Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Solid Line: Rakeem Nunez-Roches Stays with Bucs

DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches has re-signed with Tampa Bay after filling a critical role on defense during the team's 2020 title run


Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who started 15 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, including the team's victory in Super Bowl LV, is coming back to help defend the title.

On Saturday, the Buccaneers announced the re-signing of Nunez-Roches, who spent much of the season as the team's starting nose tackle after Vita Vea fractured an ankle in Week Five. This is the third year in a row that the veteran defensive lineman has re-signed with Tampa Bay after originally arriving as a free agent in October of 2018.

Nunez-Roches was a key part of a dominant defensive front for the Buccaneers, playing 44% of the team's defensive snaps in 2020, including the postseason. He moved into the starting lineup after Vea's injury and helped the team maintain its number-one rush defense ranking for the remainder of the season. He finished the regular season with 20 tackles and three quarterback hits and added three tackles and a QB hit in the playoffs.

Nunez-Roches played in three games after his midseason addition in Tampa in 2018 and has since appeared in all 36 Buccaneer contests in 2019-20, including the postseason. Originally a sixth-round pick by the Chiefs, he spent three seasons with Kansas City, logging 16 starts over the 2016-17 campaigns combined. His career totals include 82 tackles, 1.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits and a fumble recovery.

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