Former Vikings RB Adrian Peterson - Photo by: Getty Images
The Bucs made a big splash on the opening day of free agency, signing two former Redskins, in wide receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive tackle Chris Baker. In addition they added safety J.J. Wilcox from the Cowboys, along with signing a handful of their own free agents, including William Gholston, Chris Conte and special teams standout Josh Robinson.
While it appears the team has settled on their free agent class, there are a handful of players still available who are essentially “NFL homeless,” and while the Bucs most likely aren’t going to be be actively pursuing them, there could be some interest as free agency winds down, and so does these players’ asking prices.
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
Just two seasons ago Peterson and Doug Martin were the top two running backs in the entire NFL. Less that 24 months later, my how mighty have fallen – as pointed out by PewterReport.com’s Trevor Sikkema in last week’s debut of the PewterNation podcast.
Martin’s future in Tampa – and the entire NFL – is murky at best, and Peterson’s number of suitors is down to a handful of teams, and likely nowhere near the price he and his camp were expecting. Peterson at one point reportedly listed the Bucs as a place he wouldn’t mind ending up, but so far there has been no reciprocation. Could there be at some point? Possibly, but with a deep running back class in next month’s NFL Draft, the likelihood of the Bucs offering a large – or any sized deal for that matter – appears slim.
Giants DT Giants Jonathan Hankins
Hankins was thought to be one of the more sought after free agents this month, and while there are some teams interested, there has been no reports of the Bucs being one of those teams. Tampa Bay got their defensive line target in Baker and appear satisfied. While Hankins dream of a multi-year deal in the neighborhood of $8 million per season seems far-fetched, he could get a one-year, prove-it deal, like Dontari Poe received from the Atlanta Falcons last week.
Jets LT Ryan Clady
While many Bucs fans are still clamoring for Tampa Bay to shake up their offensive line, with names like Nick Mangold still being thrown about, it appears the Bucs are satisfied with their current roster, for this season at least. Clady would be a better fit than Mangold, although the former Bronco can’t seen to stay healthy, as he saw his last three seasons end on injured reserve. That is never a good thing for a 30-year old offensive lineman.
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles
Charles has been an electric back during his career in the NFL, but injuries and salary caught up to the former Longhorn. Multiple knee injuries have derailed his career, and his list of teams pursuing him can reportedly be counted on one hand. If fully recovered from his injuries that limited him to just 12 carries, Charles could still have an impact on a team in 2017, the question now is, who is willing to take a chance?
Bills LB Zach Brown
Brown entered the 2016 season set to be a backup for the Bills, but took advantage of an opportunity when Reggie Ragland went down and turned it into a Pro Bowl season, tallying 149 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick. So far that hasn’t turned into a lucrative deal, but if Brown is able to duplicate his 2016 season with a new team, whoever ends up with him could do so at a bargain rate.
49ers LB Gerald Hodges
Hodges ended up starting 12 games in 2016, and had his most productive season since being drafted by the Vikings in 2014. The former Penn State standout notched career highs with three sacks and two interceptions last season and could fill a role as a starter at inside linebacker, or provide depth for a team who has an established starter at that position.
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount
Blount wore out his welcome with the Bucs and was traded to the Patriots in 2013 but then went on to collect two Super Bowls rings in his tenure with New England. But time has apparently started to catch up with the former “slugger” from Oregon, and the Patriots have moved on it appears. Blount still has some gas left in the tank, but how much now becomes the question of the rest of the league.
Bears QB Jay Cutler
The Bucs are looking for a backup quarterback to Jameis Winston right? And Cutler has started a ton of games. So it would make sense the Bucs could look to sign the former Bears enigma right? Doubtful. While Tampa Bay doesn’t appear to sleep well at night with the thought of Ryan Griffin stepping in if Winston went down, there has been no reports of interest from Tampa Bay.
Rams safety T.J. McDonald
McDonald has been the Rams’ starting strong safety for the last four seasons, recording five sacks, four interceptions and 215 tackles while starting 53-of-64 games. McDonald also started all 16 games last year and was graded 58th among 89 qualified safeties by Pro Football Focus. The Bucs do need another safety, as they only have three on the roster at the moment, but if they’re really looking to beef up the competition on the back end, McDonald could not only come in, but earn a starting spot.
Ravens LB Elvis Dumervil
The former Ravens and Broncos talented pass rusher was released on the eve a free agency by Baltimore earlier this month making him available for any team to sign. Dumervil is a five-time Pro Bowler, most recently in 2014 and 2015. At 33 years old, he wouldn’t be signed to be the big sack machine he’s been in the past, but Dumervil can still produce at a good level as a defensive end, and could mean a lot of the growth of Noah Spence and maybe even teach the recently re-signed Will Gholston a thing or two about getting to the quarterback and getting those incentives from his contract – which would help both him and the Buccaneers.
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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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]
The only two that are even mildly interesting in that list are Hankins and McDonald. Seems like there’s mostly scraps left in free agency at this point. Good thing the Bucs nailed down their guys right after the bell rang and didn’t fool around. Looking forward to the draft.
I have to agree with you. Maybe McDonald if he can swallow his pride would be the best of the lot.
Is there any interest in Chris Long? Had an injury free year with the Patriots and still has gas in the tank. Just guessing really, enjoyed Albert Breer’s recent podcast with him.
Bucs will probably wait till around preseason to add or trade for needs such as QB backup do not think they will draft a QB in late rounds.
Mark do think C. Simms has any trade value? If Bucs do draft C Mc. I do not see the need for him.
Or if they even draft Marlon Mack.
I’ll take Elvis and Resign McDougald or add McDonald.. also wouldn’t mind a 1 Year prove it type deal for Michael Floyd if we got him on the cheap. Doesn’t seem to be too much talk about him, but then still draft a WR. Mike, Desean, Hump, insert rook, and Floyd. With Brate and Howard or Njoku… draft a RB/WR in 2 and 3.. Fire.
Maybe McDonald. I sure would like to keep Martin based on salary reduction and with incentives. It could be time to draft a QB in the 7th round for a career back up position? Any opinions?
LBs Zach Brown looks like he would fill a need. He is almost as big as Daryl Smith, faster and younger. That seems like it is worth a look and maybe a good contract.
If Jacquies Smith and Noah Spence work out, there may not be a “need” for Dumervil. He was making $5 million per year. A salary of half that with the rest obtainable if he reaches in steps if he reaches 2015 and 2013 production would be affordable insurance.
Hankins and McDonald do not seem to really fit given what the Bucs have already done.
Would Cutler take the deal Glennon turned down? Probably not. But, the Bucs could do worse.
For the rest of the guys, one year deals with incentives would be the way to go.
LT Clady on a one year incentive contract with team option for more years could be a home run. (I believe that there is a spot for Donovan Smith, but I do not believe that the spot is starting LT.)
A RB like Blount is something that the Bucs have needed ever since they got rid of Blount. Can the Bucs now do whatever the Patriots did to keep Blount with the program?
Peterson and Charles have boom histories and boom potential with bust more likely. The Bucs can afford to take a shot with them if they will play mostly for incentives.
I concur with you FlBoyinDallas.
Unfortunately word is out that Hankins is looking for Gerald McCoy type money at $10 mill a year and he is consider a rotational player.
McDonald was arrested in May 2016 on driving under the influence of drugs in LA after hitting a parked car and was facing arraignment in October. Don’t know what happened after that but it takes time to wind through the court system, especially in LA.
ASJ was recently handed down a two game suspension for his DUI by the NFL so it could be possible teams are staying away from McDonald because they don’t know how many game he will be suspended.
As for Martin, I said some time ago the Raiders would love to have Martin in the silver and black and with the recent rumor of Marshawn Lynch being courted by them, I believe they would love to have a younger Martin than a coming out of retirement Lynch.
But I don’t think the Bucs intend on cutting Martin, either before or after his three game suspension.
Because of injuries, Martin hasn’t even played four complete seasons in the NFL, not five, so he has endured less wear and tear on his frame.
As for how much money he makes, why do you guys care. Quit worrying about it if Licht isn’t. The Bucs have plenty of money and they just raised ticket prices again. Geeeesh.
Martin has been to rehab and according to both Licht and Koetter has a good attitude and is in good physical shape.
We have gotten rid of players before for less serious transgressions than this and it has bitten this team in the ass.
It seems like people want to get rid of Martin more because they think they can save money and get someone better which is certainly not always the case.
lol that picture hurts my feelings MC. Maybe we can still convert Bowers to UT /s
Lol nvm I meant the Mason Foster article pic
Dr. D, I think people want to “get rid of Martin” because he has drug problem and he only plays every year because he’s always injured. Not because the replacement is necessarily better….
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