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July 19, 2011 @ 7:24 am
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

5 Mid-Level Free Agents

Written by Charlie
Campbell
Charlie Campbell

Charlie
Campbell

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Who are five potential mid-level free agent fits for Tampa Bay? Who are some players that the Bucs could steal from division rivals? Find out right here.
With the progress made towards ending the NFL lockout, the opening up of the free agent marketplace could allow the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to fortify their roster with some NFL veterans. With that in mind, Pewter Report takes a look at five potential players that could be a match for the Bucs.

These free agents are in line with previous Bucs free agent additions like safety Sean Jones or guard Keydrick Vincent, mid-level NFL veterans that have some upside but won’t command huge contracts.

CLEVELAND CB ERIC WRIGHT
The Browns veteran is entering free agency after his fourth NFL season. Wright started 10 of the 13 games he played in last season. Wright started 16 games in 2009 and 2008 while starting 13 as a rookie in 2007. The 2008 season was Wright’s best as he had three interceptions with two forced fumbles. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Wright produced a career high four interceptions in 2009. Wright, 25, is entering his prime with a lot of playing experience. He has a good deal of experience in man coverage schemes, which the Bucs like to see because they feel that is a natural skill while zone coverage is teachable. Wright has a good skill set that could give secondary coach Jimmy Lake some tools to work with. He is physical and could improve his play with a change of scenery and better coaching staff. Wright could provide the Bucs some experienced depth if starter Aqib Talib is unavailable in 2011.

BALTIMORE CB JOSH WILSON
Like Wright, Wilson would provide some experienced depth if Talib is unavailable. Wilson (5-9, 192) played 14 games with nine starts for the Ravens last season. Wilson was replaced in the draft by Baltimore selecting Jimmy Smith in the first round. In 2009 and 2008 Wilson was a starter for the Seattle Seahawks. His career high for interceptions came in ’08 with four picks. Wilson, 26, should be very affordable in free agency. He has some upside, but would not be viewed as a long-term starter. Wilson would be more of a stopgap corner like former Buccaneer cornerback Juran Bolden, and to a lesser degree Philip Buchanon.

BUFFALO LB PAUL POSLUSZNY
Sources with the Bucs have indicated the Bucs have some interest in Posluszny. The Bills middle linebacker has been a quality player for Buffalo while in the lineup. The Penn State product has battled injuries throughout his career as he has missed 19 games in four seasons. Last season he set a career-high with 151 tackles and two sacks while making 14 starts. At 6-foot-1, 238-pounds Posluszny would not be a size upgrade over Barrett Ruud. If Ruud is not re-signed, Posluszny could be signed affordably to be a backup plan that could provide some experienced competition for young linebackers Tyrone McKenzie and Mason Foster.  

CAROLINA LB THOMAS DAVIS
Davis missed the 2010 season with his second ACL injury. Davis is a very good linebacker when healthy, but staying on the field has been a challenge for him. Davis played in 16 games in 2008, 2007 and 2005 while making 14 starts in 2006. The injuries have hit him in the past two seasons. At 6-foot, 240 pounds Davis would be a big size upgrade for the Buccaneers at Will (weakside) linebacker where Geno Hayes plays in the 220 pound range. Davis is fast and is a good linebacker in pass coverage. He has played safety in the past. The 28 year-old Davis could be signed on the cheap, but potentially provide a big return. If he is healthy he could legitimately beat out Hayes for a starting position. Davis recorded two forced fumbles a season from 2005-2008. He could provide a more physical run presence on the edge for Tampa Bay. The Bucs gambled on an injured but good linebacker in the past with Angelo Crowell. That didn’t work out for Tampa Bay, but it does not mean they won’t sign players of that ilk again.

ATLANTA RT TYSON CLABO
The Falcons starting right tackle is entering unrestricted free agency. The seven-year veteran Clabo has started every game at right tackle the past three seasons for Atlanta. At 6-foot-6, 331-pounds Clabo offers a heavier option at right tackle for the Buccaneers over last season’s duo of James Lee and Jeremy Trueblood. The 29 year-old Clabo could command a quality contract and the Falcons are believed to want to re-sign him. Clabo has started 69 games for Atlanta the past five seasons and has been integral in the Falcons power running game led by halfback Michael Turner. Signing Clabo would hurt Atlanta and he could be a good addition for Tampa Bay if they don’t want to go with Lee or Trueblood in 2011.
Last modified on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 08:22
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Tampa Bay staff has probably has about a top 50 players that Tampa would spend money on. Sometimes its not the players name or what he has done but what the potentials they have. The same with the rookies FA, I think Tampa knows what the veterans can contributed right now. But some of the undrafted college player unsigned that are from small programs may be the most intreating prospects. Again the average College player that last's only 3-5 years. I'll give you a name back in the 60's name of RB from Florida name Larry Smith who played at Robinson high school in the early 60's. He was a great player at Florida, but again in his rookie year the airport ramp gave way and Larry career only lasted I say 5 years with the LA Rams and the Wash Skins. So each individual is different. It would be great if the rookies and the fa comes thru. But every year it is shot in dark on some of these players. But we will see. GO Bucs
  • avatar

    The only thing I see is we do NOT need to bring in players with a history of constant health problems. I don't care how good they can be. Players are paid millions to play not sit out injured. To bring in players like that is asking for trouble. JMO.
  • avatar

    we need a vet de .
  • avatar

    drum35, Talib may never play again in Tampa, and Barber has maybe one yr left. We need proven corners. OR at least someone who can be an impact player.
  • avatar

    Talib's trial is next year and this is a case of wait for the FACTS because so far the facts point to him being completely innocent in this case. I believe 100% the NFL takes a "wait and see" approach, especially since it happened during a lockout.---------------------- Biggers proved he can be a starter and most feel lewis is better and will start this year IF Talib is in fact suspended a few games.------------------ Yes, they have to replace Barber, but that will come next year in a DEEP CB draft... just like they did with DTs and DEs.----------------- Besides barber wants 2 more years at this point and has actually improved each of the last 2 years after not looking so good 3 years ago.-------------------- Then they have a fast, lanky ballhawk in Gaitor they took in the 7th round. he is a project but has a ton of potential and did face alot of great WRs in his career.-------------------- All this tells me they will not be adding a CB unless it is a a tier 2-3 type guy for depth and he will actually have little chance of making the team.
  • avatar

    I don't get the infatuation with signing a CB. Between 2 articles you have 4 mentioned. They are set at DB. - - - - - CB - - - - Barber, Talib, Lewis, Biggers, Gaitor. IF someone fails or Talib is gone next year, they draft and sign one next year. - - - - S - - - - Grimm, Jones, Asnate, Black, TJax is even coming back.------------------------------ Basically, DB is the least area of need on the team along with QB.
  • avatar


    I'm still not a big fan of building a team through free-agency and really don't have an interest in any of these players. I'd rather sign Nnamdi Asomugha and call it a day.
  • avatar

    I would love to see us meet the cap floor by going out and getting Asomugha, Wright, Posluszny, Mankins, Clabo. I heard on ESPN that we'll have to spend a ton to meet the proposed cap floor. I know a majority of that will go to our current players on FA, but I still get excited just thinking about the possibilities.
  • avatar

    IMO the best players from this list that are worth it is Wright and Davis. Wright still has alot of upside and theres no telling what Raheem and Lake can do with him or how good he could become with those two. They both know how to work their magic with db's. I think it was two years ago Davis was a beast and got snubbed for the pro bowl and looked to be an ascending player until he got injured the next year. I think he could be a steal. Clabo doest interest me much. What does he do so different then Trueblood does? And thats Davin's boy so pass. Another guy I have heard about that could be available is Nick Barnett. If the packers let him go he would be a steal for us to sign him and replace Rudd with. Even though hes 30 it still can give Mason or Tmac time to groom themselves in another year or two.
  • avatar


    I wouldn't call Posluszny mid-level. Some rank him the best MLB available, some rank Ruud best and others rank Tulloch best. Those three guys are considered the cream of the MLB crop of free agents this year. That being said I would prefer Tulloch over them all. PFF rated him the #1 run-stopping LB in the league last year with 76 solo run stops, not to mention 161 tackles which is fourth all-time in Titans franchise history. He's smart & hits like a truck. Coverage skills are average but so what? We need mean, tough & nasty on this defense and he has all that in bunches.
  • avatar


    Hey cRuud hits like a truck too...a Hot Wheels truck!
  • avatar


    Yeah but Ruud is "intelligent" and the "quarterback of the defense" and "gets everyone lined up". Whatever! I'm so tired of hearing those things. What does all that matter when he hits like a Hot Wheels truck just like you said? I'm honestly ready to move on from him. Bring on a non-quarterback of the defense who can smash opposing players like walnuts in a nutcracker. 'Bout time.
  • avatar


    Well these positions are important, but not the most critical in my eyes. I'd much rather they go after a 2nd tier DE, that can provide 8-10 sacks....that would be impactful. I'm hopeful but not really expecting that our rookies are going to be able to deliver the necessary sack numbers this year, at least until late in the season.
  • avatar


    Yuck. None of these guys will help us get to the next level. Either stay the path or spend for higher tier players, but please don't spend good money on these types.
  • avatar

    Wilson would be a great addition to the team. He's quietly been the best CB on his teams (Seahawks in 09, Ravens in 10) the past two seasons.
  • avatar


    Justin Blalock might also fall in this category. Upgrading our guards would be just as important or maybe even more than RT where Lee and Trueblood (if we keep him) are able to compete for the spot along with Dotson. Larsen played well all things considered but I don't feel very comfortable with him as our starter.
  • avatar

    I doubt the Falcons won't throw a bunch of cash at Clabo they know they need to keep Matt healthy.
  • avatar


    I haven't seen E. Wright or J. Wilson play enough in the NFL to comment on whether they would be an upgrade over what we have. I did like E. Wright in college though. Puz is the same as Ruud only cheaper which is never a factor for me because it's not my money. So the only guys I would go after are T. Davis and T. Clabo because I they they are both an upgrade over what we have now. I've said all offseason (even before the draft) that the best thing to do at WLB is bring in a FA to compete with G. Hayes. I'm not ready to completely give up on Hayes after one bad season so I want to see how he responds to competition from a S. Jones type FA. Someone that can truly give him a run for his money.
  • avatar


    tdesbien31, I understand your regard for Steven Tulloch because he is a top rated ILB, but you need to look beyond the number of tackles he made and look at why he made them and were they for a loss or made downfield. We already have a LB makes lots of downfield tackles. Why did he make all those tackles? According to ProFootballFocus.com, the the 2nd and 3rd leading tacklers on the Titans were CBs, which means the D-Line was not stopping the run at the LOS. Sound familiar? If you’re going for an under-sized ILB, which Stephen Tulloch is at 5-11, 241 and runs the 40 in 4.84 that will cost 7-8mil/yr, why not consider UFA Mario Harvey at 5-11, 257 and runs the 40 in 4.46 for the rookie minimum of about 300k? Then you can develop him the Buc way!
  • avatar


    Macabee I think we already had this conversation over at JBF, the measurable you mentioned are meaningless. Yes he did indeed have to make tackles further down the field, but he doesn't miss tackles (Ruud doesn't miss much either), He is great at shedding block (If a mosquito flys into Ruud hes toast), He is a leader by example (what example does a panzy footed mlb set?) to sum it up Tulloch would be a massive upgrade over Ruud in ever category other than pass protection
  • avatar

    Clabo is the best bang for the buck of the group. You could take a gamble with Thomas Davis though because his upside is the greatest of all on this list. Wilson I can't see unless the goal is to bring in a dime CB. Wright definitely is a better option over Wilson though. Poz,I just don't think he is worth it to be honest.
  • avatar


    CB Eric Wright is the only player i see taking from this bunch and that is because Talib won't be playing for quite a while and we will need a starter replacement. I have said this many times; Talib will always be a problem and we need to move away from him now. Character does matter for teams that havewon superbowls.
  • avatar


    ''Posluszny would not be a size upgrade over Barrett Ruud''.......really? I don't care what their listed size says, Poz is definitely bigger than Ruud. Besdies, Ruud plays he's 180lbs and Poz plays like he's 260lbs.
  • avatar


    Josh Wilson, Tyson Clabo, and the Poz would be a great free agency imo. Add Yanda to that list and I might piss my pants.
  • avatar


    I love the idea of hurting Atlanta and pretty boy "Matty Ice". Clabo is a very interesting FA.
  • avatar


    1 name left off this list that we could use the most: Stephen Tullock If you dont know who he is, watch a Titans game... Rated out as ProFootballFocus' #1 run defender last year and was one of the top tacklers in the league.
  • avatar

    I've heard from a league source that Tullock is very likely to sign with the Lions or re-sign with the Titans.
  • avatar


    Yeah i figured he would resign with the Titans, but its wishful thinking I suppose. Stupid Lions and their wanting to sign every FA LB!
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