View photos of the newest Buccaneer DT Beau Allen. Photos by AP Images.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to improve upon the NFL's 23rd-ranked rush defense, and they quickly found help in free agency from a player with a newly-minted Super Bowl ring.
Defensive tackle Beau Allen, who played his first four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before becoming an unrestricted free agent on Thursday, has signed a 3-year deal to join the Buccaneers. In Philadelphia, he was an active member of the NFL's top-ranked run defense.
The Bucs had a clear need in the middle of their defensive line, despite having a six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle in Gerald McCoy. McCoy's fellow starter for most of 2017, Chris Baker, was released in February, and veteran Clinton McDonald, a key part of last year's interior rotation, became an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday as well. Before the addition of Allen, Tampa Bay's DT depth consisted of Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, who spent his 2017 rookie season on injured reserve, and a number of versatile end-tackle types such as DaVonte Lambert and Channing Ward.
Allen (6-3, 327) first entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick by Philadelphia out of the University of Wisconsin in 2014. Despite that low-round status, Allen made the roster as a rookie and has since played in all but one game over four seasons. He has been a part-time starter and a heavy rotational player more valued for his run-stopping abilities, though his career stats do include two sacks. Allen also has 87 tackles, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery in 63 games and five starts.
Last year, the Eagles allowed a league-low 79.2 rushing yards per game on their way to victory over New England in Super Bowl LII. The Buccaneers ranked 23rd in that category, giving up 117.5 yards on the ground per outing. Philadelphia also surrendered just 3.76 yards per carry, sixth-lowest in the league, and tied for the third-fewest rushing touchdowns allowed, with seven.