We’re a few days into the unofficial start of free agency, and it’s clear Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has his eye on Bucs QB Tom Brady’s new team. According to Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal, the Patriots have shown interest in Bucs DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who is a free agent entering his seventh season in the NFL.

Nunez-Roches, 27, has been a solid rotational defender for the Bucs over the past three seasons, starting 11 games in place of Vita Vea in 2020. But if there was a time for Nunez-Roches to prove worthy of more playing time or a bigger role, it was last season, and he just didn’t shine like that. Nunez-Roches played hard in a career-high 482 snaps, but it only led to 20 tackles and zero sacks, barely making a dent as a pass rusher. He’s a great locker room guy who has been described as an energizer bunny in practice, so the Bucs may miss him more off the field than on it, if he departs for another team.

As of now, none of the Bucs 24 free agents have signed elsewhere, while five – WR Chris Godwin (franchise tag), LB Lavonte David (2 years, $25M), OLB Shaq Barrett (4 years, $68M), TE Rob Gronkowski (1 year, $8M) and LB Kevin Minter (1 year, $1.2M) have been retained. 19 free agents remain on the open market, with the Bucs in communication with many of them about re-signing.

The free agency tampering period opened Monday at noon, but free agency does not officially begin until Wednesday at 4pm EST. At that time all deals can become official. Expect several to involve current Bucs players, including DT Ndamukong Suh, WR Antonio Brown, RB Leonard Fournette and K Ryan Succop. The Bucs currently have just under $10 million in cap space, but that number is pretty fluid this time of year, and possible contract restructures or extensions for non-free agents could free up additional space.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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4 months ago

if you cant beat them, try to take their players lol. Its not going to help you when the bucs come to town this year Bill.

4 months ago

To be honest, we need to draft for that position anyway, if a guy is out there that can play at his level at his price.

Alldaway 2.0
4 months ago

Bucs need to draft Suh’s replacement so Roach would be taking up a roster spot. Wishing him the best.

4 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if Gerald McCoy comes back as a rotational DT for low money. Not advocating for it but wouldn’t be surprised

4 months ago

Man, the Pats are out there on a spending spree trying to make up ground. Hopefully we keep Nacho as he is a great depth piece in the middle.