The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added further depth to compete along the offensive line for the offseason by adding Oniel Cousins, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, as the team announced on Sunday.
Bucs working thru the weekend: The team has agreed to terms with former Cleveland guard Oniel Cousins on a 1-year deal.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) March 16, 2014
Cousins played under new offensive line coach George Warhop in Cleveland, but struggled mightily in his first few games in 2013 before being benched. According to Pro Football Focus, Cousins committed four penalties in Week 1, and had three negative performances in the first month, and was then relegated to the bench.
The former UTEP Miner has played tackle and guard in his career, but has never been a regular starter. He’s unlikely to make a push to be a starter in Tampa, as Carl Nicks, Jeremy Zuttah, Evan Dietrich-Smith and Jamon Meredith all figure to finish ahead of Cousins on the depth chart.
This is a case of adding camp depth and potential upside at a low cost, and Cousins likely comes with the endorsement of his former offensive line coach from the Browns. But unless the Buccaneers paid an arm and a leg for a career backup with bad tape, they will likely let Cousins fight for a roster spot rather than planning on using him in any particular role.
The Bucs may still add another interior lineman in free agency, or may address the position through the draft as well. But they added a lottery ticket at guard with a history working with the current coaching staff, and will give him a shot to prove that he’s better than his recent performances indicate.
Tags: Tampa Bay Buccaneers