You wanted some offseason news, and it took until the late hours of the night before the start of free agency to get some. Adam Schefter tweeted the following, and sent Buccaneer fans on Twitter into hysteria.
Four teams – SF, PHIL, DET, TB – in play on Dashon Goldson – but DET, TB considered favorites. TB also in on CBs Sean Smith, B. Grimes, DRC.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2013
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken the advice that I offered (no, I know they didn’t read it) and are pursuing the best safety on the market, Dashon Goldson. But Schefter adds more, and points out that Tampa Bay is also “in on” Sean Smith, Brent Grimes, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. While I have already commented on how I feel about DRC, both Smith and Grimes would be excellent acquisitions, especially considering the more realistic price tag Sean Smith is seeking.
So what would this mean for the Buccaneers’ plans in free agency? Smith or Grimes and Goldson would require a somewhat sizable check to be cut by the Glazers, but as we’ve discussed, salary cap space is one thing the Buccaneers have plenty of. With over 40 million expected after the release of Eric Wright and Quincy Black, the signing of Goldson (who wants at least 8 million) and Smith (who wants around 7 million) cuts into the budget and reduces it by almost half. But it also fills two major holes in the roster, and leaves the team with over 20 million to spend on depth on defense, and the few pieces needed to complete the offense. Mark Dominik and his team can tweak the numbers to make sure the cap consequences are in the team’s favor, but this would be a bold move no matter how you slice it.
The Lions are Tampa Bay’s competition for Goldson, which is interesting, considering they don’t have a very large salary cap amount to deal with. Goldson’s ambition is to get paid this offseason, making Tampa Bay, along with Cincinnati and Cleveland, as extremely likely destinations based on money alone. Add in the Buccaneers’ need for a free safety of the future, and it seems obvious that the Buccaneers would be in contact. Of all the players Tampa Bay has been linked to this offseason, I feel the strongest about Goldson fitting in extremely well with the Bucs. He provides such a dynamic partner for Mark Barron, allowing flexibility in run and pass defense with two safeties who are capable of making a big hit and playing the run extremely well.
We’ve already discussed Sean Smith in the past, and while Brent Grimes name hasn’t come up much, it’s not because he wouldn’t be a solid choice. Grimes spent last year on the shelf with an injury, however, and would be a bit of a risk. If the price is right, it might be a great deal to make if someone else is able to snag Sean Smith. But I would much prefer Derek Cox as a corner to compliment Goldson, if Smith were unavailable.
It’s more likely and reasonable to predict the Buccaneers would sign one big ticket free agent, and spend more frugally on other targets, like Derek Cox. But if the front office decides to splash the cash and take a chance on signing two big name free agent defensive backs, it could reward the team handsomely in 2013. Feel free to fill the comment section with thoughts, opinions, and whatever else you’d like, Buccaneer fans. Just know we’re in for a wild ride over the next few days.