The Minnesota Vikings could reenter the Ndamukong Suh sweepstakes this summer after having multiple conversations with the star last year.
A veteran free agent, Suh played the waiting game in choosing his team for the 2022 season and opted to sign with the Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles after months of speculation surrounding his signing with the Vikings.
Suh effectively announced that he is open to signing with a team at the start of the 2023 regular season, opening an avenue for the Vikings to revisit talks with the five-time Pro Bowl defender.
“I have no desire to be in a training camp,” Suh said May 15 on NFL Total Access. “I will come in and watch and look and give some advice, but when Week 1 happens, I’ll be ready.”
Minnesota lost its top interior defensive lineman in Dalvin Tomlinson, who signed with the Cleveland Browns, and is in dire need of improving its run defense. The Vikings trading Za’Darius Smith to Cleveland also created ample cap space to sign the Super Bowl champion.
Ndamukong Suh Did Not Give Vikings a Discount in Contract Talks Last Year
The Vikings’ ongoing flirtation with Suh last season was a result of neither side ceding much room to strike a deal.
The Athletic’s Tashan Reed reported that Suh was asking for a contract in the ballpark of $9 million a season. Meanwhile, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson said the Vikings would not budge beyond the veteran minimum, which would be just over $1 million for a player of Suh’s tenure, per Over the Cap.
The Las Vegas Raiders were also in on Suh and reached a similar impasse with the veteran defender. That led to Suh going the veteran minimum route, which allowed him to have his choice on the matter.
Ndamukong Suh Helped Steady Eagles Amid Regular-Season Rut
Hitching his wagon to the top team in the league, Suh signed with an Eagles team that had surrendered 152 rushing yards to the Washington Commanders in their first loss of the season in Week 10.
Suh’s presence provided an immediate turnaround. A rotational run defender, Suh helped Philadelphia hold 2021 NFL rushing leader Jonathan Taylor to 87 rushing yards and 3.9 yards per carry in a 17-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts the following week. The Eagles defense halted the Tennessee Titans two weeks later, holding Derrick Henry to just 11 carries and 30 yards.
Philadelphia’s run defense finished middle of the pack for the 2022 season, but Suh deserves some credit for preventing the Eagles from cratering midseason during a low point of the regular season.
Suh is not the same transformational player he once was, but he does check a lot of boxes for the Vikings as a tried and true 3-4 defensive tackle. He’s accustomed to the defensive line’s heavier burden of stopping the run and still managed to be productive in the pass rush, producing 13 pressures in 11 games last season, per Pro F0otball Focus.
The Vikings signed former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Dean Lowry to fill Tomlinson’s spot on the defensive line. Lowry finished last season with a 59.3 PFF grade compared to Suh’s 63.6 grade. Khyris Tonga is poised for a breakout season on the side of nose tackle Harrison Phillips, but Minnesota could still use the depth and veteran leadership.
If the Vikings can coax Suh to sign for slightly above the veteran minimum that he saw last year, that could be enough to reach an agreement. Minnesota currently has $9.5 million in cap space.