Though the Bucs have spent some of their free agency budget already on their defensive line, mainly on the interior, that won’t stop them from going full circle and examining some edge rushers, too. PewterReport.com has learned that former Cardinals and Saints defensive end Alex Okafor will be visiting the Buccaneers on Thursday.

Okafor (27) was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft — he was drafted by now Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht. He was also coached by now Buccaneers defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, where he recorded his career best eight sacks in 2014. Okafor has 18 sacks in his five years in the NFL.

Okafor is coming off an Achilles tear in 2017, his only year with the Saints. In the 10 games he played last season, he recorded 4.5 sacks and had already recorded a career single-season high 43 tackles. The Bucs are bringing him in to check on his rehab and see if he could be a match in this free agency class.

Okafor is 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, and would likely play the edge role in a 4-3 formation, but certainly could stay versatile as he often did under Buckner’s coaching in Arizona, if he ends up in Tampa Bay.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

47 COMMENTS

  1. Hope we do something…
    So far, not impressed

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  2. Yes please..

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  3. Didn’t know we had a new HC Trevor?

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    • Did I slip that breaking news in there?

      (Kidding, I fixed it.)

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      • Trevor, anymore intel on both the Claybornes and Matthieu?

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        • Not as of this moment. Last I heard they were still interested.

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          • Matthieu is looking for $10mm plus. Cards were offering him north of $9mm and he walked. Always liked Clayborne, he just never seemed to get the job done.

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    • You’re fast!

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  4. Underwhelmed with the money we’ve wasted on the interior. I’d rather have Macdonald than the guys we’ve signed, and yet we haven’t addressed the real true positions of need. So what happens if Vea falls to us?

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    • According to most reports, Vea would not fall to us because we would be slightly reaching to get him. He is still not rated in the top 10 anywhere I have looked.

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    • Your right McDonald is better than both of them. Licht do something right & resign Mac.

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  5. Yes a DE that is over 6’2 would be nice!

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    • AGREED !!!

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  6. He’s a lot better than Gholston!

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    • Your right. Hell I’d rather have Ayers than Golston. Golston way overpaid. But that what sorry ass Licht does. What a screwed up organization.

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  7. Obviously another missed blocking assignment by Donovan Smith in the article picture!

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    • LOL! you are right! That picture tells the story of our whole season.

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    • Typical lack of accurate observation . Please note that it’s Dotson who is sprawled on the ground in front of Okefor.

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      • Actually I wasn’t not even referring to who wasn’t blocking Okafor, but thanks for chiming in.

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  8. Never heard of these back ups we are signing, wtf are they thinking, our defense is pitiful, not gonna fix it with back ups, oh wait we got a kicker too

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    • They are not backups. One is a starter and one is an every down rotational player with 2 other VERY GOOD DT’s on the roster.

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  9. Okafor would be a solid pickup, fingers crossed

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  10. I think that is a big reach how many injured ends do we need. we should bring back Jac smith too. maybe one of them will stay healthy. Get real. big mans game. games are won & lost in the trenches. not with injured pass rushers. Draft veta or Chubb if he falls witch I doubt. maybe davenport, take the best available,or trade down. Personally i think we should stay in our own back yard & draft FSU James & Sweat & then go get that gator DT. be happy with two out of those three. but we never draft from own backyard except for a kicker from wide right U in the second rd. Jason should be fired for that pick alone. Didn’t he come from new england. When is jason going to act like it. Maybe he learned seems to be making a few wiser choices this offseason. or the glazers are for him. However I don’t think the brothers care. They get 900 mil per year no matter what. & never heard or seen. 900 mil makes them to good for tampa? 900 mil per year makes losing feel like winning. Can’t blame them they are winners every min. of every day even tho the own a loser. It will never change until losing cost owners & players their guaranteed money. true accountability.Shut up or put up put your money where your mouth is. Family, scheme,chemistry locker room warm & fuzzies. all hog wash. sounds like cspan political bull jargon . Fans are dumber than jocks. millis don’t care about losing like the fans. let alone billionaire owners. peace.

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  11. In case you forgot, OUR STARTING QB is from our backyard!!! That same wide right U. Also Hargraves III, and Wilson. If you go back a little, there is even D Brooks, W Dunn, etc, plenty from our backyard.

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    • You are right
      Bern–years worth of Florida players on the Bucs

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  12. I am presently optimistic about our 2 signings, I have read about both and likely they are good fit for our team and are not over the hill. Both are graded above average. Definitely hope we can sign Okafor if he is recovering normally from Achilles. more confident in him than Noah Spence (awesome warrior). I became realistic and dropped the Ndamakong Suh fantasy. I like the plan to get younger on defense as opposed to older. go Bucs!!

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  13. if you want to stuff the run, bring in Clayborn; Clayborn/Gholston are probably the two best run stuffing ends in the league; plus the the free agent Dt’s which turn out to be really good at stuffing the run, and McCoy is pretty good on the run also . . .the Bucs would probably start causing fumbles with that run stuffing unit.

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  14. Draft a kicker in round 2(BUST), sign a kicker on day 1 of free agency???? Every other GM in league has to be laughing. As Trump would say “Jason your fired”!!!

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  15. Two D tackles signed although none named Poe they are needed. Okafor might not be ideal, but there just isn’t great D ends available. What I wanted to see this morning is we signed Jensen the center, wonder how that visit went?

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    • I heard Jensen is supposed to sign sometime today, the Bucs made him a strong offer. I would definitely like to see us Sign Poe as well. We need as many D-Lineman so we dont have to start practice squad guys by week 7 or 8 with the injuries that always hit us. Our secondary still needs a lot of work, but hey dont worry we brought back old man Grimes all 5’9″ of him

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      • That would be awesome!! We really need a OG now. Anybody would help. We really need a G more than D line help. Definitely not Poe, I really like him a lot, but now we have plenty of DT’s for now, need DE’s a whole lot more. I hope Okafor’s medical went well. He did have his best year under Buckner, hopefully, that will help. I would LOVE it if we could get even a solid older G in FA to hold the fort for a year or 2 until our draft pick is ready, then at least one DE in FA to pair with another draft pick. Then we need a couple of RB’s in the draft or FA. Didn’t like Darkwa before, but he got over 4 yards per carry behind a terrible Oline and would come very cheap. Let’s go Bucs!!!

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  16. Serious question…
    The article says he is versatile. What other positions has he played? Can he slide inside?

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  17. I’m not a fan of this signing. Okafor reminds me too much of Ayers, who I was also not a fan of signing at the time we did it. Not enough production and injury-prone. Again, I’d rather see us sign Tamba Hali as he has been more productive in his career. The only reason he didn’t get more playing time last year is he was playing behind a young 1st round draft pick at his position.

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    • We havent signed Okafor, he is just coming in for a visit. They want to check on his rehab, relax

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    • I believe he was a guard before being switched to center.

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    • I’m OK with Hali too, just like to take a chance on Okafor because he is younger and will last longer if he pans out. Actually, I would take ANY DE right now! We just need bodies and can sort through them later during preseason.

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  18. This would be a nice pickup if we can get him. He played well when he was with Buckner.

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  19. I heard an interesting analysis on NFL radio in that this is one of the most unique drafts we have seen in the last 50 years.
    Their point was you have four QB’s that would in most years be the number 1 pick in the draft.

    If that is accurate and if the Bucs do not trade back it is pretty obvious one of these guys will be the Bucs 1st round selection:

    Bradley Chubb DE
    Quenton Nelson OG
    Saquan Barkley RB

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    • as unlikely as that may be…we can hope keep hoping there’s a run on QBs like there was last year that causes players to fall to us

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  20. Trevor,
    This is way off topic, but why didn’t the Bucs sign Crowell? Jets got him for peanuts. It is very probable I don’t know what I’m talking about, but he struck me as the best FA RB.

    Pete

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    • he was at the top of my FA RB wish list as well

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  21. A 4th round pick 5 years ago coming off an achilles tear last year? wake up. another dud. Who cares who Licht drafted, We know enough now about his picks and signings to know most of them don’t pan out. Quit fooling yourselves. i never seen a bigger bunch of homers in my life.

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    • Love it. This is the biggest story we can come up with? Oh wait , I just saw pr headline about doug Martin. Who the f cares about doug . He was an overpaid pill head . This team and their no name signings are a joke. This franchise is a joke.

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  22. Just read that Jensen left without signing….he’s not coming back

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    • Hopefully Indy will offer him less and he will come back. If we overpaid for anyone, it should have been Jensen. We need a C so we can move Marpet back to G. I think the only viable C left in FA now is Sullivan. He is older, but maybe we can give him a 1 year deal with incentives. Then, we will have to draft a C and let him sit the first year. We also still need a G, so if we lose out on Jensen and find a cheaper replacement, we will have more to spend on a G, DE, CB and maybe S.

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  23. I’ve been saying it for years we always seem to sign a one hit wonder or a backups backup or a injury prone player. These are the reason we haven’t been to the playoffs since 2007 is going on 11 years…

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  24. We have lost out on Okafor. He is signing with Saints. This Free Agency season is turning into a bust.

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