The big man in the middle of the defensive just got a big time extension. Per multiple reports, the Buccaneers have agreed to terms on a four year extension with defensive tackle Vita Vea worth $73 million dollars.
Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau Vea, drafted by the Buccaneers at 12 overall in 2018, has been one of the main reasons Tampa Bay’s rush defense has been one of the most stout in the NFL over the course of the past few years. Though he’s missed time with injuries, his return last season in the NFC Championship helped spark the Bucs to the Super Bowl and eventually a win over the Chiefs.
Now, Vea will be locked in with the Bucs for four years following his rookie fifth year option which essentially makes this a five year extension and locking him in through the 2026 season.
With multiple questions surrounding the Bucs’ roster in the coming months - with free agents like Chris Godwin, Alex Cappa, Ryan Jensen, O.J. Howard, Rob Gronkowski, and Carlton Davis to name a few - locking Vea in gives the Buccaneers a long term building block for the defense while giving Vea the long term security so many players look for.
In a statement released by the Buccaneers, Jason Licht said;
“Vita Vea has emerged as one of our league’s most disruptive interior defensive linemen due to a unique skillset that combines strength and superior athleticism. Vita’s abilities as both a premier run stuffer and pass rusher are rare, and his presence on the defensive front has played a major role in our ability to consistently rank among the league leaders in rush defense since his arrival. We look forward to having Vita remain a core piece of our defense for years to come and are excited to continue watching him develop into one of the best nose tackles in the NFL.”
In his short career, thus far, with the Buccaneers, Vea has 103 tackles - 16 for loss - as well as 31 quarterback hits, 11.5 sacks, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery.