Report: Vita Vea, Buccaneers Agree to 4-Year Contract with Option for 5th Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26:  Vita Vea of Washington poses after being picked #12 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to a contract with first-round pick Vita Vea, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.  

The agreement is for four seasons with a team option for a fifth year.

Vea was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft and is expected to make an immediate impact with his new team.

The 6'4", 347-pound defensive tackle is a force in the trenches as one of the strongest players in the class with the athleticism necessary to penetrate into the backfield and blow up a play.

He should help turn around a defense that ranked dead last in the NFL in yards allowed last season, which was the primary goal entering the draft.

"I know there are plenty of folks out there that thought we were gonna go with a DB with this pick, but we have to get better on defense either way," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com "Whether you're putting pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run or whether you’re covering receivers better, they're both positives. And we also picked up some picks so we can address some of our other needs."

Vea has the tools to be successful right away on a rebuilt defensive line alongside new additions Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry, plus one of the best defensive tackles in the league in six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy.

After only totaling a league-worst 22 sacks last season, the pass rush could end up being a strength in 2018.

By locking down Vea, the team has taken a big step toward earning its first playoff berth since 2007.

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