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: March 08, 2013, 12:31:55 AM

You be the Bucs GM: Linebacker

Lavonte David, right, started all 16 games during his rookie 2012 season.

 By IRA KAUFMAN| The Tampa Tribune
Published: March 08, 2013

The NFL free agency period begins at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. That means the Buccaneers and 31 other teams have only a few precious days left to decide which of their free agents to bring back and who to pursue and how much money to spend when players hit the open market.
The Bucs are about $33 million under the 2013 salary cap of $123 million.
Fifth-year general manager Mark Dominik is in charge of shaping the roster, and there are plenty of needs and variables to consider.
For eight days, the Tribune and TBO.com will feature one position each day. We'll provide analysis of the position and list the players to consider: Bucs under contract for 2013, plus Bucs and notable NFL players scheduled to become free agents.
So, Bucs fans, what would you do? Now is your chance. You be the GM.


The good news for Buccaneers fans is second-round draft pick Lavonte David emerged as a legitimate candidate for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and second-year pro Mason Foster improved every facet of his game in the middle.
On a negative note, Tampa Bay is seeking a starter at strongside linebacker because Quincy Black is recovering from offseason surgery to repair nerve damage in his left shoulder. Black was playing effectively before the season-ending injury occurred against San Diego Nov. 11, and now his career is in jeopardy.
The Bucs aren't likely to pay big money for a replacement because the strongside position in Tampa has rarely generated splash plays.
David was a revelation coming out of Nebraska, drawing comparisons to a young Derrick Brooks while posting 20 tackles for loss and calling defensive signals.

Quincy Black

His NFL future is in doubt following surgery.

Lavonte David


Started all 16 games during outstanding rookie season.

Mason Foster

Not caught out of position nearly as often in Year 2.

Najee Goode

Fifth-round pick played three games as a rookie.

Adam Hayward

Special teams captain filled in capably for Black.

Joe Holland

Had three stints on Tampa Bay practice squad.

Dekoda Watson

Outstanding special teams performer, blocked two punts.


Jacob Cutera (RFA)

Played seven games, made three special-teams stops.


OLB Paul Kruger


Nine regular-season sacks and exceptional in the playoffs.

ILB Dannell Ellerbe


Supplanted Ray Lewis as Baltimore's best ILB.

OLB Philip Wheeler


Breakout season in 2012, leading Oakland with 109 tackles.

ILB Brad Jones


Three-down LB who can cover and play the run well.

OLB Daryl Smith


Dependable veteran coming off significant groin injury.


Hall of Famer

Posts : 2883
#1 : March 08, 2013, 02:03:06 AM

I'm pulling for Daryl Smith out of all potential OLBs to be honest... That guy was a diamond for the Jaguars when he played and would help us... Throw him Quincy Black money, and he might be had for less to be honest...

Not too high on the other FAs on that list to be honest.

The Anti-Java

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Posts : 23556
#2 : March 08, 2013, 02:27:26 AM

As long as Dom doesn't draft Manti, all will be good.  Even if he is there at our 2nd, I hope they pass.

Sign a capable LB in free agency for not a lot of cash.  Too bad about Black, wish him well.  But Hayward filled in ok for him.


Posts : 423
#3 : March 08, 2013, 02:42:08 AM

we need to save here to spend in other areas... i.e. CB.   Also, we're probably going to want to extend lavonte early if he repeats this year, and mason will get a pay raise as well... lb will start to cost the team more money soon anyway.  Cap your FA LB dollars at $2.5 million (I'd stick with our current roster) and settle with Quincy... best wishes and prayers to him... I hear he's a class act... even if he was overpaid.


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#4 : March 08, 2013, 05:56:16 AM

Philip Wheeler seems like a decent fit, he may want a big pay day though.


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#5 : March 08, 2013, 07:27:36 AM

Jarvis Jones ...#13.....solve pass rush and SAM with one pick.


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Posts : 12752
#6 : March 08, 2013, 08:45:59 AM

If its not Jarvis Jones or Dion Jordan then I want  either Larry Grant from SF.. Or Brad Jones from GB.
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