We’ve repeatedly gone over the amount of free agents the Bucs have to re-sign this offseason. In his latest article, Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic takes a shot at predicting where some of the top free agents could land, including the plethora of Bucs free agents. He includes three potential options for each team in the league.
Unfortunately, Bucs fan may not like some of his predictions. Kapadia has Tampa Bay losing some pretty important free agents. First to go is tight end O.J. Howard, who lands with the Bills. He mentions a change of scenery for the former first round pick may help resurrect his career. Jordan Whitehead is lost to the rival Panthers to pair with Jeremy Chin in Carolina’s secondary.
Next on the move is Rob Gronkowski, signing with the Bengals to play with Joe Burrow. Meanwhile, Bucs guard Alex Cappa joins the Houston Texans. It doesn’t get much better from there, with Tampa Bay losing Carlton Davis to the New York Jets and Ryan Jensen to the Steelers.
Bucs DE Will Gholston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
As for the Bucs, he has them re-signing defensive lineman Will Gholston. He also has the Bucs landing former Green Bay interior offensive lineman Lucas Patrick. The 28-year old lineman allowed just one sack last season in 911 snaps, but finished with a dismal 57.2 overall grade per Pro Football Focus. He played both center and guard for the Packers last season.
Rounding out the trio is former Panthers defensive lineman DaQuan Jones. The 30-year old finished the season with just one sack and a 64.4 overall grade from PFF.
“The Bucs lost guard Ali Marpet to retirement, and their two other interior starters (Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa) are scheduled to be free agents,” Kapadia writes. “Patrick will be a less expensive option and has experience playing all three interior spots. Defensively, the Bucs could lose a bunch of guys — Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, William Gholston — up front. Maybe they bring one (Gholston?) back and then add a low-cost veteran like DaQuan Jones.”
The Bucs have a lot of work to do to even attempt to re-sign their pending free agents. They made the first move Thursday when they placed guard Ali Marpet on the Retired/Reserve list, opening up $5.625 million in cap space. More moves are sure to come before the start of free agency on March 16.