For the third straight season, Ndamukong Suh signed a one-year deal in Tampa Bay. Introduced Monday after his latest pact, the former first-round pick said his "ultimate goal" was to remain with the Super Bowl champs.
"At the end of the day, I wanted to have an opportunity to come back with a group of guys who have an opportunity to potentially go back and earn another ring," Suh said. "The thing about it is when you look at what we've been able to accomplish last year and then also the ability of, all the bad things that we went through and that we had encountered in ourselves, imagine us cleaning that up even more, then adding depth to our particular team with the draft -- obviously, Mr. Licht is going to do some amazing stuff as he's done throughout free agency in finding guys to fill in particular voids with more depth -- I think the sky's the limit for us."
Suh's re-signing was part of an unprecedented move by the champs to keep their core together, including bringing back all 22 starters from the Super Bowl victory.
The 34-year-old Suh played a crucial role in the Bucs' No. 1 ranked run defense. His return brings reliability next to Vita Vea along Tampa's interior defensive line. Suh netted six regular-season sacks and added 1.5 in the Super Bowl victory.
Suh said he had a better season in Todd Bowles' second year at the helm and anticipates even more improvement given the continuity in Year 3.
"Without question, I think I had a better year," Suh said. "I think I found ways to be more successful in the particular defense we were running, and I understand how I'm put in the defense a lot of ways, where sometimes I have to be a decoy to free up other guys, which I don't mind doing, and I've done it a lot in my career, but also I have to join the party myself."
One of the Bucs' few needs heading into the NFL draft is adding youth along the defensive line, but retaining the likes of Suh ensures that those youngsters won't be handed too big of a burden out of the gate for the Super Bowl champions.