In an effort to get bigger on the interior defensive line, the Bucs went out and sign Beau Allen at the beginning of free agency. But, they didn’t stop there, as they have officially signed defensive lineman Mitch Unrein.

Unrein’s deal is for three years at $3.5 million per year.

Unrein, who turns 31 later this March, is 6-foot-4, 300 pounds. He’s a player who has played both interior defensive line in a 4-3 and defensive end in a 3-4.

After going undrafted in 2010, Unrein was signed by the Denver Bronocs, in which his first snap as an NFL player (which was against the Buccaneers) was actually at fullback, where he caught a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning. Unrein has played for the Broncos, the Chargers, and most recently the Bears. He had 37 tackles and 3.5 sacks over the last two seasons, but is more of a big body than a stats guy. he was the second highest graded run stopper at his position according to PFF.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

47 COMMENTS

  1. Odd signing considering some were saying Bucs were looking to get bigger and younger on DL. Seems like McDonald 2.0.

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  2. This is good news. Was one of the top run stoppers in the league last year.

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    • I am not sure where your reference is from (that he was one of the top run stoppers) but I guess that it is from PFF. If using their site, it was his highest rating ever. Before that his highest rating was a 64.6 back in 2013. Here is hoping we get the 80 rating 2017 version of this player for the Bucs next year.

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  3. Here we go! Another backups backup! Why are we so cheap!? Use the CAP!! I know when I say this I speak for every Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan we are tired of losing and not making the playoffs!! Wtf are y’all doing!

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    • No, you don’t speak for all of us.

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      • No shit- you aren’t “tired of losing and not making the playoffs”???
        Ok, makski, you’re a rebel!

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        • I am tired of the losing, but I personally don’t believe it is because of a lack of trying. Easy for negative fans like Phil to complain about everything that doesn’t work out perfectly, but this is the real world and it is harder to hit on all of these free agents and draft picks than everybody thinks. In case Phil doesn’t remember, Baker was one of the best signings last year before the season started, but nobody knew he was going to just sit back and collect his money without even trying. No one will ever know what was said behind the scenes unless they were in the room with the Bucs at the time. I’ll even bet that Baker has a very good year this year because he is again playing for the money, we just didn’t time it well. At least the Bucs are trying to sign the right people and pay them a fair amount if they can. I know a lot of people who wanted McKinnon. I didn’t really care if we got him or not because I felt he was the same as Simms, good receiver that is not a very good runner. But, when I saw that he is getting like 7.5 or 8 million a year, I just about had a heart attack!! That is WAY too much and I’m glad the Bucs stopped trying.

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          • YOU don’t pay for season tkts do you!!! So all good with the worst team in its own devision

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  4. sounds like a stud

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    • Sorry Sunshineben, there wasn’t a reply option available for your post but I hope you see this! I WAS a season ticket holder for 21YEARS. I sat in my seat until the very last second of EVERY game cheering for my favorite team!! I now have 2 boys that are in competitive soccer which is very expensive and I had to finally do away with my tickets. It was the worst day EVER. I love the Bucs and always want them to do well, but that just is not reality for most teams. I cheer them on and support the new players, whoever they are because they are now Bucs.

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      • I saw:>)to pay 3k 4 two seats when the bucs don’t seem to really care about winning upsets me as I went to bucs superbowl and have had tkts since 76… It is not easy being a bucs fan,huh.. I understand the soccer deal as I had a stepson into that .

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        • They do care, the choices they make just don’t always work out. Just like EVERY other team in the league. If they didn’t care, it would be a lot more like H Culverhouse and we would be NOWHERE NEAR the salary cap. We wouldn’t sign ANY FA’s and all our players would leave as FA’s when their rookie deals expired because we would be unwilling to pay them to stay. But we DID re-sign our core players, Evans, etc, and will re-sign the guys coming up, Winston, Alexander etc, and we did sign FA’s to good deals, R Jensen etc.

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  5. Again…..another depth player at best…..starter?….ehhh!

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    • Let’s see if they sign Mathieu, Claiborne(Adrian), Claiborne (Morris) or Suh

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  6. Backup Free Agents across the league must be on their phones calling the BUCs right now! LoL

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  7. Wow, talk about bottom of the barrel. What’s up with these big fat guys that can’t move? Don’t we have and have tried that with Stevie T and Silega? Big worthless fat guys that only clog up the middle and do nothing else. Uninspired with these two signings, At least McDonald comes up with a sack now and then.

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    • Jury’s still out on Stevie T since he was on IR last year. Unrein’s a solid depth DT and Allen is a great value with upside. Assuming most have no clue that he was Philly’s #3 DT playing behind starters Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan, and he basically split snaps with Jernigan over the course of the season. And Philly’s D led the league in rush defense at 79.2/gm while the Bucs gave up 117.5/gm. But yeah you’re right, McDonald came up with a sack now and then.

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  8. The typical K-mart blue light special. Licht likes to sign two or three third tier free agents that won’t be a factor and actually have much any impact on the roster, basically camp bodies rather then pay for one good player that will have an impact and actually help this team.

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    • We did sign 1 good player that will have an impact and help the team… C Catanzaro !!!!!
      Could have won a couple more games the last couple of years if we only had a kicker!!!

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    • Hopefully they are saving the money for the O line!! We still need 2 interior linemen.

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  9. I like it!! We have now signed 2 quality , experienced run-stuffing DT’s to teach Stevie T the ropes. Unrein only has a few years left, but that’s OK, Allen is still only 26, so he has plenty of time left. If Stevie T doesn’t improve soon, we will have Unrein to fill in until we get another kid in here. I have not put much stock into it until now, but, it seems like we might be heading for a lot more 3-4 this year. Both of these tackles seem to be a good fit for a 3-4. I guess they also could be a NT in a 4-3, and as hot as it gets here, you can never have too many good ones. Now we just need a real hard push for Jensen to play C and Pugh to play G. I wouldn’t mind Sitton like the reports have been going, but, I think Sitton is a LG and that is Marpet’s spot. I hate it when we try to switch sides on the line, though it is usually more successful at G than T. I only picked Pugh because I hear he is a real good G and was out of place at T last year. I also hear he is a better RG than a LG and that is where we need him! Then, if we want, we can pick up a cheap CB and RB to compete for a roster spot.

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    • Oops, and ANY kind of DE would be a huge plus. We need bodies on the D Line!

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    • Marpet would probably go back to RG if Jensen is signed, where he’s been prior to going to C this year.

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      • Oops, my bad, I thought Marpet was at LG and then we got Sweezy to play RG. You’re right , Marpet was at RG and we got Sweezy to replace him, I guess. I am all confused now that they put Marpet at C. Should have never even tried moving him!

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  10. He started for Chicago for the last 2 years. He’s an upper tier run-stopper which, in case you missed it, we were not good at last year. Some of you will not be happy no matter what the team does.

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    • Ndamukong Suh and undrafted free agent a better combo then these two guys. Suh with 877 quality snaps last year. Allen and Unrein combine for 802 average snaps. I’d rather sign Suh at 16 million per year than these two guys at 9 million per year combined. Just sayin. Offensive coordinators would be having nightmares about how to defend both GMC and Suh.

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      • There’s lots more to DL construction than just grabbing two guys with names to try and scare OC’s.

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        • Your point is half accepted. There is more to DL construction than grabbing two guys with names. My opinion is the two guys I named are superior players not just names. Superior players make the difference in the NFL. I am a Bucs fan, so I hope that the Bucs made the right moves. Winning the interior line battle every game Seems to have been Minnesota’s strength last year (especially v. Bucs).

          I did not watch every snap of Suh or GMC but they seem to require double teams. I watch the Buc’s mostly and sometimes rewind a game to watch individual players. I will defer to someone who watches game film more thoroughly than myself if that is you.

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      • If we signed Suh at 16 million, we wouldn’t be able to sign enough other players to help us out. Probably would have a roster full of UFA’s and other teams’ rejects. That would NOT be better, especially if Suh were to get injured. He also has a real bad attitude and I personally would not want him on my team.

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  11. Whoop doo. Our best signing so far has been a kicker. SMH.

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  12. A lot of glass is half empty types in pewter land. Not every free agent is going to have the impact of a Lawrence Taylor or Warren Sapp. Somebody has to sit on the bench and this guy is better than the guy he’s replacing.
    A step in the right direction.
    I am very happy with the Bucs free agent moves so far.

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  13. Okay with it. It’s another rotational guy. Do some really believe they’re going to find an impact player in free agency? Rarely happens.

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  14. Not sure why we are signing two backup DT’s to 3+ year contracts when Suh is a free agent. Would even be happy McDonald…what hasnt he done to warrant another contract offer?? we don’t have any good DE’s… im all for building the best DT tandem in the game…. Kwon and Lavonte could freelance all game with Suh and GMC eating double teams every snap

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  15. For all the naysayers…let’s not forget that free agency is a negotiation process. Top tier FA will either go to top contenders or be overpaid. In case you all haven’t noticed, we aren’t exactly a top destination for FA right now.

    I remember back when we “won free agency” and haven’t heard the end of it since. The same people complaining about FA busts are complaining of the lack of spending on big name FA this year. Pick a side please people!

    The fact is this…Allen and Unrein are both better than what we had on the roster. Therefore, the team has improved…and without breaking the bank. Or would you rather we have thrown an exorbitant amount of cash at Suh just to complain and label him a bust next offseason?

    I feel like the moves we’ve made so far were good ones, both in terms of improving talent and managing cap space. Allen, Unrein, and Catanzaro are all improvements to our current roster. We still remain in the hunt for Jensen and Sitton which would open us up to move Marpet back to his future all-pro position at G, vastly improving our OL. Pass rush help is virtually non-existent at this moment in time, so that will have to wait.

    The negativity from Bucs fans is off the charts right now. I understand the reasons behind it, but at the same time we should be celebrating the improvements we’ve made, even if they aren’t as drastic as we’d have liked.

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    • Well said, plopes808

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    • Agreed plopes808. Hoping we get Jensen and a guard.

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    • Is it an upgrade? I see Clinton McDonald as better than both of these guys. Heck he had more sacks last year than both of these guys had combined. And it’s not like we saved money, we paid Beau just as much as we paid Baker last year. While both of these guys produced in the run game neither bring anything at all to the pass rush, which was dead last in the NFL. You’ll have to excuse us half empty guys but these to signings do nothing but add bodies, for starter money. I look at free agency as a way to get some good B guys so yeah there’s these guys, but these two and everything else we haven’t done so far have fixed ZERO of the bucs larger problems from last year. This pass defense is completely untouched, and I’m not counting signing Grimes as that was a desperation move. Not one pass rusher and no DB’s. We passed on a bunch of pretty good running backs, granted most of them got a little over-paid, but that is another horrible roster spot for us. And that doesn’t include Guard, which we hopefully will address this week with the ravens center. Will we approach RB in the draft, clearly, but we can’t just hope these rookies come in and set it on fire. That’s tough. Licht is banking on getting at least three starters out of this draft and to me that’s just foolish.

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      • I agree, I’m disappointed we didn’t at least land one of the FA RBs, but maybe it was a numbers thing. Licht and co. seem to be sticking to their guns when it comes to the cap and that may be hurting our chances at these guys that want to make money. It definitely helps us next year though when we need to resign our stars. Or maybe it’s the trend that so many rookie rushers have come into the league and had so much success lately. I personally wouldn’t bank on that and would’ve wanted an established rusher to fall back on but then again, we don’t have a whole lot of bargaining power right now other than overpaying. If we get Jensen and move Marpet back to his natural G position it will definitely help our run game. Barber isn’t a bad back, he did decent behind our bad OL so I imagine he will do well behind a good one (if we get Jensen.)

        As for the 2 DTs we signed, you’re right they haven’t produced sacks, but I believe they were picked up to help stop the run rather than rush the passer. If you remember, our run defense was also horrible last year. Not much in the way of pass rushers on the market at the moment so we’re gonna have to hope to hit on a few rookies or UDFAs.

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        • Yes, there is almost NOTHING out there in FA in the form of pass rushers. We picked the wrong year to need 2 DE’s!! All that is out there are real old players on the downside of their careers that we would have to give a 3 year deal to and hope they are good for at least 1 more, or younger guys with potential that are injury prone, pick your poison.

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  16. The only way this move makes sense is if we are switching to primarily 3-4. Also it makes Gholston completely expendable, since this guy is a better cheaper version.

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    • Gholston is a DE, not a DT. Both of these signings are DT depth. We can not get rid of Gholston yet, we need MORE DE’s. Even if we sign Okafor or someone else and draft another DE, we probably still need to keep Gholston for one more year. I hope FA and the draft have some good quality DE’s next year.

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      • Gholston is a 3-4 DE that we’ve been playing as a 4-3 DE. This guy and Gholston are basically the same size. The difference is this guy produced last year, and Gholston did nothing.

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  17. I like the signing of Allen and Unrein. Quality depth and is an improvement over what we had. We are also saving moiney at the same time. win, win if you ask me. Both of these guys are good run stuffers. we sucked at stopping the run last year. We wanted Licht to build the trenches and thats what hes doing.

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  18. Unrein is 30 years old and 300 pounds and we let Mc Donald go who was about the same size but was much better at sacks and turnovers and even could play McCoy’s position when he was hurt and was good at stopping the run too so to me Unrein is not as good a replacement of what we had in McDonald. Apparently Allen is a little bigger if he could play NT in a three four, which we are not going to by the way; and he was just a rotational backup at Philly. The person he is replacing is our backup over the last few years, Siliga, who also could play NT because he was 330 pounds. So that is no gain but just replacing one backup NT for another one. So to me we are slightly worse off than we were last year because we’ve lost McDonald’s sack production and ability to cause fumbles and McDonald’s ability to play the three technique and superior knowledge of our Defense. Licht has not upgraded the trenches at all, he has just tried to catch up for what he has let go, and hurt our cap space and defensive flexibility and our sack production, and even worse has an excuse now for not getting Vea in the draft who will be a future star player like Latuia and play for ten years as an elite player. So don’t expect me to be giddy about these two signings!!!

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  19. I guess soccer is more important than American Football! Sale the team please! But they won’t because they are getting Richer and we the Fans are getting little . JMO

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  20. Allen, and Unrein are up grades over Baker, and McDonald you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that’s true. McDonald is over 31, and has been oft injured. Allen is 26, bigger, younger stronger with much more upside. Anything is better then Baker, so we’ve improved in an area of need. It’s just not the big names we were looking for. If they can get Jensen to sign, and Gaines, you’d have to consider that a good haul going into the draft.

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  21. Okafor has returned to Saints. This Free Agency Season is turning into a bust.

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