TAMPA BAY – The Buccaneers made a headline-grabbing move by signing Akiem Hicks earlier in the week. But with Hicks’ arrival comes the very likely departure of Ndamukong Suh, who’s been one of the key cogs on the Buccaneers defense over the last three years.

Many were wondering what would happen with Suh in 2022. And many still are after the Hicks signing.

Well, for those who are in fact wondering what happens next – you’re about to receive a minute bit of closure. ESPN’s Matt Bowen recently wrote a column listing the top-10 post-June 1 fits and sure enough, Suh is No. 1 on the list.

And interesting enough, Bowen sees Suh and the Saints as a great fit:

“… I really like the idea of Suh playing in Dennis Allen’s defense. Even in a rotational role, Suh can still create disruption, command two in protection and get home to the quarterback in schemed fronts. He’d be effective in New Orleans with interior stunts and loops that create A-gap pressure and eliminate the quarterback’s ability to climb the pocket. And you need that when you see Tom Brady twice a season.”

A Suh-Saints parternship would be terrible news for the Buccaneers

Yea, this would not be a good development for the Buccaneers, at all.

For starters, Bowen’s right: Suh is a great fit for what the Saints want to do on defense. He’s not going to make them the best defense in the league, or anything like that. But, he’ll immediately add great depth and would be a key part of the rotation. Suh joining David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, and then Marcus Davenport and Cam Jordan is a scary, scary proposition. And honestly, Suh’s addition could give the Saints the best defensive line in the NFL.

And then, Suh has played against the Buccaneers offensive line -and offense, in general- for the last three seasons. And, nothing has changed in regard to Tampa Bay’s offensive scheme. Add in the fact that Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa are no longer with the team and it’s easy to see why Suh giving inside info to the Saints is something the Buccaneers and Bucs fan don’t want to see.

Especially when considering how much trouble the Saints defense has given the Buccaneers offense over the years.

The Saints currently have a little more than $10.6 million in cap space, so they can make this happen, if they desire to do so.

The one thing that should give the Buccaneers hope is the fact that there’s a good chance Suh retires. Tampa Bay obviously had the money to re-sign him, or else they wouldn’t have spent it on Hicks. So, either Suh was asking for too much, or, he’s that much closer to retiring, himself.

There’s always the possibility the Buccaneers were ready to move on, as well.

It’s funny how things work out in the NFL. A week ago, it would’ve been considered to be a bad development for Suh to retire. Now, Bucs fans are hoping it happens as soon as possible.

Especially after reading Bowen’s column.

You can check out Bowen’s full column, here.

Featured image via Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports