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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Concern that Bucs DT Vea has serious knee injury

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another significant injury has struck the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in camp and this time, there is real concern that the player involved maybe out for awhile.

Second-year defensive tackle Vita Vea, the Bucs number one pick in the 2018 draft, was injured Tuesday afternoon during Tampa Bay’s latest workout, when he crumbled to the ground in a one-on-one pass blocking drill.

Radio reporter and host Len Martez of Tampa Bay Sports Station WDAE- AM 620 had the exclusive video from training camp of Vea’s injury:

Vea walked off with a member of the training staff to the Bucs locker room under his own power. After the practice, head coach Bruce Arians could offer no update, saying he did not know what had happened and that they had gone inside for further evaluation.

Vea is scheduled to have an MRI to determine whether he will be out an extended period of time, but it’s safe to say at the minimum he will not play in the Bucs preseason opener Friday night at the Steelers.

Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud reported late Wednesday morning that Vea had the MRI Tuesday evening, but that more tests would be needed:

This is the second year in a row that Vea has suffered a significant injury early-on in training camp.

Last year he suffered a torn calf muscle on the second day of workouts and missed all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season recovering from the injury and getting into playing shape for the active roster.

When he did comeback, Vea came on strong in the second half of the season and began to show signs of promise, as to why the Bucs had picked him in the top 15 of the draft.

Vea had a career high nine tackles in a December game in Baltimore and was all over the line of scrimmage and the backfield causing disruptions.

Then, in Dallas the following week, he was once again making plays early in the game. Although, he had a first-half sack Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott nullified by a face mask penalty, he got another one that counted by blindsiding Prescott on the final play of the first half.

Vea finished with three tackles, the sack and one tackle for loss in that game.  And, in the second half of the season, he ended up with 28 tackles with three sacks and five tackles for loss in eight games.

Vea is being heavily counted on to help the interior of the Bucs defensive line in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3 – 4 defense. He along with new free agent pro bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh are going to be the guys relied upon to get pressure up the middle for the defense.

Vea’s injury further complicates things for Bowles, as it was learned on Monday that star linebacker Lavonte David had undergone knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus suffered in training camp last week. David will more than likely miss the entire preseason an aim to be ready for the Bucs opener with the 49ers September 8th.

The Bucs are also without their best pass rusher from last year, veteran Jason Pierre-Paul, who suffered a broken neck in an offseason car accident and is on the Non-Football Injury list. JPP did not choose to have surgery and hopes to return later in the regular season.

Vea’s injury will especially call into question the Buccaneers decision to get rid of six time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy for salary cap reasons back in May. McCoy’s subsequently signed with NFC South rival Carolina.

Tampa Bay followed-through by giving most of McCoy’s $13 million salary to Suh on a one year deal.

The Buccaneers do have another practice on Wednesday before leaving Thursday for the Steel City and we’ll wait to see what, if they have any further update they have on Vea’s status.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Positive injury update news for Bucs DT Vita Vea

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs coach Bruce Arians gave another positive update Sunday on one of his star defensive players he’s counting on to come back from injury. It looks like hulking defensive tackle Vita Vea is still on track to potentially play in the season opener September 8th.

After the Buccaneers Sunday morning training camp workout, Arians was asked, if there was any new news on Via resting and rehabbing the sprained ligament in his left knee? He told the media:

“He’s getting better and better everyday. No pain (in the knee). So, I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’s gonna be ready (opening day),” Arians said plainly.

The former first-round pick a year ago out of the University of Washington was injured almost two weeks ago in a one-on-one pass blocking drill, crumbling to the ground with the Bucs and their fans holding their breath. However it turns out it was only a sprain ligament that did not require surgery and Vea could still possibly play at the beginning of the regular season, including the opener with the 49ers.

Vea was seen walking on the sideline Friday night during the Bucs preseason game with the Dolphins with the aid of a heavily braced left knee.

This is the second straight training camp that Vea has been sidelined with a significant injury. Last year, he suffered a torn calf muscle on the second day of workouts and missed all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season recovering from the injury and getting into playing shape.

When he did comeback, Vea came on strong in the second half of the season and began to show signs of promise, as to why the Bucs had picked him in the top 15 of the draft. He had a career high nine tackles in a December game in Baltimore and was all over the line of scrimmage and the backfield causing disruptions.

Then, in Dallas the following week, he was once again making plays early in the game. Although, he had a first-half sack Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott nullified by a face mask penalty, he got another one that counted by blindsiding Prescott on the final play of the first half.

Vea finished with three tackles, the sack and one tackle for loss in that game.  And, in the second half of the season, he ended up with 28 tackles with three sacks and five tackles for loss in eight games.

Vea is being heavily counted on to help the interior of the Bucs defensive line in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3 – 4 defense. He along with new free agent pro bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh are going to be the guys relied upon to get pressure up the middle for the defense.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Report- Bucs have extended GM Jason Licht’s contract

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hoping to practice some form of continuity, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reportedly extended the contract of GM Jason Licht.

This after a report Saturday morning from Bucs beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, Rick Stroud, that Licht has been given a five-year contract extension to remain with the team:

A big part of the reason why the Glazer family, which owns the team, wanted to keep Licht is: his ability to lure former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians to come out of retirement and join them this past January.

Further, Stroud reports that Arians made it a condition of his coming out of retirement that Licht remain with the team long-term and that the Bucs keep embattled starting QB Jameis Winston.

Licht had been given a one-year extension for 2019 before this offseason, and the Buccaneers had already committed to keep quarterback Jameis Winston for the fifth year option of his rookie contract. Then, once former coach Dirk Koetter was fired in January, Licht’s previous relationship with Arians helped the Bucs get their new coach.

Licht was the assistant general manager with the Cardinals, when Arians was hired in 2013 and led them eventually to the NFC Championship Game in 2014.

Licht became the Buccaneers general manager at that the start of that same season, but has had a rocky tenure of results. This includes only one winning season out of five and several free agent moves and draft picks that have backfired.

None bigger than when Licht traded up in the 2016 draft for FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round, only to have Aguayo falter and be released the following year in training camp.

Licht has also had free agent busts like former Redskins defensive tackle Chris Baker and last year, Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry. Both of whom we’re paid heavily but did nothing in their one season before being released.

Licht and his staff do deserve some credit for finding unheralded players like tight end Cameron Brate, running back Peyton Barber and former wide receiver Adam Humphries. All of whom were undrafted and have been quality contributors over the last couple of seasons.

The team had no official comment on Stroud’s report of the extension.

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