The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our @PewterReportTwitter account. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.

Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.

Question: Mark, the team is not fully done being reshaped for the 2018 season. Do you think they’ll be more active with other team’s cuts, secondary bargain basement FA’s or a trade with another team? Or even a combo of all the above?

Answer: We know for sure Bucs GM Jason Licht is always on the lookout for players that can make the team better, via all the ways you listed. But with the current roster, he is as pleased as he has been since arriving with Lovie Smith in 2014 with the overall talent. To me, there just aren’t any glaring holes — noticed I said glaring. Could there be improved depth at some spots? Certainly, but to have top-line talent, two-deep across the board, that is just something that is nearly impossible with a salary cap — and that is exactly the way the league wants it. While teams have put together dynasties over the years – the Patriot being the most notable – the NFL doesn’t want a situation where even the worst team the year prior doesn’t feel like they can compete the next season.

With that said, unless there is a major injury at a position lacking depth, the most likely additions to the team would come from cuts from other teams as the offseason and preseason continue. The problem is, there are eight teams ahead of the Bucs on the waiver claim system in place, and the odds of an impact player slipping through to the Bucs is pretty small. And I do think that it is possible the Buccaneers add a player or two from the bargain basement free agents as well, once the team’s mandatory mini-camp is over next month. The staff will have been able to see this ‘new look’ roster all on the field together and would be able to assess where they are.

Question: It seems like the roles are reversed now where RG is now a question mark now that LG is solidified. With J.R. Sweezy the biggest question mark, would Caleb Benenoch be the best fit with Alex Cappa a raw project?

Answer: The team really loves the potential Benenoch brings and I think when the dust settles in early September it will be Benenoch who starts at right guard opening week at New Orleans. As a reporter, you not only hear the answer a coach or general manager gives you when you ask a question, you also kind of feel it. By their expression or voice inflection. We get that vibe from Dirk Koetter and Licht every times we bring up Benenoch. Their poker faces aren’t very good.

Certainly the team would love Sweezy to walk back into One Buc soon, completely healthy and the player he was a few years ago in Seattle. The perfect scenario would be a dominant Sweezy and a versatile swing lineman in Benenoch who could be the first man up if there was an injury at guard or either tackle spot. But the same vibe we get when asking about Benenoch is the exact opposite when we ask about Sweezy. I just don’t get a feeling of confidence from anyone that they believe Sweezy can be the same guy they thought he would be when he was signed as a free agent prior to the 2016 season.

For the record, my “vibe” hypothesis isn’t 100 accurate, so let’s see what happens when the team opens training camp in late July.

Question: Mark, are big wide receivers, fast running backs and defensive backs going to be more valuable on 53 due to new kickoff rules. Big guys cant be out there IMO. Maybe keep only seven OL and DL?

Answer: That is a really interesting way to look at the new kickoff rules and something I hadn’t really thought of until this question, but I get what you are saying. The kickoff rules are changing, and the league will continue to look into making it even more safe. I think the new rule of positioning the kick coverage teams only a couple yards back from the line of scrimmage to keep them from getting a huge running start can do just that. It is still the most violent play in all of football, but should be a little less so, especially now that only a certain amount of players can be on either side of the kicker and also the kick return teams aren’t allowed to make wedges anymore. I actually hope that helps make kickoff returns more exciting.

But as far as adjusting the roster, I don’t see much, if any, changes coming there. While you hope you score five or six times a game, and kickoff that often, it still doesn’t compare to the 70-80 plays a game you run on offense and defense where you’ll need to carry more than seven lineman on both sides of the ball.

Question: Which current player who is a free agent (i.e on the street) would you sign if you were Bucs and why?

Answer: While Dez Bryant is the biggest (at least most recognizable) name available on the free agent market, I don’t see how he makes the Bucs much better. However, there are still three safeties without jobs that I would look at if I am the Buccaneers.

Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro and Tre Boston are three players I would certainly be keeping an eye on if I am the Buccaneers, particularly Reid, who I think could help the team as a strong safety. Plus he has played free safety as well, along with even some games as a linebacker for the 49ers. To me the safety depth is the one spot that troubles me the most, and while Justin Evans, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy are all good players, the team is one major injury away from scrambling. Mike Smith rotates his safeties and if Conte or Tandy goes down, now you are counting on Jordan Whitehead, Gordon Igwebuike or Isaiah Johnson as the next man up. And yes, Reid was asking for crazy money initially in free agency last March, but his price has dropped to extremely affordable now.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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revfish
revfish
4 years ago

One of the best Mailbag sessions I’ve read. Great questions picked

surferdudes
4 years ago

I’m more worried about R.T., then R.G.. I don’t have much faith in Dotson especially from a health stand point going the distance this year, plus his play has slipped. Father time has caught up. Cappa played L.T. in college, and I’m hoping he can make the switch to the right side, and give us stability there for years to come. We’ll have big money tied up in Jensen, Marpet, and Smith moving forward, so it would be nice to fill the right side with young, affordable players. Cutting Sweezy’s dead weight should help too. I think the Bucs will… Read more »

Dman
Dman
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

Good call on the WR’s. And Jamies recently came out touting Bobo as a potentially great player. Whether its Humphries or D Jax, somethings gonna give.

thewbacca
thewbacca
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

I agree, I’m hoping trade bait! Let Licht and Greenberg work their wizardry and roll it into a package that gets Tampa another 2nd or 3rd round pick next year. If DJax does not come out swinging the first couple games then trade him too before the deadline.

XpfcWintergreen2
XpfcWintergreen2
Reply to  thewbacca
4 years ago

Good observation on Djax!

___________
Go Bucs!!!

makski
makski
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

I really like Humphries, and he is a very reliable target, but I have been saying for a while now that he is the most expendable. I was hoping we would trade him on draft day, but that didn’t work out either. I think the coaches like him a little too much. While he is a reliable return man also, just as at WR, he is not explosive or fast enough in my opinion. I really liked Ready last year and thought that, with more experience, he could be better than Hump. But then we cut him. I think there… Read more »

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

Yeah, our WR room is really crowded right now. I think we run with Evans and Godwin, with DJax in the slot. Behind them, I’d like to see Bobo and Reedy get a shot at the #4 spot. They both have more speed than Hump and Bobo had good chemistry with Jameis in college so hopefully that carries over. Both guys double as good return men as well so offer more bang for the buck. At the end of this year I think we should trade DJax regardless of how his season goes. We have younger, cheaper guys on the… Read more »

thewbacca
thewbacca
4 years ago

Personally I say roll as much money forward into future salary caps to lock up Winston, Kwon, Marpet, and Smith. Only after that look at spending on free agents this year. Best risk/reward option.

fredster
fredster
4 years ago

O line has been a disappointment and question mark every year since stupid Lovie came here and blew the line up his first year with disastrous results. We have had so many holes to fill I feel we are finally getting close to a “playoff” team but I’m still very cautiously optimistic and as far as O line is concerned not sold yet. Will see. Looks better on paper but chemistry, injuries, etc will tell the tale in 2018. Cappa has potential but who knows if he will cut it. Sweezy looks like toast. Dotson could recover or not. We… Read more »

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

It’s the only one position we are dreadfully weak and that is backup quarterback. I just can’t buy into Fitzpatrick being a serious backup if Winston was to go out early .

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Fitz played pretty well for us last year so I feel pretty confident if he needs to go out there. We definitely need to draft a backup QB next offseason though unless we pick one up off waivers this year

buccaneerNW
buccaneerNW
4 years ago

The question about keeping only 7 OL and DL… Jeezus, that’s crazy. I wouldn’t want to go into the season with less than 9 OL and 8 DL. I could easily see us keeping 9 DL.

owlykat
owlykat
4 years ago

We definitely need 9 DL because we need to develop Stevie T. who needs to be Vea’s replacement if he get’s injured, plus he can be a big help on goal line stands too. Remember we will be platooning our second string DL. We will likely have an injury in our DL sometime this year so to keep platooning we have to have to have 9 DL. We could get by with 8 OL.

plopes808
plopes808
4 years ago

Another great mailbag! In regard to the FA question, I agree we should be targeting one of those safeties. On paper, it seems safety is our biggest hole at the moment and Reid especially would give us a reliable starter while Whitehead and Igwebuike (how the heck is that pronounced anyway?) develop. We need another QB as I don’t feel Griffin has shown enough to warrant him being our backup when Fitz walks into the sunset. Maybe we can find one on the waiver wire, along with a young Olineman or 2. I have little to no faith in Sweezy… Read more »

alan skelly
alan skelly
Reply to  plopes808
4 years ago

Ig-wee-bee-kay. Sheesh how soon we forget

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  alan skelly
4 years ago

thanks for the info lol

I would’ve thought Ig-weh-bwee-kay

scubog
scubog
4 years ago

Trade Humphries? I’d make a call to the Flying Elvises. He sure looks like their kind of player.

inspecto
inspecto
4 years ago

“. Cutting Sweezy’s dead weight should help too.”

” Cut Sweezy and use his cap hit to resign our young studs

inspecto
inspecto
4 years ago

my computer is all fuzzy so was not able to finish the comment. I wish they would cut the great j.r. snezzy asap and give his reps to anyone else. He’s hurt again so I really don’t expect to see him on the field, If he has to bend over to pick up another $ check he’ll be out for the year anyway but stealing money again.