The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently have only four of the required five starters for an NFL offensive line, as they released Davin Joseph and do not have a suitable replacement already on the roster. That means the team will seek a free agent to fill the void, and according to a report, the search is well underway.
Michelle Beisner of NFL Media reported that the Bucs will meet with Evan Dietrich-Smith, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. Dietrich-Smith most recently played center in Green Bay, but has experience at guard as well.
The Idaho State product had been with the Packers for four years, starting every game in 2013, while spot starting in previous seasons.
According to Pro Football Focus, the man known as EDS allowed five sacks, but only 16 total pressures from his center position in 2013. He earned a positive grade overall in every category, as a run blocker, pass blocker, and at avoiding penalties.
Dietrich-Smith played guard at times in 2012, and was not as consistent of a success. But it’s this versatility that will appeal to the Buccaneers.
Jeremy Zuttah can play center or guard, which means both Zuttah and EDS could be moved around to accommodate injuries (Carl Nicks) or poor play. Offensive line play is about getting the best five players together at once, and adding a talented, versatile interior lineman is a big step in that direction.
We’ll keep you updated as to whether or not the Bucs and Dietrich-Smith can come to terms on an agreement.