Free agency is entering Week 3 and the Buccaneers have done little at this point, disappointing some fans and surprising many around the league. Below is a list of positions that the Buccaneers may be looking to address along with three players at each position still available in free agency.
With free agency three weeks old, fans are still waiting to see exactly how and if the Buccaneers will address the loss of Michael Bennett and Roy Miller in free agency, and also what the plan to upgrade the cornerback position is.
Tampa Bay feels somewhat comfortable at the left defensive end spot, with Da’Quan Bowers slated to step into Bennett’s role. Replacing Miller is a bit trickier as the nose tackle market was thin to begin with.
Here is a list of defensive positions that most feel the Buccaneers need starters are at the very least some additional depth. Included are the best available free agents who the Buccaneers could possibly be interested in.DEFENSIVE TACKLESRichard Seymour
Seymour, despite being 34, is still a highly productive player – when on the football field. The problem is staying healthy and with some knee issues in the past, and a hamstring injury that limited him to just eight games in 2012, the addition of Seymour is a risky proposition. However when looking at his 350 plus snaps in 2012, Seymour graded high and still managed to notch three quarterback takedowns, which was three more than Roy Miller or Gary Gibson had last year.Casey Hampton
Hampton has been a fixture in the Steel City for a number of years and was a big part of their success over the last 10 years, but like Seymour, most likely his best days are behind him. Of course that doesn’t mean the Buccaneers couldn't use him for a season or two, at the least provide some depth behind now current starter Gary Gibson. Hampton doesn’t excel at getting to the quarterback but is an excellent run stuffer and the five-time Pro Bowler uses his 325 lbs of girth to make running inside extremely difficult. Hampton could also bring some leadership as he has spent his entire 13-year career with the Steelers organization.
Ellis, a former No. 7 overall pick has never lived up to his billing in New Orleans collecting just 12.5 sacks in his five seasons in the Big Easy. But many people still feel the talent level warrants another shot, and a change of scenery could be beneficial. Ellis had his best season in 2010, one in which he notched 44 tackles and six sacks and two forced fumbles for the Saints. At only 27, Ellis should still have plenty left in the tank.DEFENSIVE ENDSOsi Umenyiora
It appears Umenyiora is destined to join the Falcons and the Buccaneers could regret the decision to not attempt to sign the former Giants as they could face him twice a year over the next few seasons. The Falcons are looking to replace John Abraham and Umenyiora is basically a younger version. The fact that there hasn’t been any rumors of the Bucs looking at Umenyiora could have to do with the inside intel Tampa Bay has with former Giants assistants Mike Sullivan and Bill Sheridan now on Greg Schiano’s staff. Maybe Umenyiora isn’t a “Buccaneer Man” but there isn’t anyone on the Bucs current roster with a resume that contains 75 career sacks.John Abraham
The free agent defensive end market has been surprisingly on the cheap side and older veterans like Abraham are feeling the financial pinch. Abraham is getting up their in years but most expect he can still be a situational third-down pass rusher. The Denver Broncos apparently think so and have been discussing a deal for the former Falcon to replace Elvis Dumervil. Even at age 34 Abraham still recorded 35 tackles, 10 sacks and six forced fumbles while playing all 16 games in Atlanta last season.Dwight Freeney
A player like Dwight Freeney makes sense for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have obviously decided that Da’Quan Bowers will get the majority of the snaps next season, but playing in 90-degree September heat at Raymond James Stadium will make it doubtful that any player on the defensive line won’t need an occasional breather. And a player like Freeney could bring valuable experience and leadership to the Bucs young defensive ends. Freeney could provide depth at both positions, as he would occasionally flip flop spots while starring for the Colts.CORNERBACKSBrent Grimes
Grimes appears to be the best free agent cornerback left in free agency and there were thoughts that the Buccaneers were interesting in bringing the former Falcon to Tampa Bay. But both Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times and Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune recently tweeted that Grimes and the Buccaneers don’t appear to be a good fit for whatever reason. Grimes is coming off an Achilles injury that cost his 15 games last season, but reports out of Atlanta say that Grimes is right on, or even a little ahead of schedule in his rehab from the injury. The addition of Grimes could also make the Jets blink in the Darrelle Revis staredown.Nnamdi Asomugha
Asomugha was a bust in Philadelphia after signing a mega contract prior to the 2011 season. But at one point late in his Raiders career, Asomugha was regarded as a top-5 cornerback in the NFL. What happened in Philly is anyone’s guess, but it hasn’t stopped both the 49ers and the Saints from pursuing Asomugha. At 6-2, 210-pounds Asomugha fits the bill of what most feel the Buccaneers are looking for in the cornerback position.Antoine Winfield
Even at age 36 Winfield notched 101 tackles and intercepted three passes for Minnesota last season, playing at a physical level. The Buccaneers most likely would prefer younger players but at this point in free agency the pool is rapidly shrinking. Reports say Winfield will meet with the Redskins this week as they are looking for a replacement for DeAngelo Hall was released earlier this month. Two unidentified teams were also in the running for Winfield according to reports, and the Buccaneers could, and probably should, be at least kicking the tires on the former Viking.
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