Bucs head coach Bruce Arians revealed that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul want to play one more year.

“They both said they are playing,” Arians said, indicating he’s spoken to the veterans.

But will it be in Tampa Bay? Both Suh and Pierre-Paul are unrestricted free agents.

Suh is coming off a fine season in which he recorded six sacks to lead all Bucs defensive tackles. He just turned 35 in January and there has been speculation that with him becoming the father of twins last year if Suh would retire after playing in the NFL for 12 years.

Suh has signed a trio of one-year deals to play for the Bucs beginning in 2019 when he replaced Gerald McCoy, who was a salary cap casualty. Last year he signed a one-year deal worth $9 million after helping the Bucs win Super Bowl LV.

It’ll leave a major hole on the Bucs’ defensive line if Suh leaves. Also, this year’s free agent crop and draft class are weak at defensive tackle. Meanwhile, Suh fits perfectly in Todd Bowles’ scheme. Plus, he’s still playing at a very high level.

Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul

Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

As for Pierre-Paul, he’s coming off his worst pro season with just 2.5 sacks. For the third season in a row, Pierre-Paul is dealing with a major surgery.

He was recovering from neck surgery that cost him half of the 2019 campaign. Last year he dealt with a knee injury that required offseason surgery before entering his contract year. In 2021, Pierre-Paul dealt with a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder that hampered him all season since Week 1.

The Bucs drafted Joe Tryon-Shoyinka in the first round last year. The Washington product had a productive rookie season with four sacks. Tryon-Shoyinka could step into a starting role if the Bucs don’t re-sign Pierre-Paul, and that might happen.

Pierre-Paul turned 33 and won’t be ready until training camp. His recovery may delay a re-signing with the Bucs, if they are even interested in bringing the oft-injured pass rusher back. In fact, the injury is likely to affect his contract demands when free agency opens. Pierre-Paul is coming off a two-year, $25 million deal with the Bucs. It’s doubtful he’ll get anywhere close to that in his next contract.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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3 months ago

Suh can still play. JPP, it’s looking a little more iffy.
Pay Suh what we can afford, but don’t let that keep us from drafting another D lineman.
JPP is a late signing, if at all. Pay him vet minimum with playing time and production incentives if we haven’t filled his roster spot with a younger player with upside.

3 months ago

If JPP is healthy, he’s still better than most Edge/OLB’s in the league. That was the problem last year, he wasn’t healthy and it showed. This guy has shown me that he can overcome a lot and not to count him out.