 of the Bucs’ 20 games last season, missing only one game while on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He played every postseason offensive snap and nearly 90 percent of the regular season snaps, allowing six sacks (according to Pro Football Focus) while being whistled for only six holding calls in the regular season.

Suh, whose wife is expecting twins, had a resurgent year of sorts last season, totaling 44 tackles, six sacks, 19 quarterback hits and two pass deflections in the regular season. He had 1.5 sacks of Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl 55.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.