Bucs Free Agency Primer: Defense


With NFL free company kicking off on Monday, March 14, the Bucs are confronted with changing 11 starters between their offense and protection. Let’s check out the protection first.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Possibility A: Ndamukong Suh/Will Gholston
Suh and Gholston are positioned collectively right here, as there’s a good probability at the very least certainly one of them returns. However not essentially each. This would depart one of many different choices beneath to fill the opposite spot. At this level of their careers Suh and Gholton symbolize high-floor, low-ceiling choices. Each are nonetheless very succesful run defenders with restricted upside dashing the passer. With Bruce Arians’ latest feedback about wanting so as to add extra of a cross rush ingredient neither participant is a perfect match.
Projection: Each ought to command one-year offers within the neighborhood of $5 million.

Bucs DE Will Gholston and OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Possibility B: Calais Campbell
Campbell represents essentially the most constant participant available on the market at his place group. Groups simply need to guess that his play will defy Father Time. Campbell turns 36 throughout the season, however remains to be enjoying at a really excessive degree. He offers a flexible skill-set that enables him to play the 1, 3, or 5 method. That form of hybrid flexibility may current a really distinctive chess piece for Todd Bowles, who coached him in Arizona. Campbell received’t come low cost, although.
Projection: Search for a short-term deal averaging $8-10 million per 12 months.

Possibility C: Tim Settle
Settle has been relegated to a part-time participant in Washington’s stacked D-line room. Nevertheless, when given the chance he has constantly produced and popped on tape. Over his first 4 years within the league he has constantly graded out higher as a cross rusher than a run defender. That monitor report matches the Bucs’ acknowledged needs on the place for 2022.
Projection: One-year deal round $5 million.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

Possibility A: Jason Pierre-Paul
Pierre-Paul has been a culture-changer in Tampa Bay. Following the commerce to get him from the Giants he helped re-establish a feared cross rush. Nevertheless, he’s 33 years outdated coming off main shoulder damage. When he did play final 12 months he was not efficient. What does his position realistically seem like in 2022? And the way will that match along with his price ticket? JPP could not even have the ability to cross a bodily till coaching camp. So if the Bucs are concerned about re-signing him, they might wait till summer time.
Projection: One-year contract between $5-7 million.

Possibility B: Melvin Ingram/Justin Houston
Each Houston and Ingram symbolize related gamers to JPP. All three are 33, however Ingram and Houston are coming off more healthy, extra productive seasons the place they have been already enjoying in time-shares that allowed them to be extra environment friendly. Each would value in the identical neighborhood by way of contract phrases.
Projection: One-year round $7-8 million.

Possibility C: Takk McKinley
McKinley by no means developed into the premier edge rusher he was speculated to grow to be when Atlanta drafted him twenty sixth general within the 2017 draft. Nevertheless, he has proven flashes at occasions. McKinley would slot in as a stable depth piece with Anthony Nelson behind Shaq Barret and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. McKinley would come on the comparatively low value.
Projection: One-year deal between $3-5 million.

CORNERBACK

Possibility A: Carlton Davis III
The Bucs elected to not use the franchise tag on Davis. Testing the market, Davis can be seen as one of many high 2-3 choices at cornerback. That would drive his value up in a league that more and more wants high quality cornerbacks. Davis may very well be again on a long-term deal, however it might come at a big value. He’ll seemingly fetch between $17-$18 million per 12 months.
Projection: He would possibly fetch 4 years at $72 million.

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Possibility B: Charvarius Ward
Ward isn’t seen as a top-tier No. 1 nook. He’s checked out as a dependable starter on a top quality protection. How that will match into the Bucs protection would more than likely push Jamel Dean into the No. 1 position with Ward offering high quality play reverse him. Ward remains to be younger at 26.
Projection: A 3-year deal for $36-39 million wouldn’t be out of the query.

Possibility C: Rasul Douglas
Douglas is a really fascinating case research. Previous to 2021 he had not performed as much as a high nook billing. As a matter of reality, Inexperienced Bay signed him off of Arizona’s observe squad final 12 months mid-season after being reduce by Las Vegas and Houston earlier within the 12 months. Down the stretch although he offered stability to an excellent Packers protection that was lacking star nook Jaire Alexander to damage. He’s a wild card at a place that sees quite a lot of variability year-to-year and that ought to maintain his value down.
Projection: Two years at $15 million.

SAFETY

Possibility A: Jordan Whitehead
Whitehead is a fan favourite in Tampa Bay. He combines constant high-level, bodily play with a stellar no-nonsense demeanor. Whitehead is the kind of participant that groups and followers alike covet. The Bucs appear to like what he brings to the desk so a reunion is a excessive probability.
Projection: Three years at $20 million.

Possibility B: Marcus Maye
Maye’s worth will come all the way down to his well being. He’s versatile, in a position to play deep security in single and 2-high appears to be like, or come down into the field to play run matches. If he have been to finish up in Tampa Bay he would open up the bottom of the protection to permit Todd Bowles to play him and Antoine Winfield as chess items rotating them excessive and low. Maye’s well being is what’s going to maintain him in play for a lot of groups as he’ll look to show himself on a 1 12 months deal.
Projection: One-year deal price $5-$7.5 million deal for a much bigger payday in 2023.

Possibility C: Malik Hooker
Hooker’s talent set makes him a gorgeous choice to enrich another security. He can play excessive or low, overlaying all forms of zone programs in addition to run matches up nearer to the field. His lack of consistency will give groups pause at taking a look at him as a starter. He could be an intriguing choice for Tampa Bay in a timeshare with Mike Edwards as a praise to Antoine Winfield Jr.
Projection: One 12 months at $2.5 million.

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