The Playoffs have begun, but for the Buccaneers, this is the beginning of the offseason. As we look forward to the 2013 NFL season, The Pewter Plank will keep you up to date on the state of the Buccaneers roster, and provide insight and analysis of any trades, signings, releases, and other changes. Over the course of the offseason, we will look over either side of the ball, give the current depth chart, and consider what changes are yet to come.
Player names that are italicized are unrestricted free agents.
Player names that are underlined are restricted free agents.
Player names that are bolded are likely members of the 53 man roster in 2013, in my opinion.
This position is probably unlikely to change, despite the many articles on this site discussing the QB situation. The only likely change is the addition of a new second QB. Orlovsky is due 1.5 million, but according to rotoworld, it’s not guaranteed. If the Buccaneers look to bring in competition for Josh Freeman, Orlovsky would like be done in Tampa Bay.
Blount is a restricted free agent, and I would not be surprised if the Buccaneers simply let him walk away. There are options out there for a backup running back, and one interesting idea is former Rutgers running back Brian Leonard reuniting with Coach Schiano. He is unlikely to cost too much, and would provide a powerful running option behind Doug Martin. D.J. Ware will be back for cheap, and Michael Smith is back for cheap if the Buccaneers want him as well.
Lorig is back unless he fails to make the squad, which is unlikely at this point. This is a position the Buccaneers could certainly look to add talent to, as they look to build an offense conducive to Doug Martin’s running abilities.
Jackson and Williams will return without a doubt. Everyone else will be in an open competition for roster spots, with the exceptions of Parrish and Stroughter who are unrestricted free agents. While it is conceivable that either could come back to compete, the Buccaneers could also look to add more reliable talent to fill in the 3rd WR spot. This is unlikely to be a priority in the offseason, but considering the lack of proven NFL players beyond Williams, maybe it should be.
Dallas Clark’s contract is over, and that leaves Stocker and practice squad talent on the depth chart. I would hope this is a position that Mark Dominik targets this offseason, because the Buccaneers cannot enter the 2013 season with Luke Stocker as the number one tight end. Perhaps Martellus Bennett is an option here?
Penn will be back, and Trueblood is gone. The Buccaneers will have to bring in more depth at the position, but Dotson and Meredith will likely be in the running for roster spots and possibly the starting job, depending on offseason moves.
A return to health for Joseph and Nicks will be as good as free agent signings for the Buccaneers. With Jeremy Zuttah available as a backup for either player, the Buccaneers are set here, and hopefully there are no more injury avalanches.
I have grown to dislike Ted Larsen, but he’s certainly suffered from “little fish, big pond” syndrome this season. He wasn’t ready to be thrust into action as a full-time NFL lineman, and likely still has a role to play on the offensive line. The amount of cross-training of linemen due to injury has created an interesting depth chart with multiple players who can play multiple positions. It will be interesting to see how any offseason moves affect the depth chart, as the signing of a tackle could shift Meredith back to guard as a backup, and subsequently threaten Larsen and other backup linemen.
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