Ndamukong Suh was, at one point, one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. As a regression has occurred, it looks like the Bucs need to move on.
Ndamukong Suh has been a force of nature for the majority of his career. Suh was a menace towards running backs and quarterbacks alike for many years in the NFL.
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, it appears that Suh’s best years are now in the past. Suh had a very mediocre season for the Bucs in 2019 and will not be worth his hefty price tag in 2020.
Regardless of what anyone may think, the Bucs will certainly be toeing the line with their cap space in 2020. Nearly 90 million dollars will dry up remarkably fast and the Buccaneers will have to take level of play into account when bringing players back.
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Vea is assuredly a part of the future and will get paid by Tampa when the time is right, but Suh underperforming when compared to Gholston is unacceptable, especially when Gholston is far cheaper than Suh.
Yes, Bruce Arians has made it clear that he wants to keep the front seven of the defense together, but it makes absolutely no sense to keep Suh on with his current rate of pay when compared to his level of production.
The Buccaneers also have to be well aware of the deep defensive talent available in the draft to replace Suh. Many of the teams in the top 10 will be focusing on quarterbacks and could allow for a gem like Javon Kinlaw to slip to pick number 14.
Kinlaw would be an immediate replacement and could have a much brighter future ahead when compared to Suh.
The narrative that “Suh was the spark that made the defense great against the run” gets a decent amount of traction amongst fans, but is inherently false. In reality, Vea and Gholston were the driving forces behind the success versus the run while Suh is actually replaceable.
The biggest place that Suh was able to shine in 2019 was in the defensive touchdown category. Suh had four fumble recoveries for two touchdowns in 2019, which is impressive, but is often better attributed to luck rather than skill in these instances.
Ndamukong Suh may be a “big name”, but the Buccaneers simply have no need for him. Suh can be replaced for far cheaper and it will not be difficult to match his level of production, even for a first year player.