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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Suh would return to the Bucs on a one-year deal worth $9 million fully guaranteed with incentives.
But as it appears, Tampa Bay used some creative salary cap gymnastics to bring back the five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports Suh actually inked a five-year deal with four void years. His cap charge is estimated to be around $5 million.
Like the Seahawks who signed Gerald Everett, Chris Carson, Ethan Pocic, Benson Mayowa and Kerry Hyder to contracts including “voidable yeares,” the Bucs have also used the salary cap trick to bring back players on a “Buy Now Pay Later” basis. Essentially the voidable contract years allow a team to pay a player for a signing bonus and pro-rate for more years than actually exists on the contract.
With Suh’s contract, for example, the remaining four seasons do not exist on his contract. They are merely used to reduce the overall cap charge.
Suh, a three-time first-team All-Pro, has missed just two regular-season games in six seasons. While he’s had an up-and-down career playing for the Lions, Dolphins and Rams, he found his groove with the Bucs in the final four regular-season games and post-season play, giving up just one sack.
He has been with the Bucs for the past two seasons, both times on one-year deals. Suh helped mentor Washington standout and 2018 first-round pick Vita Vea after Gerald McCoy departed for Carolina in 2019.
Expect the Portland native to play a crucial role again this season as the Bucs look to repeat as Super Bowl champions.