Ndamukong Suh

Agent Notes: Suh, Thomas, Harris

Here are some updates on a number of players’ representation, all reported by Liz Mullen.

  • Ndamukong Suh chose not to sign with an agent prior to his most recent free-agency and instead represented himself when he agreed to a one-year, $8MM deal to stay with the Buccaneers (Twitter link).
  • Draft prospect Jeff Thomas, a wide receiver out of Miami, has decided to change his representation as we approach the home stretch to the draft. Instead of going forward with First Round Management LLC, he will be represented by Drew Rosenhaus and Robert Bailey at Rosenhaus Sports (Twitter link).
  • Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris re-signed with the team on a one-year deal worth up to $3.25MM. However, that did not come before a recent game of musical chairs representing Harris. Ryan Williams of A1 NFL negotiated his re-up in Denver, but he had switched from the National Sports Agency to Rosenhaus Sports in January (Twitter link).

Ravens Concerned About Michael Brockers’ Medicals

The Ravens made a couple of major additions to their defensive front this month, trading for Calais Campbell and agreeing to a three-year contract with free agent Michael Brockers. But according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Baltimore has some concerns about Brockers’ medicals.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams cannot have free agents examined by their own doctors. Instead, physicals must be conducted by independent doctors in the player’s geographic area. As Zrebiec tweets, the independent evaluation turned up potential issues with Brockers’ ankle, which he injured late last season.

Baltimore is still expected to sign Brockers, but the club is considering its options (one of which, presumably, is backing out of the deal altogether). Zrebiec says the team — which has formally announced all of its other acquisitions — was also interested in Ndamukong Suh, but Suh re-signed with the Buccaneers earlier today (Twitter links).

Brockers is not the type of elite pass rusher the Ravens may have been hoping for when free agency opened, but he is capable of getting to the QB, and his versatility and run-stopping ability would serve as an excellent complement to Campbell and Brandon Williams. His presence would also help to free things up for edge rushers Matt Judon and Jaylon Ferguson, so Baltimore clearly wants to get him in the fold.

The free agent market has been mostly picked over at this point, and the Ravens recently traded Chris Wormley and saw Michael Pierce sign with the Vikings, so if the Brockers deal falls through, Baltimore may turn its attention to the draft for DL reinforcements.

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Buccaneers To Re-Sign Ndamukong Suh

The Buccaneers will bring Ndamukong Suh back for another season, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The defensive lineman is set to collect $8MM in 2020 on a deal that will allow him to stick with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Suh can collect another $2MM via incentives based on playing time, Tampa Bay’s team defensive performance, and a playoff berth, reports Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Brady Fallout: Bucs, Belichick, Colts, Hoyer]

Suh came to Tampa last year on a $9.25MM agreement – this is a bit of a hair cut for Suh, though he’s made tons of money throughout his career. The former First-Team All-Pro has started in every game he’s ever played – including all 16 last year – and he’s set to play a featured role on the Bucs’ D-Line once again.

Suh is past his prime, but he still garnered outside interest from clubs, including the Cowboys. Earlier today, Dallas picked up Dontari Poe, a deal that may have led him back into the waiting arms of the Bucs.

With Tom Brady on the other side of the ball, Suh might just have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl ring this year. The Bucs’ D closed out ’19 strong, so there’s reason to believe that they can be among the league’s better defenses.

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Cowboys, Dontari Poe Discussing Deal

Dontari Poe may have a landing spot soon. The veteran defensive tackle is in discussions with the Cowboys on a deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, adding that a contract could be finalized by the end of the day.

In their hunt for defensive tackle help, the Cowboys are also examining the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Damon Harrison and Mike Pennel, NFL.com’s Jane Slater adds (on Twitter). The Cowboys lost Maliek Collins in free agency last week but already made a deal to sign Gerald McCoy. A Poe addition would make this a high-profile interior line and make for an interesting reunion for players who spent last season on Carolina’s defensive front.

The Panthers did not pick up Poe’s 2020 option, sending him to free agency. This Cowboys are the first team to surface as interested in the former first-round pick. A Pro Bowler with the Chiefs back in the 2013-14 seasons, Poe played the past two seasons with the Panthers.

The mammoth nose tackle registered four sacks last season — his most since 2014 — but only played in 11 games. He is recovering from quadriceps surgery. Before 2019, however, Poe had never missed more than one game in a season. He’s been one of the league’s most durable defenders since coming into the league.

It appears the Cowboys are serious about upgrading inside. The McCoy deal and the Poe talks come a year after Dallas drafted Trysten Hill in the second round. Poe played five seasons with the Chiefs before catching on with the Falcons in 2017, and his Atlanta season resulted in a three-year Carolina deal worth nearly $30MM. It will not cost the Cowboys that much to bring in Poe.

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Bruce Arians Talks Buccaneers’ Offseason Priorities

While impending free agent quarterback Jameis Winston may be stealing headlines, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is more focused on retaining his team’s top defenders.

“Oh, yeah. To me, it’s the whole defense,” Arians told ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “You can’t get ’em all, but … those young guys grew. We can’t let that go. I don’t care who’s my quarterback. We’ve gotta have a defense.”

Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett is the most notable defender hitting free agency, and he should be in line for a lucrative payday after compiling an NFL-high 19.5 sacks last season. Many of Barrett’s defensive teammates are also set to hit the open market, including players Jason Pierre-PaulCarl NassibNdamukong SuhBeau Allen and Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

On the offensive side of the ball, it doesn’t sound like Arians is all that concerned about who’s under center. The head coach did admit that it’s tough to have any clarity on the quarterbacks position considering the uncertainty of free agency.

“You don’t know who’s available,” Arians said. “You just sit there and wait to see, is there someone available. If not, is this a better option. That’s the problem. You get about two days to decide in the legal tampering period.”

One of the team’s options will naturally be Winston, who spent the first five seasons of his career in Tampa Bay. Winston set career-highs in passing yards (5,109) and touchdowns (33) in 2019, but he also set a career-high (and led the NFL) with 30 interceptions.

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NFC South Notes: JPP, Panthers, Falcons

Bruce Arians has understandably asserted Shaquil Barrett‘s all-time contract year will keep him with the Buccaneers but added the team wants to keep its other high-profile front-seven starters as well. Both Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh‘s contracts are up, but Arians said keeping both will be a top priority (Twitter link via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com). The veteran HC may have indicated JPP resides slightly higher on the priority list as well, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter). Pierre-Paul returned from another scary injury this season and has registered 8.5 sacks in 10 games, giving him 21 in two Bucs seasons. The Bucs hold a great deal of cap space, at $88.9MM, but will likely need to devote a chunk of that amount to Jameis Winston.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • If Greg Olsen opts to put off his broadcasting career for another year, he will likely need to relocate. The veteran tight end indicated recently he did not want to take part in a potential Panthers rebuild. While the franchise has not committed to charting that path, Joe Person of The Athletic expects Olsen to be elsewhere in 2020. “I just think sometimes the writing’s on the wall,” Olsen said, via Joe Person of The Athletic (subscription required). “There hasn’t been anything officially. But I wanted to make sure if that was my last time that I made sure I told the people that I needed to how much they meant on my career.” One year (at a $6.6MM base salary) remains on the 34-year-old tight end’s contract. Carolina would save $8.1MM by cutting Olsen, its top tight end for the past nine years.
  • Moving to a younger NFC South tight end, Austin Hooper acknowledged the Falcons have not yet made him an offer to stay, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Hooper, however, would like to return, and Thomas Dimitroff appeared to indicate the breakout tight end will be a priority (Twitter link via Ledbetter). We heard this earlier this season as well.
  • A Hooper return may lead De’Vondre Campbell elsewhere. The Falcons already gave a top-market contract to Deion Jones and are up against the salary cap. While noting he wants to stay in Atlanta, the Falcons’ top 2019 tackler acknowledged (via ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure) he may need to change teams. Although the Falcons will consider re-signing Campbell and Vic Beasley, Dimitroff did not commit to either’s return (via McClure, on Twitter).
  • Despite Breshad Perriman‘s end-of-season stretch potentially raising his free agency price, the Buccaneers‘ No. 3 wideout would like to stay in this high-octane offense. Perriman signed a one-year, $4MM deal with Tampa Bay, doing so after backing out of a Cleveland commitment following the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. The Bucs have Mike Evans on a high-end deal and will see Chris Godwin enter a contract year in 2020, perhaps pushing Perriman to another team.
  • A player the Panthers do not want on another team: James Bradberry. Carolina’s top cornerback met with GM Marty Hurney, and David Newton of ESPN.com notes the fourth-year corner received a “be patient” message from this summit. The Panthers want Bradberry back, Newton adds, but the former Round 2 pick would obviously prefer an upper-echelon deal to stay.

Bruce Arians On Gerald McCoy-For-Ndamukong Suh Switch

Acting swiftly after their long-rumored Gerald McCoy separation, the Buccaneers now have Ndamukong Suh set to anchor their line. Suh and McCoy’s careers have been linked together since the former was the 2010 No. 2 overall pick and the latter going one spot later.

The Bucs managed to bring in Suh for $9.25MM. McCoy was set to earn $13MM this season on his seven-year Bucs contract. Bruce Arians described both McCoy’s financial situation and his place in Todd Bowles‘ new 3-4 defense as not being an optimal fit.

It just wasn’t a fit,” Arians said during an ESPN interview (via JoeBucsFan.com). “Whether it was financial, whatever, on the field, you know, it just didn’t fit. I’ve been through this a number of times with guys and great players and it just comes a time when they have to separate the organization. You go back to Franco Harris not being a Steeler; this has happened for a long, long time.”

McCoy’s 123 career Bucs games only sit 13th in franchise history, with multiple Super Bowl XXXVII icons spending much more time with the franchise. But he entered this offseason as Tampa Bay’s longest-tenured active defender. Despite McCoy and Suh entering the league together, Suh is more than a year older. He is going into his age-32 season, while McCoy will be 31 throughout the 2019 campaign.

Placing a great deal of emphasis on Suh’s attendance track record (two missed games in nine seasons, and those were due to a 2011 suspension), Arians identified the former Lions, Dolphins and Rams defensive tackle as being a superior fit for the team’s new defense.

Consistency. He never misses a game, very seldom ever misses a practice,” Arians said of Suh. “Plays extremely hard the way I like to play. He fits our three-man scheme a lot better in terms of his versatility up and down the front.”

Suh played 1,058 snaps last season, while McCoy was on the field for 731. However, McCoy (54.5 career sacks) played in 15 games from 2015-17 and has not missed more than three in a season since 2011. Suh (56 career sacks) played 329 snaps in a nose tackle role in the Rams’ 3-4 defense last season, though. The Bucs had deployed a 4-3 scheme throughout McCoy’s tenure. McCoy has visited the Browns, Ravens and Panthers and is believed to be on the verge of choosing his next team.

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Buccaneers Sign Ndamukong Suh

May’s biggest free agent is officially off the board. On Thursday, the Buccaneers announced the signing of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh will receive a one-year deal worth $9.25MM with incentives that can push it to $10MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Suh’s arrival will give the Bucs a major stopper to replace six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, who was released on Monday. In essence, the Bucs swapped McCoy’s $13MM salary for Suh and defensive end Shaquil Barrett, who will earn a combined $13MM in 2019. With all due respect to McCoy, that’s a pretty outstanding value for Tampa.

Suh, 32, has five Pro Bowl nods and two First-Team All-Pro selections on his resume. Throughout his career, Suh has been one of the very best defensive tackles in the NFL with an impressive knack for finding the quarterback from the interior.

After five years with the Lions, Suh inked a six-year, $114MM with the Dolphins, making him the highest-paid defensive player in league history. Suh continued to play at a high level, but didn’t quite live up to the mammoth contract. Midway through, the Dolphins released him, paving the way for Suh to latch on with the Rams in 2018.

In L.A., Suh tallied 4.5 sacks and 59 tackles and graded out as the No. 20 ranked interior defender in the NFL. Those numbers aren’t in line with his best work, but it’s clear that the veteran still has a lot to offer for the Bucs.

Suh would have made sense for clubs like the Seahawks, Cowboys, Broncos, and Vikings, but the Bucs jumped at the opportunity to replace McCoy with the equally accomplished defender. Meanwhile, the deal brings Suh back to Florida, a no-income tax state.

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Community Tailgate: Where Will Ndamukong Suh Sign?

We recently graded defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as the best free agent remaining on the market, but the only reports we have heard on him this year have concerned teams who are not interested in his services rather than teams who are.

For instance, despite a positive meeting with Suh last year, the Titans are not expected to consider signing the three-time First Team All-Pro this year. And although Suh enjoyed a strong season with the Rams in 2018, Los Angeles is not expected to renew the partnership.

Rumor has it that Suh’s asking price is the major deterrent for clubs who may otherwise be interested in his services. As the No. 2 overall pick of the 2010 draft, when the old CBA was in effect, Suh landed a massive rookie contract from the Lions that included $40MM in guaranteed money, and his six-year, $114MM free agent deal with the Dolphins ratcheted him further up the career earnings leaderboard.

Even Suh’s one-year contract with the Rams paid him $14MM, so he has never had to “settle” for less than an eight-figure annual income. The 32-year-old is surely content to wait out the market until a team becomes more willing to meet his asking price due to injury or poor performance, so it may be awhile before this situation resolves itself.

We tabbed the Seahawks, Cowboys, Broncos, and Vikings as potential fits, and Minnesota would perhaps be the most likely destination if the club had more cap space. But unless the Vikes make several significant moves to free up some room, they will not likely be able to give Suh anywhere close to the money he wants.

Whoever does get the Nebraska product will add a player who will instantly upgrade the D-line. Suh may not be the same player he once was, but he showed in 2018 that he still has plenty to offer, and the only two games he has missed in his nine-year career were due to suspension rather than injury.

So where do you think Suh will ply his trade in 2019? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to offer a guess as to the contract he might get.

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Titans Not Interested In Ndamukong Suh

Although the Titans met with Ndamukong Suh when he was a free agent at this time a year ago, they’re not expected to consider signing the defensive tackle this offseason, according to Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com.

Tennessee has added both Jeffery Simmons (first-round draft choice) and Brent Urban (free agent) to its defensive line in recent weeks, but Simmons may not play at all during his rookie campaign while recovering from a torn ACL, and Urban isn’t exactly a game-changing player. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey led the Titans’ defensive line by ranking 14th in Pro Football Focus‘ positional grades, but no other Tennessee interior defender finished inside the top-45. As a unit, the Titans front four ranked just 22nd in adjusted sack rate and 28th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders.

Suh, entering his age-32 campaign, appeared in all 16 games for the Rams a season ago after inking a one-year, $14MM pact with the Rams. He posted 4.5 sacks and 48 pressures during the regular season, and ramped up his production once Los Angeles began its postseason run, managing 1.5 more sacks and nine additional pressures in the Rams’ three playoff games. Suh is always available, as the only two games he’s missed in his nine-year career were the result of suspension, not injury.

Reports have indicated Suh’s asking price could be an issue, as Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com noted earlier this year that Suh has never played on a contact averaging less than $10MM per season. While that may be the case, the Titans currently have more than $30MM in available cap space, so they could afford Suh if they so chose.

Earlier this evening, PFR ranked Suh as the best available defensive free agent remaining on the board.

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