HomeNFLPR Roundtable: One Outdoors Free Agent Bucs Ought to Goal
PR Roundtable: One Outdoors Free Agent Bucs Ought to Goal
March 21, 2021
The Pewter Report Roundtable options the opinions of the PR workers because it tackles a subject every week that includes the Bucs. As of Sunday, March 21, the Bucs haven’t signed a single free agent outdoors of their very own roster. Right this moment, the Pewter Report workers sounds off on which out there outdoors free agent the staff ought to goal in free company.
This week’s matter: Who Is One Outdoors Free Agent The Bucs Ought to Signal?
Scott Reynolds: Bucs May Use A Move-Catching RB Like White
If I needed to decide one outdoors free agent for the Bucs to register free company this 12 months, the apparent reply for me can be New England operating again James White. I had Tampa Bay signing White in my Bucs Battle Plan a number of weeks in the past and I feel the transfer is sensible for apparent causes – Leonard Fournette stays unsigned and the Bucs doubtless received’t carry again LeSean McCoy at age 33. With solely Ronald Jones II, who’s getting into a contract 12 months, the unproven Ke’Shawn Vaughn and C.J. Prosise on the roster, the operating again place might use some bolstering. Whereas I’ve little question that the Bucs will draft a operating again this 12 months – doubtless early – signing a veteran just like the 29-year outdated White, would carry expertise and pass-catching capability to Tampa Bay’s RB room.
White performed with quarterback Tom Brady for six years in New England and the 2 have a terrific chemistry. White has rushed for 1,240 yards and 10 touchdowns, whereas averaging 4.0 yards per carry in his seven-year profession because the Patriots’ third-down again. Extra importantly, White has 369 profession catches for 3,184 yards and 25 touchdowns. White had peak manufacturing in 2018 when he rushed for 425 yards and a TD together with 87 catches for 751 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. His manufacturing dipped with out Brady on the roster final 12 months, as he totaled 49 receptions for 375 yards and one rating with 121 yards on the bottom and two TDs. White made $4 million final 12 months and will come to Tampa Bay for much less for an opportunity to reunite with Brady.
A constant pass-catching operating again on third downs was lacking from the Bucs offense final 12 months, as Fournette, Jones, McCoy and Vaughn mixed to drop over a dozen passes out of the backfield. White had two drops by comparability, and is a straightforward alternative for me in the case of signing an outdoor free agent to enhance the offense on this space – though I used to be additionally contemplating bringing again extensive receiver Breshad Perriman to switch Antonio Brown.
Mark Cook dinner: Bucs Want The Expertise And Expertise RB White Would Carry
Whereas fairly anti-climatic since we’ve even speaking about including him for over a month now, Patriots operating again James White can be my free agent addition of alternative. Defensive deal with Ndamukong Suh continues to be the very best on my want checklist when it comes to Bucs gamers, but when we should decide somebody from outdoors final 12 months’s staff then it must be White.
Bringing in White would add a veteran presence to a room that’s nonetheless extraordinarily younger with Ronald Jones II simply in his fourth season and Ke’Shawn Vaughn getting into his second 12 months within the NFL. Vaughn is at a crossroads when it comes to growth, and the query is, can he make the leap and show he’s able to dealing with the strain of NFL soccer or not. Whereas the group raves about Vaughn behind the scenes, what he confirmed in precise sport motion was a stark distinction to what we hear about him in observe. White, who might be getting into his eight season within the NFL, can be a terrific mentor to Vaughn and even Jones.
Everyone knows if there’s one obvious weak spot on this soccer staff it’s the lack of getting a pass-catching operating again, who can be strong in move safety, on the roster. White has totaled 369 receptions and added 25 touchdowns as a receiver in his profession. And you may’t say sufficient in regards to the prompt chemistry he and quarterback Tom Brady would have from day one. The Bucs ought to nonetheless draft a operating again, and I’m not against them even doing it within the first spherical, however they should carry White in, as he would solidify an offense that was already the most effective within the league final season.
Jon Ledyard: Carry Me Geno Atkins
The Bucs seem like bringing again most of their inside defensive position, with the re-signing of Rakeem Nunez-Roches and the anticipated re-signing of Ndamukong Suh within the coming days. However neither of these gamers resolve the Bucs want for a traditional, penetrating defensive deal with with move rush capability, somebody the staff can rotate onto the sector on lengthy and late downs. If he’s desirous about pursuing a hoop earlier than he retires, Bengals defensive deal with Geno Atkins is the proper match.
Atkins performed simply 119 complete snaps final season and didn’t file a sack, and might be 33 in every week. Determining his well being is the priority, however the Bucs aren’t committing long run to him. But when wholesome, Atkins is a drive and is three years faraway from a 10-sack season. For this to work, Atkins must be on the lookout for a one-year deal to complete out his profession with an opportunity to win a hoop. After by no means profitable a playoff sport in his total profession, I’d think about the proposition can be a sexy one for the 11-year veteran, particularly when you think about his excellent pairing with Suh and Vita Vea.
What Atkins, an eight-time Professional Bowler, offers the Bucs as a move rusher is one thing they don’t presently have. Nunez-Roches presents little or no as a rusher, and Suh and Will Gholston are extra slow-burn, energy rushers than fast slashers. Vita Vea is an absolute load for anybody to deal with one-on-one, however even he doesn’t supply Atkins’ quickness or capability to cross the face of opposing offensive linemen. Atkins, who has 75.5 profession sacks, can be the most effective defensive tackles I’ve ever seen at operating video games up entrance, one thing defensive coordinator Todd Bowles does usually. I’d want to write down a standalone article on this one. Atkins is the skin free agent the Bucs want to focus on this week.
Matt Matera: Bucs Handle Return Sport, Enhance It With Westbrook
The clear reduce reply is a move catching operating again, however for the sake of shaking issues up, I’m addressing the Bucs’ return sport. With the information of Jaydon Mickens’ authorized points, his future on the staff is unsure. Mickens was the first man within the return sport, so this opens the door for Jaguars receiver-returner Dede Westbrook. Whereas he suffered a ugly knee damage final season that restricted him to only two video games, he’s on the street to restoration and needs to be able to go by coaching camp. That’ll make him a cheap possibility in free company that addresses a necessity whereas saving the massive cash for different gamers.
Westbrook is nicely versed at punt and kick returns, with a profession common of 9.8 yards per punt return. He’s averaged as excessive as 19 yards per return in a season and has a landing on his resume as nicely. Mickens, who got here into the league on the similar time in 2017, has a profession return common of 8.1, and his greatest 12 months was a mean of 10.6. Westbrook carried out higher in basically each class.
The Bucs’ punt return sport wasn’t as much as par final season, averaging 5.9 yards, which ranked twenty fifth within the league. Nevertheless, there was an uptick within the postseason significantly on kick return, the place Mickens averaged 24.5 yards between the NFC Championship and Tremendous Bowl LV. I’d prefer to see that sustainability subsequent season with Westbrook. Tampa Bay does have in home choices within the return sport with Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson, and plenty of would like to see Miller get an opportunity along with his velocity. But when we haven’t seen it but in two seasons, we might by no means get to. Westbrook might are available in as a kick returner and permit Miller and Johnson the chance to step up on the receiver depth chart.
Taylor Jenkins: Bucs Might Have To Substitute A Beloved Tight Finish
As a lot as Bucs followers love tight finish Cam Brate, his time with Tampa Bay might very nicely be coming to an finish if he isn’t keen to take a big pay reduce. He was keen to restructure his contract in 2020, however I’m simply undecided that he’ll be keen to surrender as a lot because the Bucs want him to going ahead. Brate has spent his total seven-year profession with the Bucs and I feel genuinely likes being in Tampa however he might discover quickly that it simply makes extra sense financially to play elsewhere, someplace that would probably afford to pay him the $6.5 million, the $6.8 million and the $7.5 million that his contract will owe him over the following three seasons. He definitely deserves that cash from somebody after 29 touchdowns and over 2,400 receiving yards in his profession, however it’s simply far too steep for Tampa Bay’s scenario proper now.
In comes free agent tight finish Darren Fells. Fells was simply launched by Houston after one 12 months of a two-year, $6.3 million contract. Fells spent three seasons with Bruce Arians in Arizona from 2014 to 2016 the place he racked up 536 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Over his previous two seasons with the Texans, Fells has continued to show that he’s nonetheless a productive goal, particularly within the purple zone 653 yards and 11 complete touchdowns.
Along with his talents as a pass-catcher Fells can block, one thing that might be highly-valued within the Bucs’ third tight finish spot behind Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard. Per Professional Soccer Focus, Fells acquired a move blocking grade of 68.8 and a run blocking grade of 65.3 within the 2020 season, each above common marks for the place. And arguably most significantly might be his price ticket. At practically 35 years outdated and coming off of a contract that was attributable to pay him round $3 million per 12 months, Fells might doubtless come to Tampa Bay far cheaper than the practically $7 million annual common worth that the Bucs owe Brate over the following three seasons.