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.
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