What is the Buccaneers defensive line outlook?
By: Jake Rajala
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have numerous defensive linemen that could audition for the next role as the Juggernaut in X-Men. They have the behemoth (6’4, 350) Vita Vea, who made his first Pro Bowl last season. Vea earned a hefty contract – as he signed a four-year extension worth $71 million dollars last January. The Bucs also brought in the former Chicago Bear Akiem Hicks on a one-year deal worth $10 million dollars – as he has recorded 7 sacks, 30 QB hits, 12 TFLs, and 74 combined tackles over the past 24 games. Hicks garnered a 72.3 grade by PFF last season.
They don’t appear to be reuniting with the fearless Ndamukong Suh, but they certainly have a very strong IDL in spite of his presence. Per Vikings Wire, the Vikings are in the mix for his services.
William Gholston will also be a well-rounded DL for the Bucs in his 10th season. Gholston had 4.5 sacks (career-high), 11 QB hits, 7 TFLs, and 36 combined tackles last season. The veteran DE that is one of the most underrated players on the team re-signed a one-year contract with the Bucs this off-season.
The reigning NFC South Champions also will expect Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Deadrin Senat to be productive in their limited snaps. Nunez-Roches ousted 17 combined tackles, 3 TFLs, in 2021. Senat was on the Falcons/Dark Side from 2018 to 2020 – and he registered 34 combined tackles. He will be a pleasant depth piece moving forward. The Bucs will also have OLB/DE Shaq Barrett (18 sacks in the past two seasons combined) and the second-year Joe Tryon, who should have a breakout season.