Recent Bucs Star Free Agency Options Dwindle: Report

Todd Bowles

Getty Todd Bowles and the Buccaneers essentially moved on from Ndamukong Suh with the Akiem Hicks signing.

Ndamukong Suh’s free agency departure from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks narrower after recent reports.

The Cleveland Browns “remain out of the picture” for Suh, 35, according to a source via Brad Stainbrook of ESPN Cleveland on Tuesday, July 12. Stainbrook noted that both the Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings talked with Suh.

The Raiders were previously reported as not “keen on the idea” of signing Suh according  to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on June 21. Bonsignore noted money as an issue.

The Raiders have $20.18 million in salary cap space per Spotrac, and Suh could command a hefty salary. Suh made $9 million guaranteed last season with the Bucs per Spotrac.

Tampa Bay essentially moved on from Suh by signing defensive tackle Akiem Hicks in June for a one-year deal that could pay him $10 million per Spotrac. Suh acknowledged afterward that returning to the Bucs looks unlikely during an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Live” in June.

With the Browns and possibly the Raiders out of the picture, that leaves the Vikings in the running for Suh. The Vikings have $9.72 million in salary cap space remaining per Spotrac.

Suh had three productive seasons in Tampa Bay with 112 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and five fumble recoveries.

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Bucs Legend Not Concerned About Suh Leaving

Former Bucs star and Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks believes the Bucs will be fine in the defensive trenches without Suh.

“With the Suh signing, I don’t think that’s as big a deal from a defensive standpoint,” Brooks told WDAE. “The athleticism that they need now to take the next step and rebound up front, it’s not there with Suh. He came in. He did what he had to do. You reward his time and you move on. And that’s what they’re trying to do.”

The Bucs made two moves up front with the drafting of defensive end Logan Hall in April followed by the Hicks signing in June.

“Now, is the answer there now? No. I think the answer is probably in college right now, going to be drafted in the next year or two, the next interior guy to step in and have just as big an impact as Vita [Vea],” Brooks told WDAE. “At the same time, by not signing Suh, now you’re going to Vita and saying, ‘Hey, you’re the guy. We need more.’ I think Coach [Todd] Bowles is going to put him in a position to do more and have more of an impact on the field in his defensive scheme.”

“I think getting a little bit more younger, a little bit more athletic — I don’t think [Suh is] as big a loss on the defensive front,” Brooks added.


Suh’s Newest Off-Field Deal

While Suh wants to play for significant pay, he has his share of off-field endeavors bringing in big income.

That includes his latest deal. Suh serves as an advisor for special purpose acquisition company FAST Acquisition II, which “plans to merge with theme park developer Falcon’s Beyond Global” according to Yahoo! Sports’ Brendan Coffey.

Suh has multiple business holdings in hospitality, technology, and real estate according to his website.

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