The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are signing one of their key defensive players to a major contract extension.
As reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN on Saturday, January 8, the Buccaneers are locking up defensive tackle Vita Vea to a four-year, $73 million contract extension.
“Buccaneers and DT Vita Vea have agreed to terms on a 4-year, $73 million extension that the team and agent Collin Roberts of @rep1sports just finished, per sources,” says Schefter.
The deal also includes $42 million guaranteed, as Schefter also notes.
The No. 12 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has emerged as one of the most dominant nose tackles in the league. The 26-year-old ranks ninth among all defensive tackle in pass-rushing grade (78.0), according to Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, his 74.7 overall defensive grade ranks 17th among all tackles.
The Bucs also made the announcement via their Twitter account.
Vea’s average annual salary of just over $18 million per season will rank him fourth in the league among all defensive tackles, behind only Aaron Donald, DeForest Buckner and Chris Jones.
Over the course of his first four seasons, Vea has started 44 of his 49 appearances while notching 104 tackles and posting 11.5 sacks.
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Brown Takes Issue With Bucs Contract
If you thought the Antonio Brown-Buccaneers drama had reached a conclusion, think again.
Not long after Brown was released by the Buccaneers, the veteran receiver appeared on the Full Send Podcast on Friday, January 7. During the course of the interview, Brown managed to take jabs at his ex-teammates, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
One of Brown’s main gripes was his contract with the Buccaneers. The 33-year-old had a base salary of a little over $900,000. Brown had incentives in his contract that could allow him to earn over $6 million.
“To me, a friend is someone who’s got your back,” Brown said on the “Full Send Podcast.” “Not everybody in sports is going to be your friend. Tom Brady’s my friend. Why? Because I’m a good football player. He needs me to play football, right? People have different meanings of what friendship is.”
“You can’t really expect anyone to be your friend in the business of football,” Brown continued. “In the business of football, our business is winning. Brady and I like winning. We have that in common. That’s what makes me want to be around him, makes us jell, makes us great. I’m out here getting prove-it contracts, you say you’re my friend, I shouldn’t be playing on that type of deal when I came here and we won a Super Bowl.”
AB Compares Contract to Gronkowski’s Deal
Brown then shifts his focus by comparing his deal to that of Gronkowski. The veteran tight end is currently playing on a one-year, $8 million deal.
“If Tom Brady’s my boy, why am I playing for an earnest salary?” Brown said. “You my boy, though, right? Gronkowski is his boy, right? How much did he get paid? So, why is AB on a prove-it deal? Who’s better than me over there? Let’s be real. But, you guys going to make it seem like he’s just this heroic guy. Bro, we all humans. Bro, we’re all dependent on somebody else to do the job.”
If Brown is looking to extend his NFL career heading into 2022, he’s not exactly doing himself any favors with his comments and his actions.