As the San Francisco 49ers head full steam toward the postseason, it behooves the team to add defensive line depth amid injuries.
Bleacher Report suggests that the 49ers sign free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, a former Super Bowl champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Suh, 36, has been a force in the trenches for more than a decade, and he could fill in where the Niners have recently dealt with the injury bug.
“Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave missed this week’s game with injuries, and Armstead had to sit out against the Seahawks too while Hargrave exited that contest early,” the Bleacher Report staff wrote. “The 49ers are a little thin at defensive tackle right now, so it would make sense to bring in a veteran just in case one of those injuries lingers into the postseason.”
“Also, Suh can be a decent pass-rusher to help fill Hargrave’s role in case the latter has to miss more time,” Bleacher Report staff continued.
The Philadelphia Eagles found about Suh’s pass rushing late last season after he signed with the team. He chipped in for 11 games between the regular season and playoffs amid a sack and 12 tackles in limited playing time.
Niners Would Only Benefit From Signing Ndamukong Suh
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) May 17, 2023
Both Hargrave (hamstring) and Armstead (foot) could get well in time for a big Week 16 game with the Baltimore Ravens, but Suh could still help.
Suh has significant experience amid his 71.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, and 600 tackles in 199 career games. He has played in 15 playoff games, including three Super Bowls, amid seven sacks and 40 tackles in his postseason career.
Signing him wouldn’t break the bank for the 49ers either. Suh only had a one-year, $2 million deal with the Eagles for his three-game stint and playoff run in 2022.
San Francisco could play him a little more if desired, too. The 49ers have $39 million in salary cap space and solid depth at key positions already.
Ndamukong Suh Considered the 49ers Before
It wouldn’t come as a total surprise if Suh did land in San Francisco, a less than two-hour flight from his hometown of Portland. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows previously floated the possibility of Suh joining the Niners — Suh’s other finalist besides the Eagles last year in late-season free agency.
“They were in the top two to sign him last year, but he chose the Eagles instead,” Barrows wrote in a December 5 mailbag response. “He didn’t sign with them until mid-November, so we know he: A.) doesn’t mind signing late and B.) wants to sign with a contender. He also spent five years in Detroit with then-Lions defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, which means he should be a quick study in San Francisco. That means there could be interest.”
Kocurek, the fifth-year 49ers defensive line coach, worked with Suh between 2010 and 2014 before Suh joined the Miami Dolphins. The Lions originally drafted Suh out of Nebraska with the No. 2 overall pick in 2010.
Suh had a successful three-year stint with the Dolphins followed by a run to the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018. He joined the Buccaneers the following year where he helped the team win a Super Bowl in the 2020 season.