With all the hoopla surrounding the Tom Brady signing, the Buccaneers have quietly secured most of their stout defensive line from last year.
On Thursday, Ndamukong Suh signed a one-year deal. So, he, Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul will all be back next year. The only linemen who won’t return are Carl Nassib (Oakland) and Beau Allen (New England.)
One of the lasting images I have of Suh from last year is his fumble return for a touchdown to seal the upset victory over the Rams in L.A.
The Bucs were the #1 defense against the run last year. There’s no reason to believe they won’t be near the top next year.
What a month it’s been for the Bucs. If you’re not excited by now, I don’t know what to tell you.
Two big pieces of the Buccaneers’ star-studded defensive line are coming back.
First, the Bucs signed Jason Pierre-Paul to a two-year contract. J.P.P. had 8.5 sacks in just 10 games last season.
Also, Tampa Bay placed the franchise tag on reigning sack leader Shaq Barrett. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Shaq had 19.5 sacks in his first season with the Bucs.
It remains to be seen what happens to the other members of the front four: Ndamukong Suh and Carl Nassib. Bruce Arians made it clear after the season ended that keeping the nucleus of this defense together was a priority.
Oh, and what about Jameis Winston? He should know his fate by the end of the week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. I don’t know how that it going to play out, but that will likely be the next big development in what’s already been a busy week.