What started as a circumferential theory by Bleacher Report has morphed into an honest-to-goodness possibility for Ndamukong Suh and the Minnesota Vikings.
Tyler Dragon from USA Today reported on Tuesday that the Vikings and Suh have indeed had talks about a free-agent relationship.
On Tuesday, too, Suh personally affirmed interest in the Las Vegas Raiders.
Suh is an NFL iron man. He has never missed a game to injury and last missed time in 2011 due to suspension. Suh is also a Super Bowl champion, winning a title with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccanneers in 2020.
But a few weeks ago, the Buccaneers signed Akiem Hicks from the Chicago Bears, presumably filling Suh’s role for the 2022 team. Suh was a free agent heading into the 2022 offseason and remains unsigned.
A relationship with the Vikings would be intriguing as Ed Donatell’s defense would feature three ferocious pass rushers — Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, and possibly Suh. The Vikings are ultra-familiar with the Nebraska alumnus, playing against Suh 11 times since 2010.
Suh encountered a textbook down year in 2021, grading an underwhelming 49.4 score from Pro Football Focus. Yet, the 2022 season, wherever Suh lands, will determine if the forgettable year was due to age or outlier.
By the time the 2022 regular season ends, Suh will be 36 years old, so this campaign should be considered his swan song. Or, if it is not his final hurrah, he is assuredly in the last general installment of his illustrious career.
An addition of Suh to the Vikings roster would signal a backup job for Armon Watts, who is slotted as a starter for September. Suh owns enough clout to instantly jettison Watts to DT2 if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah puts pen to paper with the 35-year-old.
Suh is a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time 1st-Team All-Pro. He’s likely headed toward Hall of Fame induction when he calls it quits, although his reputation at times in his career isn’t spotless. Due to some on-the-field antics, Suh was labeled “dirty” as a younger man.
He’s tallied 70.5 sacks in his career with the Lions, Dolphins, Rams, and Buccaneers.
The Vikings have about $11 million in cap space as of June 20. Suh earned $9 million in 2021.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).