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.
The Patriots might not be done adding to their defensive line.
According to a source, the Patriots have shown interest in veteran free agent DT Rakeem Nuñez-Roches. He started 11-of-16 games for Tampa Bay last season. https://t.co/Y5OkVZ9UrW
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.
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.
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