The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reworked Ndamukong Suh’s contract before the regular-season finale, paving the way for the star defensive lineman to make up to $1 million in incentives, a league source told ESPN.
Suh’s one-year deal with the Bucs for the 2021 season includes up to $1 million in incentives tied to playing time and team-related qualifiers and success. The five-time Pro Bowler will make $200,000 for each postseason victory that he is on Tampa Bay’s roster.
But to be eligible for those postseason earnings, Suh first needed to meet multiple regular-season conditions included in the contract incentive.
If he played at least 65% of Tampa Bay’s defensive snaps and the Bucs improved their league or conference rankings in touchdowns on returns and recoveries, while finishing better than 28th in the NFL and 14th in the NFC, Suh would make $200,000 and become eligible for the postseason earnings.
The Bucs entered this past Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers with two touchdowns on returns and recoveries — one more than last season, but Suh’s playing time was at only 64.18%. The Bucs eliminated that playing-time condition on Saturday, however, ensuring that Suh would meet the conditions and be eligible for the postseason earnings even if he did not play a snap against the Panthers, the source told ESPN.
Tampa Bay finished tied for 11th in the NFL this season in terms of touchdowns on returns and recoveries, up from tied for 20th in 2020.
Suh, 35, was a stalwart again for Tampa Bay, playing all 17 regular-season games this season — the 10th straight regular season that he has not missed a game. He finished with 27 tackles and six sacks, teaming with fellow defensive tackle Vita Vea to anchor a defense that ranked third in the NFL against the run.
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