After the cannons have fired and the confetti has been swept from the turf at Raymond James Stadium following the Bucs’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, general manager Jason Licht and Tampa Bay’s front office now has to launch into action preparing for free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.
Despite a promising cap situation that puts Tampa Bay among the league’s Top 10 as far as cap space is concerned, the Bucs have a number of impending free agents and decisions will have to be made to ensure which key players will return for next season. Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, inside linebacker Lavonte David, wide receiver Chris Godwin and tight end Rob Gronkowski highlight the list but defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is also a key player with an expiring contract.
Bucs GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer spoke to Suh about his future in preparation for the publication’s weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column.
“My goal is to come back and have an opportunity to go win another championship,” Suh said. “Me and Tom [Brady] spoke the other day about that opportunity, as well as with Jason Licht. I don’t know if you saw our parade celebration on that podium, Coach [Bruce Arians] said I’m not going anywhere. And he’s usually a man of his word. So I look forward to the opportunity to continue to play, especially for Tampa. And I honestly believe I have a lot of elite, great talent left in me to play. I’m not ready to hang them up yet.”
But more importantly than just a will to return, Suh also jokingly admitted that his wife has given him the OK for another comeback as the couple has twins on the way. He even added that with fatherhood on the horizon, it added another flame to the fire that fueled him through a Super Bowl victory and continues to fuel him moving forward. While the Bucs’ future is unknown as Brady gets up in age, due to turn 44-years-old prior to the 2021 season, Suh isn’t just looking at next year. He’s quite possibly looking beyond that.
“Along with being able to still have that energy, that fire to go out there, I think the biggest thing that pushed me throughout this season was knowing I have twins on the way,” Suh said. “Being able to have them come into this world as champions, but then also me play a couple years, maybe five, who knows? That they get to see me on the football field and experience that at a certain age, obviously they’re going to be super young, going back this year. But just for them to be able to experience and be around that environment [would be great].”
So while Suh will head to free agency once again, re-joining Tampa Bay last offseason on second consecutive one-year deal, the veteran defensive tackle has made it clear that he wouldn’t be opposed to making a return for the 2021 season and potentially beyond.