The Buccaneers may like what Ndamukong Suh brings to the table as a lineman and as a leader, but there is no reason to jump the gun with his contract.
Separating emotion from the business side of our brains is often a difficult prospect. We may love a player or coach based on what they mean to the team and its history, but that is different from acknowledging value and where individuals fall on the scale created by a salary cap. That might be what is happening to the Buccaneers with Ndamukong Suh.
Suh arrived right as the Bucs began their transition from one of the worst defensive units in the NFL to one of the best.
This period was far from easy in Tampa. Losses came left and right. A porous defense led to losses that shouldn’t have ever occurred. Yet all of the pieces slowly started to come together, and fans saw the arrival of Suh as a major part of that turnaround.
In truth, Suh’s leadership filled a void that was largely lacking outside of Lavonte David, but that isn’t enough of a reason to pay the aging, expensive Suh today.
Even at this stage of his career, Suh’s market is likely well above what the Bucs should pay for an interior defensive lineman, especially when it looks all the more likely that Tampa targets the position in the draft.
Assuming Tampa does spend one of their priority picks on a tackle on Day One or Day Two, almost any of those players should have the physical tools to step onto the line alongside Vita Vea and William Gholston to keep that unit performing at a high level.
However, none of this is to say that the Buccaneers won’t bring Suh back. They may be able to agree to terms over the next week and find something that works for everyone. There just isn’t any reason to jump ahead to a full-value contract just yet with all of the options coming up.
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