Buccaneers Sign Veteran Nose Tackle Greg Gaines

March 18th, 2023

This signing intrigues Joe for a few reasons.

Today’s NFL Network ticker says former Rams defensive tackle Greg Gaines is your newest Buccaneer.

Gaines turns 27 in May, so this represents the Bucs getting younger at the position. And Gaines has a Super Bowl ring and plenty of experience, so the Bucs certainly aren’t losing experience by adding Gaines after Rakeem Nuñez-Roches moved on to the Giants. And old man Akiem Hicks won’t be returning to Tampa.

Joe has referenced Gaines previously. He was the Rams’ starting nose tackle alongside Aaron Donald the past two seasons and he played a load of snaps — a hell of a lot more than his Buccaneers counterpart, Vita Vea. It drove Joe nuts in the 2021 season playoff game when Vea played so many fewer snaps than Gaines. (Joe sure hopes Vea another series or two per game this year.

Gaines (6-1, 315 pounds) is a durable dude who will eat up snaps, as Joe mentioned. He was Vea’s college teammate and he’s been a rock for the Rams since he was drafted in 2019. He’s missed just one game over the past three seasons and he amassed 8 1/2 sacks through the past two seasons.

Joe’s not sure if the Bucs will re-sign free agent William Gholston, but at least now the Bucs have a solid starting tackle tandem in Gaines and Vea, with second-year man Logan Hall ready to rotate in.

Also, based on Joe’s research, it seems like Gaines was a beloved and outgoing figure in the Rams locker room. Joe wonders if the Bucs were looking to inject that kind of personality into their D-line room after losing Nacho – and if they’re counting on Gaines to do a little salesmanship of his 2022 Rams teammate, Baker Mayfield.

66 Responses to “Buccaneers Sign Veteran Nose Tackle Greg Gaines”

  1. NoLogicLeftwich Says:

    He was solid for LA

  2. Caleb lee Says:

    I hope we can keep Gholston. He’s showed up when he needs to and he’s a big scary dude that finishes plays.

  3. Bnasty Says:

    This might end up being the best signing yet… Interior pressure is everything IMO and this will allow Logan Hall to move around the line. Also this helps White and David out along with our secondary. It seems seems like we’re leaning on interior pressure to be the go to this year and let guys make plays.

  4. Derek Says:

    Sounds like a sneaky good signing

  5. Obvious Says:

    NICE! Now that’s a pick up!

  6. Brandon Jeff Says:

    The Bucs do not have the funds to make an all in push for a Super Bowl but it looks like they are definitely looking to field a solid team to compete in the nfc South. Tanking was a pipe dream for a few.
    I’m happy to see this. We had too many good pieces in place to just fold.

  7. gotbbucs Says:

    Our d-line has to eat up blockers or White and David can’t function behind them. Until Logan Hall bulks up he is relegated to being a nickel rusher. We realistically need one more BIG DT now to get a good 1st and 2nd down rotation.

  8. Austin Says:

    Sign Will and our interior is set. Draft a Tackle, edge, and safety

  9. Buc4evr Says:

    Now we are talking. This really helps the DLine. Hopefully we can get another edge rusher or a DT in the draft. Hope Jason also gets a LT in FA or the draft .

  10. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Very good signing, didn’t think he would be in out price range.
    Hopefully we can sign A’Shawn Robinson as well.

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    This sounds like a good signing. Wonder what the price tag is?

    Bucs also re-signed OLB Cam Gill to a minimum contract….

  12. Redeemer Says:

    @gotbucs is correct. The entire defense Bowles runs is predicated on big guys tying up blocks. Then the backer can flow to the ball and make plays. Gaines actually give them something they’ve missed, the ability to push the pocket without having to blitz every down. Most of the league is base nickel anyway, so like has been said, this could be a sneaky good signing. How many times did we see white and David with their backs to the play last season. It was embarrassing at times. Imo, they should switch to a 4-3 base, but it doesn’t matter I guess

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    “our” price range.

  14. Vlad TheImpaler Says:

    Vlad approves this signing

  15. Whinny Testaverde Says:

    “Old man Hicks”…a year after many…including a Joe or two…declared he was a young(er) replacement for Suh. Hicks was a major disappointment…eyeballing one year deals just above league minimum here on out…if any at all.

  16. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    I like this signing. Should have good chemistry with Vea seeing they were college teammates.

  17. Dooley Says:

    We brought Pat O’Connor back because I was gettin worried and before you say “nothing special” dude is a valuable reserve and career special teamer you need a handful of guys like him on your roster

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    He was also a teammate of JTS.

  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I wonder how much he cost us ?

  20. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Good signing

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m absolutely loving this signing. Was starting to get worried about our DLine, but signing Greg Gaines is a major coup IMO. Re-signing Cam Gill & Patrick O’Connor helps a little too.

    Like Pickgrin, I’m wondering about the terms of Gaines’ contract too. Spotrac showed him with a Market Value of $7.8 mil based on a 4-year contract of $31.2 mil. He’s shown solid on-field performance & has only missed 1 game in the last 3 years like you said Joe. Looks like he’s been used a lot in the last 2 years especially, but his stats for 2021 look much better than last year for some reason (of course, the Rams did win the SB in 2021, so the whole team obviously performed better):

    2021: 17 games … 780 def snaps … 4.5 sacks … 13 QB Hits … 4 TFLs … 55 tackles (28 solo).
    2022: 16 games … 732 def snaps … 4.0 sacks … 6 QB Hits … 6 TFLs … 36 tackles (16 solo).

    Interesting that he was Vea’s college teammate & they were drafted in the same year. I’m assuming they got a lot of field time together back at Washington. I’d be nice to see them on the field a whole bunch here too.

  22. steele Says:

    Excellent signing. One in a row.

    Replacing the lost is overdue and necessary. Cannot tolerate injured Hicks and injured/consistent Vea, gaping holes and the rotationals and JAGs forced to step up.

  23. Crickett Baker Says:

    Hicks was yet another “great if he stays healthy” hire. He probably would’ve been, too.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Redeemer … ‘Imo, they should switch to a 4-3 base, but it doesn’t matter I guess’.

    Your analysis & comment fascinated me Redeemer, probably because I’ve been thinking the same thing since the George Edwards signing (who has an excellent 4-3 background). I’ve never viewed Bowles’ defense as a traditional 3-4, but more of a ‘hybrid’ (he can be very unconventional it looks like, which I applaud).

    I guess I’m kinda wondering if perhaps players like Hall & JTS might be better suited for the 4-3 (which we run a lot of anyways it seems). Whatchathink?

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Reading Rams blogs, just the comments to get a feel for what the morons think, and they don’t really seem to care he’s leaving. They didn’t hate him or anything, just indifferent.

    In any case you need starters on the defensive line, and you don’t want to bet on rookies. Hopefully Logan Hall take a big leap in his 2nd season – if so, and this guy can at least hold his own, you have 3 starters. Of course, however, you need depth since Vita is only a part time player, so that’s where Gholston should still be on the Bucs radar.

  26. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Nice signing. The draft is setting up nicely for an Edge, OT, and Safety if the Bucs choose wisely, IMHO.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    If the Bucs can just convince Vita to put down the quad-bacon cheeseburgers and lose some weight this offseason, he could be more than a part time player.

    Everyone quotes 350 as his weight, but that was his pro-day workout weight, there’s no way he’s not probably not pushing 400 pounds now. If he was able to get down into the 330 range, which was the weight of Suh, then he’d not only be able to play more than 54% of the defensive snaps, he’d also be a huge upgrade as a pass rusher. Also at 330, I doubt he’d have much of any falloff as a run stuffer – but even if he did, who cares, since 90% of the time he wasn’t on the field late in games when you needed him to make a big stop because he was winded and on the sideline.

    So the Bucs, by just making Vita cut his calories to 6000 a day, as opposed to 8000, could make a huge offseason gain that doesn’t cost anything.

  28. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Watching Gaines highlight reel, there’s short area quickness and hustle. Of course, everybody looks good on their highlight reel.

  29. Cobraboy Says:

    @Rod: Maybe Vea is just big-boned.

  30. SKBucsFan Says:

    Can’t say I can recall his play at all. But anytime past teammates can get back together tonplay its a good thing. Instant chemistry is an intangible that could help.

  31. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    This is an interesting signing. This guy is only 6-1 but he is listed as 315 pounds. Vea is supposed to be 6-4 and about 350. Hall is listed as 6-6 and 283. Just how much weight would “bulking up” be for him. He should be able to play at 315 or more you would think.

  32. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    And I would think Vea’s playing weight should be somewhere between 350 and 370. Even if he is “big boned” he needs to also have endurance strength in order to play a lot of snaps per game.

  33. dmatt Says:

    Why is it the Bucs Brass always go after big overweight vet FA who pan out to be duds with no more to prove other than a swim move to sign a big fat paycheck to do nothing put pause. Suh was the only one to prove his worth. Albert Barbecue Haynesworthless, Chris Cheatburger Baker, n last year’s Akeem Hickcups. I’m all in with Greg Gaines, he’s young n hungry.

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    Vita needs to be well under 350 so he can do more than stand on the sidelines for half the games. I can’t believe we’ve never heard the coaches say anything about him watching his weight when his play time is way below what it should be, and it’s because he’s winded.

    BTW, random fun fact, I was looking up the 1995 combine, and Warren Sapp was only 281 pounds. In Sapp’s best year, 2000, when he had an insane 16.5 sacks as a DT, he pushed his weight up to 330 pounds. He later said he didn’t like playing that heavy and felt like it slowed him down, so he lost 30 pounds for 2001, which was one of his worst years (although, going by memory, I believe he was banged up all year).

    That 330 number just seems like a good number.

  35. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  36. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  37. Michael Says:

    Soild signing . Guy will take some of those double and triple teams off VV .

  38. DoooshLaRue Says:



  39. Brandon Jeff Says:

    @ Tommy,
    Can you please stop the shouting. I know you have been asked at least a couple of times. It’s very hard to read your posts.

  40. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  41. brooks Says:

    Totally.lost with whT were doing

  42. Jon Grudin Says:

    Like the move. How about bringing back Will Ghoulston?

  43. ElioT Says:

    Really good signing, hell of a job.

    Go Bucs!

  44. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Solid signing. He’s a very durable player on the interior and stout against the run. Plays with good leverage and energy. Just a guy we need upfront to shore up the run D. He was a bully against us a few times we played the Rams.

  45. Oddball Says:

    Yes. Trenches guud.

  46. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Tommy: Joey Porter Jr. had 1 interception in 4 years at college. The Bucs already have 2 corners that usually don’t catch interceptions. Just saying.

  47. Stanglassman Says:

    PFF ‘22 grades

    Nacho 56
    Gaines 59

  48. Arn Platz Says:

    Thank you Jason Licht, MST we have another

  49. Arn Platz Says:


  50. LakelandSteve Says:

    Great signing. Maybe they can get Gholston back at the vet minimum and some incentives.

  51. Vancouver Buc Says:

    The GOAT must like this signing

  52. Goatfarmer Says:

    Jason Licht is Killing It!

    Great signing.

    I agree about Gholston. If we can land him and draft a ferocious fatty to build on, then all we need to do is unload the Bloweszo and 2024 looks brighter. The new head coach will only need to pick his QB.

  53. Redeemer Says:

    Defense, I agree that hall and JTS are more suited towards the 4-3. As much nickel as everyone plays, first down is still an opportunity to dictate to the offense. Of course if they come out in three by one, I don’t think it matters much. Belichick gave up on the 3-4 base years ago, partly because it required such speciality in the individual players. I probably could’ve said that better. I do agree with your overall premise. Bowles relies too heavily on his linebackers to make plays on first down especially imo. Of course he does deploy multiple fronts and is an overall good coordinator. But it seems to me like he’s living in the NFL of 20 years ago. He has been spoiled by having one of the best LB tandems

  54. Goatfarmer Says:

    (Finding a closet where I can be alone for a while)

    Licht is GM of the off-season, given his cap strap and his Bloweszo AB hork tied to his leg. Anyone can overpay for a splash guy. Licht is slowly and deliberately putting together a sustainable roster of solid football players. When Bloweszo loses with this roster, he’ll be next seen in Simple Jack 3 – Horses and Me.

  55. Goatfarmer Says:

    “Anchor tied to his leg – autocorrect is weird.

  56. Jon Grudin Says:

    I hope he will motivate his old college team mate, Vita Vea who clearly played much better with Suh to push him, than he did with Akeem Hicks or Nacho.

    Looks like a decent signing for the trenches!

  57. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Good signing but wheres the money coming from to sign all these players?

  58. Fansince76 Says:


  59. garro Says:

    Joe we really missed Hicks in the middle last year when he went down. Particularly his play against the run. If Gaines can be as good against the run and provide a bit in the pass rush great. Excellent if opponents gotta worry about two big dudes in the middle.

  60. Mord Says:

    Looks like good depth/rotation now that Nacho is gone

  61. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Using the word READY and LOGAN HALL in the same sentence Joe is a real knee slapper. Logan Hall is headed for early retirement from the NFL unless his career trajectory rockets upwards and fast.
    Gaines huh? Was Suh offered the same as Gaines to return? and if not why not?

  62. Zoocomics Says:

    What am I missing? This guy was a “starting” nose tackle for the Rams, averaging 4 sacks the last 2 seasons, he’s an iron man, only 27, got a Super Bowl Ring, and they let him walk?

    And we only had to sign him to a 1 year deal? And why was he available? Look, I love anyone we sign that looks to contribute immediately, but I don’t get how this guy who supposedly so solid, was only hired under a 1 year deal? Was it because he’s not exactly a big DT? Does he lack versatility in other defensive schemes?

  63. Zoocomics Says:

    So, I just grazed over 3 articles regarding Gaines, and why first, the Ram’s would let him walk… and why other team’s writers similar to this one were either pulling for him to come to their team in free agency, or why the Rams plan to sign him to a longer contract. The verdict, first the Rams are in terrible draft shape after going all-in for a Super Bowl, so they’re looking for comp picks. And Gaines isn’t a versatile DT, he is a pure nose tackle, with some pass rush ability. Yeah, so he fits a specific scheme which is Bowles’ def. I still don’t understand how we only got him on 1 year deal, at 26/27 years old. Might work out great for us and him.

  64. Larrd Says:

    Beau Allen, redux.

  65. Mike Says:

    As long as he’s better than Nacho, this was a good move.

  66. Ben Harvey Says:

    Solid signing but I still think they need bigger up front. Pona Ford, Jordan Phillips could be decent, Hicks is a big dude and we all saw what happened to our run defense when he wasnt playing.