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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Outlook: Defensive Line Position

Analyzing the Buccaneers' defensive line position heading into the 2024 offseason.
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As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shift their focus to the offseason, there are question marks at every position on the roster. In this series, we’ll look at each position grouping and see what the Bucs have on the roster who is an impending free agent, and the outlook for the 2024 season.

On The Roster

Vita Vea

The anchor of the Bucs defense, Vea is unique as a nose tackle. He is stout enough to stop the run and occupy blockers and has rare athleticism for the position. He can be seen chasing down ball carriers 15 yards down the field and as a pass rusher, he is one of the more underrated defensive tackles in the league. Over the past two seasons, he has tallied  11 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Vea is locked in until 2026 after signing a new deal in 2022.

Calijah Kancey

The Bucs' 2023 first-round draft pick made his mark in his rookie season. Even missing three games and nearly all of training camp due to injury, Kancey's effect on games was hard to ignore. He led all rookie defensive linemen in tackles for loss and racked up more sacks than Buccaneer greats like Warren Sapp, Gerald McCoy, and Vea had in their rookie year with four. 

Logan Hall

Hall took a step forward this year in his development. He proved to be better in run defense but the pass rush that made him an exciting prospect didn't quite click as he had hoped. He was a serviceable starter and is still developing so it's not unlike he could still turn into what the Bucs had hoped. Although the 5-tech spot in an odd front defensive line is usually the unsung position that doesn't rack up a ton of stats. 

Mike Greene

Greene joined the club as a tryout player last offseason and spent 2022 on the practice squad. This season he made the active roster out of training camp and saw some snaps as a rotational piece but his year was cut short due to an injury he sustained in Week 10. 

C.J. Brewer

The former XFL defensive tackle joined the Bucs in the spring and was among the final cuts in August. He signed onto the Bucs practice squad but was released and brought back on later in the season. He signed a futures contract with the team in January.

Eric Banks

Banks entered the league in 2020 as an undrafted free agent and has bounced around the league. He's seen action in six games between the Chargers and Cardinals tallying six career tackles. He signed a futures contract with the team in January. 

Lwal Uguak

The Canadian-born football player spent his college days between Uconn and TCU and was a first-round pick in the Canadian Football League Draft in 2023. Uguak started the final five games of the season for the Montreal Alouettes at the defensive end and tallied 16 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, and five pass deflections. He signed a futures contract with the Bucs in January. 

Impending Free Agents

William Gholston

Signed on the eve of training camp, Gholston provided a steady presence for the Bucs and helped in the development of the younger players on the roster. He started one game and racked up 19 tackles as a rotational player on the line. One of the longest-tenured Bucs on the roster his future with the team is uncertain as he may be pondering retirement and the Bucs may want to add an influx of youth at the position. 

Greg Gaines

After starting the previous two seasons with the Rams, Gaines joined the Bucs last season in a primarily backup role. He started two games in place of the injured Vita Vea and finished with 24 tackles and a sack. Gaines was seen at the facility working out after the season ended and could be brought back as depth for the 2024 season. 

Patrick O'Connor 

O'Connor has been one of the Bucs' special teams stalwarts over the past few seasons. He's seen more snaps as a rotational player and recorded a safety against the Falcons. O'Connor loves the Tampa area and it's very possible he could be back with the Bucs next season.

Deadrin Senat

Senat was on and off the roster this season and didn't sign a futures contract at the end of the season. He played a much bigger role for the Bucs in 2022 playing in 12 games. He could come back on a veteran minimum deal but the team could look to add a younger player with more upside. 

2024 Outlook

The Bucs have their starters set for the 2024 season but behind them the depth is sparse. Greene is the only player that was signed to the active roster with the rest of the players signed on future contracts. The Bucs could re-sign some of their own free agents but are sure to add to the position either through the draft or free agency. 

You can follow JC Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.

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