While the Bucs aren’t expected to go crazy in free agency this season, they will be looking to upgrade a number of positions. PewterReport.com takes a look at each unit over the next week, showcasing which players Tampa Bay could lose, and which players might replace them, including our Bucs’ Best Bets.

Safety:
2019 Bucs Free Agents: Chris Conte, Josh Shaw, Andrew Adams
The Bucs are unlikely to re-sign Conte, and neither Shaw nor Adams are locks to return. Both could be guys that Tampa Bay brings back to camp to compete for a spot on the roster, but it’s not out of the questions for all three of the team’s free agent safeties to hit the free agent market as opposed to being extended prior.

That leaves Justin Evans, Isaiah Johnson, who is an exclusive rights free agent that is expected to be re-signed, Jordan Whitehead and cornerback-turned-safety M.J. Stewart on the roster. Evans is a prospective starter for 2019, Johnson adds depth at both safety positions and after working mostly in the nickel corner role in 2018, Whitehead and Stewart are works in progress. This means the Bucs will likely be in the market for both a step-in starter across from Evans and a hybrid safety to add depth.

Top NFL Free Agent Safeties Available:
1. FS Earl Thomas (Seahawks)
2. FS Tyrann Mathieu (Texans)
3. FS Adrian Amos (Bears)
4. FS Lamarcus Joyner (Rams)
5. FS HaHa Clinton-Dix (Redskins)

Others: SS Andrew Sendejo (Vikings), SS Tashaun Gipson (Jaguars), SS Jahleel Addae (Chargers), SS Kenny Vaccaro (Titans), FS George Iloka (Vikings), FS Glover Quinn (Lions), SS Jonathan Cyprien (Titans), SS Deone Bucannon (Cardinals)

Outlook: Holy cow, talk about a talented free agent class at the safety position. There is so much talent available at the safety position I actually had to extend the top five available to a top six because I couldn’t leave any of them out of that top tier, and Eric Weddle and Landon Collins could have easily been in that group if he hadn’t already agreed to terms with the Rams and Redskins, respectively.

As we saw last year, safety is an interesting position when it comes to free agency and with this much talent available the NFL could see another scenario where free agency lingers until multiple talented safeties are forced to sign one-year prove it deals before training camp starts. Whether a team is looking for a free safety, a strong safety, a hybrid who can play both positions, an experienced veteran or a young player with years still in his prime, there is arguably a player to fill any need at the safety position in the 2019 free agent cycle.

Bucs’ Best Bet: SS Deone Bucannon
Bucannon was a first-round draft pick to Arizona in 2014 and has played in at least 12 games every season since. He started his career in the NFL at safety but was asked to fill in at linebacker for the Cardinals in 2015, and despite being undersized he thrived in the defense, recording 112 tackles, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, three passes defended, and an interception returned for a touchdown.

In his time in Arizona, Bucannon spent four years playing under Bruce Arians and spent his rookie season under Todd Bowles when he served as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator. Bucannon brings versatility to the position as he can play inside or outside linebacker and work well in multiple schemes. In his five seasons in Arizona, Bucannon played in 70 games, accumulating 404 total tackles, seven sacks, seven forced fumbles, 27 tackles for loss and two interceptions.

If a time comes where the Bucs find themselves without Alexander or White on their roster, Bucannon could be a top target for Tampa in free agency, especially if Mathieu, who also played for Arians in Arizona, commands over $9 million per year as expected.

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About the Author: Taylor Jenkins

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Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

So much safety talent out there. Bucs would be wise to land a vet safety.

macabee
2 years ago

The top Safety is off the board.The Redskins’ deal for Landon Collins is a 6-year deal worth $84M with $45M guaranteed. That’s 14mil yr. That probably means that S Tryann Mathieu will get 12mil yr. First wave FA is a feeding frenzy for the teams with cash. The Bucs have the lowest cap space in the NFL. If the Bucs were to get robbed by a thief, he would just be practicing. lol.

The Bucs best bet is a 2nd wave free agent like SS Deone Buchanon to replace Chris Conte and bring back RFA FS Andrew Adams.

BucRy
Reply to  macabee
2 years ago

So many good safeties this year, it’s just too bad we don’t have the cap space to bring in a tier 1 vet.

macabee
Reply to  BucRy
2 years ago

NFL UFA Safeties. Never say never! Bucs just traded DJax and put 10mil in the kitty. Pretty sure more to come. 12 safeties are now on the list of the Top 100 free agents Landon Collins (Signed Redskins) Earl Thomas Tyrann Mathieu Adrian Amos Lamarcus Joyner Eric Weddle Clayton Geathers Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Glover Quin Kenny Vaccaro George Iloka Tre Boston Experienced players like Tashaun Gipson, Jahleel Addae, Andrew Sendejo, Johnathan Cyprien, Adrian Phillips, Jimmie Ward, Kendrick Lewis, Kurt Coleman, Marcus Gilchrist, Deone Buchanon, Chris Conte, Reggie Nelson and Mike Adams are also available, so there are options at various… Read more »

BucRy
Reply to  macabee
2 years ago

I did just see that he got traded, so we do have room to sign at least one of them!

macabee
Reply to  BucRy
2 years ago

While we were talking, WR Humphries was signed by the Titans, It just keeps on coming. When all is said and done, I think the Bucs will be just fine.

BucRy
Reply to  macabee
2 years ago

I think we’ll be fine too, I have good faith in Arians and co

fredster
2 years ago

Love to see the honey badger here but the cap likely will prevent it unless they really cut a lot.

fredster
2 years ago

Hoping Stewart can be a better at safety and not a wasted 2nd rd pick for Bucs.

Ivan2727
2 years ago

Another year where we suck due to our poor decision by our GM.

macabee
2 years ago

As I stated earlier, Former Texans’ S Tyrann Mathieu intends to sign a three-year, $42 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, per a league source.

Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

With Collins and Mathieu signing mega deals we shall see where the remaing safties go. There are so many starting caliber safties out there that some will be easy to scoop up by next week.

Alldaway 2.0
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

Vaccaro signed with the Titans so that leaves big Earl Thomas out there still