The Bucs officially picked up the fifth-year option for defensive tackle Vita Vea on Monday. The move was first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network and later confirmed by the organization.

Vea, the 12th overall pick in 2018, signed a four-year deal worth $14,824,238 and was fully guaranteed. The 26-year old Vea is set to earn $4,716,803 in 2021 and his fifth-year option will be between $7.3 million and $7.638 million.

Vea has been the team’s starting nose tackle since his arrival in Tampa Bay. He has recorded 73 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 19 QB hits and 7.5 sacks. After starting all 16 games in 2019, Vea suffered a broken ankle in the fifth game last season that forced him to go on injured reserve. Vea started the 2020 campaign hot with 10 tackles and two sacks in five games before his injury.

He diligently rehabbed after surgery and rejoined the team in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LV. Vea pushed the pocket, helping the Bucs defense record five sacks against Green Bay and three against Kansas City.

General manager Jason Licht had previously announced that the Bucs would ultimately be picking up Vea’s fifth-year option, but Tampa Bay has now made the move official.

“Yes, it’s safe to say that,” Licht said in early April about picking up Vea’s option. “He plays a very pivotal role in our defense. When he’s in there a lot of things happen. Not just for him, but everybody else around him.”

The Bucs have picked up the fifth-year options for all of Licht’s first-round picks since 2014, including Vernon Hargreaves, the team’s first-round selection in 2016. Although Hargreaves never played that fifth season in Tampa Bay, as he was released during the 2019 season.

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drdneast
11 days ago

That was a tough decision to make. Gone are the days of everyone whining about the pick and how we should have chosen the Florida St. safety instead. Vea is the reason when you have to decide between a DB and a DL always go with the DL. Nothing bothers a QB more than a ferocious harassing rush on the QB.

TCB2W!
Reply to  drdneast
11 days ago

Should have drafted Derwin James. This kid is a glass house. Did I do it right?

jongruden
Reply to  TCB2W!
11 days ago

Hasn’t Vea been hurt during his NFL Career too? lol

jongruden
11 days ago

Vea has surprised me I didn’t want him at the time of the draft

chefboho
11 days ago

Easy decision. Just look at the numbers for this dline when he’s healthy. Hes a game changer for this style of defense and worth every penny. Loved the pick then and love it even more now.

Horse
11 days ago

Good!

Lawdy
11 days ago

i foresee a double-digit sack season coming

buccaneerNW
11 days ago

Shocker.

fredster
11 days ago

Another Licht home run.

Alldaway 2.0
11 days ago

Bucs need to bring in another young monster to play alongside Vea. I hope it comes from this draft!