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Buccaneers pick up Vita Vea’s fifth-year option

General manager Jason Licht said this would happen.

NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that the team has exercised the fifth-year contract option on defensive tackle Vita Vea.

Vea (6-4, 347) was the 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. In his first three seasons, he has started 29-of-34 regular season games played, recording 73 tackles (11 for loss), 19 quarterback hits, 7.5 sacks and three passes defensed. After returning from Injured Reserve in 2020, Vea appeared in both the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl for Tampa Bay.

With Vea starting 21 games up front from 2019-20, the Buccaneers became the first defense since the Minnesota Vikings (2006-08) to lead the NFL in rushing yards allowed in back-to-back seasons. Since 2019 Tampa Bay has allowed 77.2 rushing yards per game and 3.43 yards per rush – both marks rank first in the NFL during that span.

Prior to being drafted by Tampa Bay, Vea played three seasons at Washington, earning both All-Pac-12 First Team and Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in his final season in 2017. He is a native of Milpitas, California.

(Courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.)