Rams FA Greg Gaines plundered by Buccaneers, reunites with Vea

Greg Gaines
Greg Gaines / Harry How/GettyImages

There is a belief among some LA Rams fans that the defense will not be challenged with the loss of any free agents because, they argue, 'They weren't that good to begin with.' Well, that's not true at all, but what is true is that the LA Rams had one of the better rush defenses in the NFL. The Rams allowed just 12 rushing touchdowns (10th-best in the NFL), allowed just 115.1 yards per game (13th-best in the NFL) and allowed just 4.3 yards per rush (11th best in the NFL).

Much of that stout run defense is thanks to the physical play of nose tackle Greg Gaines, a young defensive standout whose misfortune is to have an expiring rookie contract just as the LA Rams have determined that it's time to reboot their roster. Gaines was selected by the LA Rams in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the 134th overall pick. Since that time, he has competed in 59 games for the Rams and started 25 of those contests.

Now, he will reunite with his former Washington Husky teammate Vita Vea as he has agreed to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

So what should fans expect from him on the Buccaneers defense?

Gaines is effective in both production and in facilitating

If fans are looking for Greg Gaines to lead the team in quarterback sacks, or even to be among the team's leaders at that statistic, they may be disappointed. That is not what Gaines does best, nor is it likely why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added him to their roster.

The truth of the matter is that Gaines has excelled at blocker-gobbling. That is, he aims his rush vector into the backfield as to present the largest shadow to offensive linemen possible. In that way, he not only protects his linebackers, but he occupies blockers who would otherwise engage other defenders. And he is quite familiar with freeing up Buccaneers DL Vita Vea from their college playing days with the Washington Huskies.

Even as a starting NT Greg Gaines brings 40-50 tackles and 4.0-6.5 quarterback sacks to the Buccaneers' defensive front, his presence with catapult Vita Vea's 2022 production of 31 tackles and 6.5 quarterback sacks into the realm of 45-60 tackles and 6.5-11.0 quarterback sacks.

Trending. LA Rams have yet to add a new player from the 2023 NFL Free Agency market. dark

Gaines is a solid defender in his own right. But he plays selflessly, and that style of play will make everyone around him play that much better. Bucs fans are in for a real treat when Gaines shows up. Unfortunately, their win comes as another loss to the Rams roster.