Ex-Bucs $9 Million 5-Time Pro Bowler Joins Super Bowl Contender: Report

Todd Bowles

Getty The Buccaneers head into the NFL season with a quarterback competition.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may end up seeing a familiar face in the postseason as the team’s former star Ndamukong Suh is signing with the Philadelphia Eagles, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Suh had been linked to a potential reunion with the Bucs last offseason along with a number of teams including the Browns and Raiders. In the end, Suh waited until the postseason neared and joined one of the top Super Bowl contenders.

“The rich get richer. The Eagles are signing free agent DT Ndamukong Suh to a 1-year, sources say, beefing up their defensive front with a top free agent,” Rapoport tweeted on November 17, 2022. “They want to keep the DL a strength. The deal has been agreed to and is done.”

Suh started all 17 games for the Bucs in 2021 notching 27 tackles, 13 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss and six sacks. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Suh had been campaigning to join the Eagles and now gets his wish.

“Ndamukong Suh has made it clear in recent weeks the wanted to play for the Eagles,” Garafolo detailed on Twitter. “So Philly said … uh, sure. He joins Linval Joseph and veteran DT additions this week.”

The Buccaneers Passed on Suh to Sign Hicks

Suh played on three straight one-year deals for the Buccaneers dating back to 2019 earning a total of $26.25 million, including a $9 million salary last season. Philadelphia is likely getting a bit more of a bargain given the regular season concludes in two months.

Heavy.com Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo reported on September 22 that the Buccaneers were one of five teams in contention to land Suh. Instead, Tampa Bay opted to lean on their young players and also signed former Pro Bowler Akiem Hicks. Time will tell if this decision proves prudent for the Bucs, or if Tampa Bay will be watching Eagles games with regret.

“That’s pretty much the stand the Bucs took, preferring Hicks to Suh,” The Athletic’s Greg Auman tweeted on November 17. “When he’s been healthy, Hicks has been a difference-maker up front. Just have to keep him that way.”

Tampa Bay Signed Hicks to a 1-Year, $8 Million Deal

Tampa Bay is hoping that Hicks is getting healthy just in time for the team’s stretch run. Hicks has only played four games through the first 10 weeks notching nine tackles and two quarterback hits. Hicks signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Bucs in June, a deal very similar to the one Suh received the previous three seasons.

After showing some inconsistencies to start the season, star linebacker Devin White bounced back in a major way against the Seahawks. White believes part of the solution to the Bucs getting back on track is forcing more turnovers.

“I think in my last interview I told y’all we’ve been practicing punching at the ball,” White explained during a November 13 press conference. “So, just to see what we do on the practice field coming to life in the game, that’s a huge accomplishment and it’s a step forward to just being a better defense.”