Star center Ryan Jensen is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year, $39 million deal, sources tell TDN’s Carmen Vitali. The news comes on the heels of future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady announcing on Sunday that he is returning to the NFL for his 23rd season after previously announcing his retirement.
Prior to re-signing, Jensen was potentially one of three prominent Buccaneers offensive linemen set to leave the team this offseason. Guard Ali Marpet announced his retirement and Alex Cappa is a pending free agent. Tampa Bay did return guard Aaron Stinnie on a one-year, $2.5 million deal announced over the weekend.
Jensen, 30, has never missed a game in his Buccaneers career. Tampa Bay signed Jensen as a free agent from the Baltimore Ravens back in 2018 and he’s started every game for them since. Add in a Super Bowl championship snapping to the greatest quarterback of all time and the subsequent Pro Bowl nod he garnered this past year and you have a bonafide case to call Jensen one of, if not the best, centers in the entire NFL.
Jensen was the anchor and leader for an offensive line that boasted the least amount of sacks allowed in 2021 while simultaneously allowing for a bolstered Tampa Bay run game in which the Buccaneers recorded nine games of more than 100 yards rushing (including the postseason). Jensen’s infamous ‘nasty’ streak, coupled with a quarterback who was quick to get rid of the ball, set the tone for an aggressive unit that was able to attack more often than just sit back in their pass sets and block.
Jensen has also maintained his nasty streak while cutting down on penalties throughout the last few seasons. Though when it comes to protecting his quarterback, I’ll take most of those over the alternative. That’s by and large what he’s most known for—he will go to war for his quarterback if you so much as look at him the wrong way. And if you thought his hair was the only thing fiery about him, you’d find out pretty quickly that permeates his entire on-field personality.
Jensen is a small-school product, coming out of Colorado State-Pueblo before being drafted by the Ravens in 2013. He wouldn’t see significant playing time in Baltimore until his last season in 2017, where he started all 16 games for the Ravens and earned his next free-agent contract, proving himself every step of the way.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022