The Bucs offensive line is undergoing some changes this offseason. The retirement of Ali Marpet and departure of Alex Cappa in free agency sent Bucs GM Jason Licht into overdrive. After trading for right guard Shaq Mason to fill one spot, Licht re-signed Aaron Stinnie to compete for the left guard role. But Stinnie won’t be handed the job, as several challengers await the veteran in camp.

One of those competitors will be second-year lineman Robert Hainsey. Speaking at the NFL annual meetings in Palm Beach, Florida, Licht confirmed Hainsey will push Stinnie for playing time.

“He’ll definitely compete for [the starting left guard spot],” Licht said. “We love versatility. We’ll work those guys in multiple spots throughout camp. It’s always good to have guys that can fill multiple roles. Versatility, once again, is key. So he’ll definitely be in the mix.”

Tampa Bay drafted Hainsey out of Notre Dame in the third round last year. He mostly played right tackle in college. But the 23-year old started to show versatility when he attended the Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he practiced at both guard and center. The Bucs cited that versatility as one of the reasons they selected him. But Hainsey worked mostly at center during training camp, with the Bucs grooming him as their No. 2 snapper.

Bucs OL Robert Hainsey

Bucs OL Robert Hainsey – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Hainsey had few opportunities to play in 2021 as the offensive line was relatively healthy throughout the year. In fact, starting center Ryan Jensen never missed a game. Hainsey ended up playing just 31 offensive snaps late in the season. During that time he did not commit a penalty or have a mis-snap while producing a respectable 65.7 PFF grade.

Given his draft status, it makes sense that the Bucs are looking for Hainsey to compete for the starting guard role. With most of the starting line set with Donovan Smith, Jensen, Mason and Tristan Wirfs, left guard is the clearest path to playing time. Hainsey will be battling a cadre of returning options in Nick Leverett, John Molchon and Sadarius Hutcherson. The team also re-signed Stinnie and signed former Bengal Fred Johnson.  I wouldn’t rule out the team adding a rookie to the competition through the draft next month either. But Licht made one thing clear on Monday: Hainsey will have the opportunity to win the job.

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About the Author: Joshua Queipo

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TBChucky
TBChucky
3 months ago

Competition is always great. I’d like to see what the kid can do..

76bucsfan46
76bucsfan46
3 months ago

I’m interested to see Hutcherson, he’s very physical.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  76bucsfan46
3 months ago

Me too 76bucs! I thought he might push for playing time as a rookie. Don’t underestimate this kid. He looked to be a mauler.

Captain Sly
Captain Sly
3 months ago

Every player on the roster “will compete to start” so no real story here. Put in the work this offseason and come to camp ready because there will be a lot of competition along the Oline. There’s really only one spot available LG since Shaq Mason, Jensen, Wirfs & D Smith have the other spots on lock. Good Luck with that!

Horse
Horse
3 months ago

Bottom line; it’s an Unknown for the OLG spot and this should be a concern. My guess GM will sign an older veteran OLG to help fill in if this blows up in our faces

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Horse
3 months ago

It won’t. There is some talent in those names. People just don’t know it yet. Nobody knew Alex Cappa until they did.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  bucballer
3 months ago

Alex looked like he was going to take a long time to develop and he played more in his rookie year than any of these guys. Just saying we need a back up plan. Don’t want to get our QB to take unnecessary hits.

James Taylor
James Taylor
3 months ago

You can’t field an All-Star team with a salary cap. Every year NFL teams lose starters and have to develop reserves to take on a starting role. They will be fine with Stinnie or Hainsey or Hutchinson. They already have 4 really good offensive lineman so even an average starter will do the job. Brady was one of the least sacked in the league. They need to spend whatever remaining money and draft capital in addressing needs on defense. They should at least get a defensive tackle, strong safety, and a backup linebacker.

fredster
fredster
Reply to  James Taylor
3 months ago

Agree 100%. Stinnie already has played for Cappa multiple playoff games and fared well. Now 3rd rd Hainsey will compete too. Drafting another Another guard for 3 way competition would be retarded! They have big holes and bigger needs on defense!!!!

Anthonyh_60
Anthonyh_60
3 months ago

Honestly, I think the team would be relatively happy if they “settled” on Stinnie as a starter. He played well when he had to in 2020. I think they’re hoping (as am I) that Hainsey overtakes him on the depth chart this year and plays well. I don’t believe that they feel it necessary to add someone at that position, but if Zion Johnson or Kenyon Green are there, and Wyatt is gone, I wouldn’t hesitate to take them.

CrackerBall
CrackerBall
3 months ago

The competition between guys is great and all… but I’d still feel a lot better if we ended up with a Zion Johnson or Dylan Parham in the Draft.