The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today signed nose tackle Vita Vea to a contract extension. As per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"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," said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. "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."
Vea (6-4, 347) has started 44-of-49 games played since being selected with the No. 12 overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over his four seasons with the Buccaneers, Vea has recorded 103 tackles (16 for loss), 31 quarterback hits, 11.5 sacks, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
With Vea up front, 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 from 2019-20. Since Vea arrived in Tampa in 2018, Tampa Bay has allowed 92.4 rushing yards per game and 3.98 yards per rush – both marks are the second-best in the NFL over the past four seasons.
In 2021, Tampa Bay ranks second in the NFL in quarterback hits (117), third in rush defense (91.4 yards per game), fifth in sacks (45.0), ninth in yards per play (5.20) and tied for 10th in tackles for loss (74). During the Buccaneers Super Bowl season in 2020, Tampa Bay held its opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards an NFL-best 12 times. In Super Bowl LV, the Buccaneers defense kept the Kansas City Chiefs offense out of the endzone, while tallying a Super Bowl-record 29 quarterback pressures.
The Milpitas, California, native played collegiately at Washington, where he was a second-team All-America performer and the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year in his final season in 2017.