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June 5, 2011 @ 7:10 am
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PR Predicts: TE John Gilmore

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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In a new feature on PewterReport.com, the future of impending Bucs free agents are predicted. Tight end John Gilmore is the first player to be featured.
After the 2011 NFL Draft manyTampa Bay Buccaneers players that are slated to be free agents had their roster spot impacted. In this new regular feature on PewterReport.com, the editorial staff will predict whether the impending free agent will be back with the Bucs in 2011.

Gilmore, 31, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent when free agency starts. The 6-foot-5, 257-pound veteran tight end is entering his 10th NFL season.

Gilmore became the primary backup to starter Kellen Winslow after Jerramy Stevens was cut in mid-season. Gilmore was a quality run blocker, but his presence in the game was a signal to opposing teams that the Bucs were likely going to run the ball. Tampa Bay took advantage of that in the passing game late in the season and found Gilmore uncovered at times in the secondary. He caught 13 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown. The well-liked and respected Gilmore was a leader in the Bucs locker room and on special teams.

Gilmore, a Penn State product, has stayed in the NFL because he is a strong run blocker, much like former Tampa Bay tight end Anthony Becht, whom he replaced on the roster. The Bucs signed Gilmore away from the Bears in 2008 after six seasons for Chicago. Gilmore has been the Buccaneers' best blocking tight end the past three seasons. In his nine-year career, Gilmore caught 52 passes for 524 yards and five touchdowns.

Gilmore could be re-signed because he is popular in the locker room and with the coaching staff. He also knows the offense and is a special teams contributor. However, there would probably have to be a rash of injuries at the tight end position in training camp for Gilmore to be re-signed by Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers drafted two tight ends last April in fourth-round pick Luke Stocker and seventh-round pick Daniel Hardy. Winslow and Stocker are locks to be the Bucs' top two tight ends in 2011. Hardy will battle holdovers Ryan Purvis and Nathan Overbay - two former practice squad players – to be the third tight end on the roster. Both Purvis and Overbay are quality blockers, so one of them could fill the role that Gilmore had the past three years.

The PR prediction is that Gilmore, who will be 32 in September, will not be back with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay remains committed to going with a youth movement so that the team can grow alongside franchise quarterback Josh Freeman, who just turned 23 in January. A rash of injuries at the position could put Gilmore back in play for the 2011 season if he is still an unsigned free agent, but it seems like a long shot for Gilmore to come back to Tampa Bay.
Last modified on Sunday, 05 June 2011 10:27

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  • avatar

    Gilmore has been a great Buc....what he does may not show on the stats but when he is on the field he does his job and does it very well. It will be up to Coach who goes and who stays but either way he deserves to be given the most curtousy and respect. As a fan I would love to see him stay. Either way he has earned his keep and will be fondly remembered. GO BUCS!!!!!! Let's play ball please, Go Luck John and all the veterans....hope you get a chance to play....but with this lock out I am begining to doubt it.
  • avatar

    SarasotaBuc Fan, I agree. I also share martinii's concern about the shortened season and whether a 3rd young TE would be better than Gilmore. I don't think Gilmore will be back either, but I wish he was. I never really saw him make a mistake. He displayed better hands than Stevans when they were both here in my opinion even though Stevans was supposed to be the receiving TE. Gilmore catches what you throw at him and he's the team's best blocker. Either way, thanks for all the solid play and locker room leadership you've given to Tampa Gilmore. Here's to hoping you can give us at least one more. Go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    I thought it was mentioned by PR earlier that youth wasn't quite as important this season thus the youth movement doesn't seem to be the dominant factor in personnel decisions this season. Look at gilly's #'s last season it seems as though it was one of his best in receptions and his strength has always been blocking. I don't see how overbay or even purvis would be an upgrade. Gilly is becoming a more complete tight end. It's about talent this year, not youth right?
  • avatar

    I like Gilmore too, but this is a numbers game. Go to the Archives, page 2, and review Bucs 53-man Roster Prediction. I too, believe Gilmore is gone and there will be other fan faves that will not make it either. Dominik says this is going to be a hard team to make. Shelton Quarles says that we will see the first five picks play on sunday. There are 80 players on the roster now and no FAs or UFAs have been selected yet. Because of the lockout, there is talk of a one-time roster expansion for 2011. If that happens, some of the on-the-bubble players will be re-signed. It's a good problem to have, but never-the-less still a problem.
  • avatar

    I'd say Keep gilmore, and at least keep 4 TE's and 6 WR's. I say run dble TE's schemes with Winslow and Stocker 1 team and Gimore and Hardy 2nd team, and if they want to used a veteral double dose TE-s Winslow & Gilmore would be close to Goal Line set. That would #1 bring both rookies team up each with a veteran and the rookies could learn from the veterans. I understand that they will be ableto dress more player sat game time then any previous years. What does anyone agree with this suggest from a Veteran Buc Fan since they started.GO Bucs
  • avatar

    Winslow, Stocker, Gilmore - keep one of the other three for the practice squad. Some veteran leadership on the field and locker room is a good thing. Use him in the passing game more - he can catch just fine.
  • avatar

    Couldn't agree more...Huge Gilmore fan here...
  • avatar

    Sarasotabucfan- Yes your right, Hester would have done nothing if not for the excellent wedge blocking of Gilmore-lol
  • avatar

    I guess my comment is more of a question. If the lockout continues into July and training camp time , will it be more beneficial to retain players that know the system. Will we be able to field a team that can execute a game plan and thus give us a better chance of winning early in 2011 while the new high profile players master the playbook. If he is in good shape Gilmore can contribute on special teams and as a run blocking TE immdediatly. If the lockout ends soon and the coaches and new players can get on the same page it will simply be a matter of reps and older players like Gilmore can be replaced. I think it is safe to say (in part) that "Who" makes the final 53 and PR will to some extent depend on when all this CBA crap is settled. In a way that is a shame. Rookies won't have time to prove themselves. Vets will have an advantage, but little security. The only positive outcome is that all the teams will be in the same boat (hopefully.) Go Bucs.....
  • avatar

    The Upside of Hardy right now is just to good to put Gilmore over. from what I have read about Hardy he could one day be a great pass catching TE (one has said that he is a WE in a TE Body), Gilmore is good on Special Teams and thats good and all but we are in a youth movement and 32 years of age does not fit that....
  • avatar

    i agree with sarasota, plus you have to have some kind of veteran presence in the former of a grinder, winslow and barber are veterans but more or less stars, after that very few vetrans on team(or will be on team i doubt barret comes back)
  • avatar

    I am only referring to free agents and it's just my opinion: This is going to be very tough on many 30 plusyear old players because of the player/owner dispute. Many will not be playing in the NFL again. Gilmore fits that mode. Most free agents from other teams are usually picked up to help solidfy teams that expects to go far into the playoffs.
  • avatar

    we should re-sign gilmore. we probably wont. but he was the key person in turning our special teams from horrible to impressive. gilmore blocked for hester and sprung hester to his record breaking seasons. once we got gilmore we had clifton smith go to the probowl, sammie stroughter return for TD and of course spurlock's TD's. Gilmore is a key blocker in the wedge, and a very cerebral special teams player. and hes no slouch at TE. having him at # 3 TE would be better than purvis or hardy or whoever that other guy is. its not a sexy re-signing... but its a depth/special teams re-signing. A small contract couldn't hurt, it could only help.
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