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July 20, 2011 @ 7:12 am
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5 Prominent Free Agent Fits For Tampa Bay

Written by Charlie
Campbell
Charlie Campbell

Charlie
Campbell

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Who are five potential big name free agent fits for Tampa Bay? Which one could the Bucs steal from a division rival? 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 big name players that could be a match for the Bucs.

Tampa Bay has not signed a big name free agent in many years, but in 2009 general manager Mark Dominik made a strong push to sign defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and linebacker Jonathan Vilma. They were two of the biggest stars in free agency that year, and they chose to sign elsewhere. This year there are some big name free agents that could be a fit for the Buccaneers if they are willing to commit to the contracts it would take to sign them.

NEW ENGLAND G LOGAN MANKINS
The 29-year old Mankins is very likely to become the highest paid guard in the NFL if he hits unrestricted free agency. Mankins is equally a dominant run blocker and pass protector. For years he has been one of the best guards in the NFL, and there is no reason to think that his play will decline in the next few years. Mankins has started all 89 games he has played in. He started 16 games as a rookie in 2005 and every game the next four years, 2006-2009. In 2010 Mankins missed the first seven games of the year in a contract dispute. In the past, Mankins has been adamant that he wants out of New England, but some now believe the relationship has improved and he would be willing to stay. If the franchise tag were applicable in a new collective bargaining agreement the Patriots would use it on Mankins. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Mankins could be a fit for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay would like to re-sign guard Davin Joseph, but it will take a massive contract to do so. The Bucs could decide to spend a little more and sign perhaps the best guard in the NFL with Mankins.

OAKLAND CB NMANDI ASOMUGHA
The 30-year old Asomugha is in the discussion as the best cornerback in the NFL because he is a true shut down corner. Asomugha routinely takes away any wide receiver that he is matched up against. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound corner has an elite combination of size and speed for the cornerback position. Since the 2006 season when Asomugha recorded eight interceptions, teams have not thrown the ball his direction. He had one interception per season in 2007-2009, and did not record an interception last season. The California product also is a good run defender on the perimeter. Asomugha could be a fit for the Buccaneers if the team decides to move on from fourth-year pro Aqib Talib. It would take a massive contract to sign Asomugha as he is rumored to be looking to receive a contract around $17 million per season. Asomugha wants to sign with a team that he believes will contend for the Super Bowl immediately. Many in league circles believe that Asomugha will end up in the NFC East, but the Bucs are a playoff contender with the resources to pay him. While it is not impossible, it is probably a long shot that Asomugha signs with Tampa Bay.  

CINCINNATI CB JONATHAN JOSEPH
Joseph won’t command as large a contract as Asomugha, but it still will take a large, long-term deal to sign Joseph. The Bengals first-round pick in 2006 has good combination of size (5-11, 190) and speed. He also has good ball skills as he has recorded 14 interceptions over the past four seasons. The 27-year old Joseph is a good cover corner that also plays well in zone schemes. He won’t command the amount of money that Asomugha will, and in three or four years Joseph could still be playing at a high level while Asomugha could be declining. If Talib is released by Tampa Bay, Joseph could be a long-term replacement.

MINNESOTA LB CHAD GREENWAY
Like Mankins, Greenway could be slapped with the franchise tag if it survives the labor negotiations. If not, Greenway will be the top linebacker available. Greenway (6-2, 242) has played inside and outside linebacker the past four seasons and has not missed a game in that time. Greenway, 28, is a very tough run defender that also is good in pass defense. He is intelligent and is very physical. The Iowa product has seven forced fumbles and five interceptions over the past four seasons. Greenway could be an upgrade to the Bucs run defense, which has been among the NFL’s worst the past two seasons. For the Bucs he probably would project as a middle linebacker. Barrett Ruud, Tampa Bay’s starting middle linebacker and leading tackler the past four seasons, is heading into unrestricted free agency. If he is an unrestricted free agent, the Buccaneers could make a strong play to sign Greenway to beef up their linebacking corps and run defense.

NEW YORK GIANTS RB AHMAD BRADSHAW
The Bucs took running back Kenneth Darby instead of Bradshaw in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Bradshaw has gone on to become a very good running back. Bradshaw, 25, should have plenty left in the tank to make a long-term contract a safe gamble. Last year he ran for 1,235 yards with eight touchdowns and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. Bradshaw is a quality receiver as well. Last year he caught 47 passes for 314 yards. For his career Bradshaw has 2,558 rushing yards with 17 touchdowns while averaging 4.8 yards per carry. One draw back to Bradshaw’s game is ball security. Last year he fumbled the ball seven times.  The 5-foot-9, 198-pound Bradshaw is a speed back that would offer Tampa Bay’s offense a game breaker in the backfield. Signing Bradshaw would give the Buccaneers a true change of pace running back to pair with LeGarrette Blount. Bradshaw is a threat to score on any carry. As a rookie he had an 88-yard touchdown. In 2008 he had a run of 77 yards. If the Buccaneers are looking to continue to surround quarterback Josh Freeman with weapons then Bradshaw could be a top free agent consideration for Tampa Bay.
Last modified on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 11:10
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Albert Haynesworth for a fifth round pick why is he not catching a plane to the tampa bay buccaneer one buc place practice facility? and please grab Antonio Cromartie this time nice draft guys Lets go Frank Okam? Davin Joseph?
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    WHAT WOULD HAPPEN BUCS FANS THAT TAMPA GOT ALL THOSE FA THAT WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE PRICE IS RIGHT. THE CB FROM OAK WILL PROBABLY COST BETWEN $15 TO 19 MILLION DOLLARS A SEASON. 2ND PLAYER THAT WOULD FIT IN TAMPA IS MANKINS, I'M SORRY YOUTH, BUT CAN YOU IMAGINE IF HE PLAYS ALONG WITH JOSEPH WHAT AN OUTSTANDING LINE. PLUS GET LB CHAD GREENWAY WOULD PUT A CHERRY ON THE TOP ON THE FA MARKET. THAT WOULD ELEMATE rUDD AND TALIB. I SAY GREAT, THAT IS ONLY MY OPION. ONE THING GOING FOR TAMPA FAVORITE IS THE FANS, CLIMATE AND NO TAX IN FLORIDA. I WANT TAMPA TO KICK BUT FROM DAY ONE. AND I THINK WITH MCCOT And freeman has been getting the players ready I believe you will see tampa ready from day one.espically when tampa plays on fox againsy kc.GO BUCS
  • avatar

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820e3eac/article/top-20-undrafted-free-agents-not-loaded-with-sudden-impact?module=HP11_content_stream great story about the best undrafted Free agents available. This was a really deep draft if these guys are still available.
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    I say this with the NFL is very close to starting back up. First of all, Let's Re-sign the FA that is from Bucs Camp first then Go after the best Veterans aND rOOKIES fa'S AVAILABLE THAT IS IN tAMPA SYSTEMS. go bucs
  • avatar

    Are you crazy are something Slience The Critics why would the Bucs sign a defensive tackle when they drafted two last year in Gerald McCoy, and Brian Price if you were a Bucs fan or a NFL fan for that matter you would have know that.now me i keep up with all the nfl news around the league apparently you dont.because, me im a true NFL fan and and true die hard Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.
  • avatar

    The only reason the Bucs would consider a DT is Brian Price is starting the 2011 season on the un-able to perform list. And may not be back until mid-season if at all.
  • avatar

    Agree, take Joseph over Asomugha . That name is soooooo much easier to spell. I say grab Mankins and let Davin walk (too many injuries). Other than that, there's a lot of un-drafted FA's to go after that look promising....one LB in particular from Boston College......
  • avatar


    JonnyG, was that a negative remark about your namesake? I actually think the propensity for wanting the older players was as much George Allen's son's ideology as it was Gruden's. Can you picture those two on a reality show like the one out in your neighborhood where the guy wanders around the 100 acre junk yard searching for an old classic car to bring back to life? It could be a show on HBO called "Knee Knocks". They could stroll through the retired players home and try to restore some of the old former Pro Bowlers Rocky Balboa style. Que the Eye of the Tiger music. Can't you just see them trying to decide if they can find parts from Dr. Andrews to replace Joe Namath's or Dan Marino's knees to prop them up one last time? They could get some hair dye to bring the color back to Red Grange's hair and roll him out on the field on his Hoveround. They could even try their hand at voodoo to raise up players who were actually dead but may still be able to play a couple of downs. "He looks a little stiff Bruce, but I love the guy."
  • avatar

    @scubog- lol, your crazy!
  • avatar


    I can see the Bucs going after a DT... but no way in hell they go after Haynesworth. And if they did I, along with many others im sure, would be absolutely pissed... that piece of trash is the last thing the Bucs need on this team or any other team.
  • avatar

    Are you crazy are something why would the Bucs sign a defensive tackle when they drafted two last year in Gerald McCoy, and Brian Price if you were a Bucs fan or a NFL fan for that matter you would have know that.now me i keep up with all the nfl news around the league apparently you dont.because, me im a true NFL fan and and true die hard Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.
  • avatar

    Like to see the Bucs pick up Noel Devine or Sproles both speedy small backs that can contribute in the return game.
  • avatar


    Oh, and it seems obvious that Brian Price will not be playing in 2011 so I wouldn't be shocked at all if we pick up a DT in free agency. In fact I'd almost put money on it. Candidates? Haynesworth, Cofield, Mebane. Tommie Harris, anyone?
  • avatar

    Antonio Cromartie. Well, could happen, certainly. He's pretty good plus I would think that he'd work with with Rah running the D. He just seems so... not super smart - a little scary. I don't want to see anybody out there as confused as Suckatelli was.
  • avatar


    The franchise tag, by all reports, is part of the new CBA. It may be reduced to only being used on a player once but since Mankins and Greenway have never had it used on them before 2011 it won't matter. They'll get tagged. You can scratch those two guys off the list. Asomugha is the longest of shots like CC said so scratch him too. That leaves Joseph & Bradshaw, which happen to be two guys I could easily see Dominik targeting in free agency. I'd be all for it.
  • avatar

    Dont count out Antonio Cromartie. He said today he isnt giving the Jets any "home town discounts". And the Bucs were on his short list of places he would like to go. I know he doesnt have the best attitude but the man has talent out the *censored* and would be a good pick up.
  • avatar


    There is ZERO, I repeat, ZERO % chance the Bucs will go after ASOMUGHA! The whole thing stinks with what the Bucs DO NOT DO. They DO NOT bring in 30 year olds. Asomugha is a shut down corner. That is NOT the system the Bucs use. It would be like going after a 370 pound Defensive Tackle. Wrong system. Offensive Line, Linebacker, Running Back, ok. If Im wrong, I will write a long letter of apology on my website to anyone who wants one.
  • avatar


    Obviously either of the 2 CB's would be a dream, and Mankins would help out too. I definitely do not want us to go after any RB with more than a 1-year deal because they don't age well. Don't really see the value in Greenway either, I just don't think he is that good. Do I think any of this will happen? No. But if we could add a decent OT and maybe one or two other pieces, that would be good. And it's fun to dream about Mankins or Joseph.
  • avatar


    Nnam would be a great signing for th Bucs but that is just pie in the sky. I have supported Mark and Rah on every move they have made. Except hiring Jim Bates as D-coordinator. I think the Bucs will go after Joesph because it fits there previous track record of FA pick ups. He is a stud but not a star like Talib or Nnam, but would give us depth. I would like to Mankins, he is a stud. All the others I'm not to hyped about. I just can't wait to see what we do to the 30 holes that need to be filled.
  • avatar

    I want them to get Charles Johnson DE Panthers. He's 25 and had 11.5 sacks last year. We need a DE with some experience until Clayborn and Bowers get with the program. This would have the most positive impact for the Bucs of any signing, with the possible exception of a high priced receiver to complement Williams and Benn (who may not be totally ready to play) etc.
  • avatar

    The Bucs didn't use two high draft picks at the DE position so we can go get a 25 yr free agent and sign him to a big contract. Hello McFly anyone home?
  • avatar

    Serious? A DE? Just after we went 1,2 with Clayborn and Bowers? Maybe an experienced DT to stand in for Price. Until he gets back on his feet. Which could be next season.
  • avatar


    I wish there was a like button on posts. Your absolutely right Warren about Mack. I have never liked him and if it werent for his silly penalties on special teams nobody would even know his name. He has done nothing and I have been patiently waiting for the bucs to release him. I am stunned he's lasted this long.
  • avatar


    Definitely need to grab one of the top two CBs for the following reasons: 1. to significantly upgrade our defense (dah!), 2. combat the high-powered offenses of Atl. and NO, 3. to safeguard against the possible loss of Talib, 4. to safeguard against the possibility that Barber will no longer...at some point...be indestructible, and 5. FINALLY let Elbert Mack go!
  • avatar


    What about DeAngelo Williams (at 28 may be too old)? Like him in the backfield with Blount.
  • avatar

    Everybody has to keep in mind that with such a short free agency period that we're going to have combined with the fact that the salary FLOOR is going to be 95% of the salary CAP, but Bucs will HAVE to spend more money than the last few years. If they're on the fence regarding overpaying some of the existing players, they may well HAVE to bring in a high-cost guy like Asomugha and/or Mankins. That being said, I'm not sure we NEED Asomugha as we might be better off having QB's LESS frightened to throw the ball, resulting in MORE picks. I think Mankins would be SOLID. I think we could see either Ruud or Davin Joseph franchised (if Davin is true to his word, letting Ruud go might make him more inclined to walk, which can be prevented with a franchise tag, then he can be resigned longer term after a successful 2011 season). On RB's, I say we build from young stock and NOT spend money in FA. I just read an article via PFT that I agree with entirely: Most FA RB's end up having significantly lower production after a move. The Bucs scouting has been dead-on the last few years, let them find us diamonds-in-the-rough. Final Note: The Bucs have been willing to spend money in FA and have had OFFERS, but players haven't wanted to come here for reasons beyond money. Now that the NFL sees a team that likes their coach/management AND wins games with a true franchise QB, I see the Bucs as being way more attractive to free agents and see a greater chance of us signing the folks we pursue.
  • avatar


    Floor will be 90% of the cap.
  • avatar


    I know NMan wants 17 mill a season, but what other teams have that cap space? Perhaps 12 mil would be all he could actully get, same with Mankins. Glad the Bucs have about 50 mill they'll have to spend. We could really use both those guys, NMan for the teams like Atl, G.B., N.O..
  • avatar

    I would elect to keep D Joseph as opposed to letting him walk and taking mankins. He is a homegrown product, has excellent ties with the community, and has built camaraderie with team officials and all the new players. Injuries are still a concern with him though. J. Joseph >Asomugha. I believe JJ is a better deal. Less money, younger, more interceptions (probably because teams aren't scared to throw his way), and more TDs. As our mantra goes... "score or get the ball back". That coupled with the youngster movement J.Joseph makes more sense IMO. I am not really aboard this whole take-a-veteran-RB train. I would much rather comb the undrafted free agent rooks and grab someone who will come cheep like a derrick locke or a Craig cooper, Noel Devine, Bradon Saine. (obviously I think we should go for a speed back). Locke only didn't get drafted b/c of injury (though it could be a major one). Mario Fannin was also undrafted and he weighs 231 and runs a 4.3... just sayin'. Linebackers I am ok with bringing in a vet, a younger vet albeit, but a vet nonetheless. Poz from the Bills may be a good idea. I am only lukewarm on Barnet from GB. I also like some undrafted FA LBs like Alex Wujciak and Mario Harvey(to a lesser degree harvey), and obviously Mark Herzlich who could be the steal of the undrafted FAs. I really think Pewter Report should do a column about possible fits for undrafted FAs with the bucs. I think It will open some eyes!
  • avatar

    Would love to pick up J. Joseph, C. Greenway and T. Clabo!! Even if Greenway is a OLB, he would be a up grade over Black. That would the greatest scenario! I don't think it would be that much for these players since we will propably have to spend some money to get to the salary floor. Also resign D. Joesph and B. Ruud ASAP!
  • avatar

    Sign CB Joseph, RB Reggie Bush/ Bradshaw, a dominant RT, another DE perhaps Anderson or Babin, and a true FB, franchise Ruud (let him walk next year), resign Joseph, Trueblood (backup RT), Black. Release Lee, Geno Hayes and sign Dominant WLB to compete with McKenzie. Nuff said. 2012 Depth Chart: McKenzie/ ? - Foster- Black= One Physical/ Fast LB Corpes CB- Talib-Joseph-Lewis-Biggers-Gaitor= Shut down secondary
  • avatar

    Ok, This is great water cooler talk, but other than that with the Bucs history of not being real players in free agency none of these players will be an option, Greenway plays the outside by the way not middle. Lower priced free agents will be targeted this yr the good news is that since Gruden is gone it won't be a 35 yr old vet like Dareen Sharper signing with us, that was the one thing I hated about Gruden was his infatuation with over the hill players with prominant names.
  • avatar

    It's nice to talk about the high end free agents when the Bucs have the cap space and they can attract the big names with the team being on the rise. I'm not a big fan of overspending in free agency, but this free agent class has a lot of young talent, which makes it hard to ignore. Dominik is doing the right thing by building through the draft, but if there's a time to add players at key positions, this might be it.
  • avatar

    Correct me if Im wrong, but Im pretty sure Greenway is NOT the Vikings Mike. I know EJ Hendersen is their Mike and Greenway is an OLB. But still, he would be a great addition and would replace either Black or Geno if he's signed
  • avatar

    Mankins could be a solid addition if Joseph isn't resigned. It's highly unlikely the Bucs would spend the money required to sign both. If they let Joseph walk, Mankins would be the guy to go after. He's a more complete guard, although he'll cost more. The idea of having a true shutdown corner like Asomugha sounds good, but at $17 million a year it doesn't make sense. That's the kind of money franchise QBs make. The money would be better spent upgrading more than one position. I would opt for Jonathan Joseph. He's younger and would come at a lesser price. The CB position is a question mark at this point, with the Talib situation and Barber close to retirement. We may have a solid group of corners on the roster if Talib gets his act together and Lewis and Biggers continue to get better along with Gaitor. Otherwise, it could be a position of need.
  • avatar


    Sign Joseph and Trueblood. Then sign Mankins. Gee, we can always wish.
  • avatar

    Obviously any of these guys would be good for the Bucs, but personally, I'd take Joseph over Asomugha because of the price. Asomugha is an incredible shutdown corner (only like 100 passes thrown at him in the last 3 years combined), but $17mil/yr for a CB is crazy. I'm not saying I'd be upset if they signed him, but I'd much rather take Joseph, who is still a very good CB. Mankins and Davin on the same line would be a dream, but probably will not happen. Greenway would be an upgrade, but we may not have a shot at him, and I'd like to see what McKenzie can do. I wouldn't pay for Bradshaw either, esp after the last NYG RB we overpaid for.
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