Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Pewter Plank is committed to bringing you free agent profiles all offseason long, giving you a quick take on some of the players the Buccaneers may consider bringing in to help build a better team in 2013. Rather than flood the weekend with profiles of players who might not be available, or of interest to Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano, let’s go through some quick hitter possibilities for the 2013 offseason. With most of these players, the important aspect to keep in mind is the price they demand in free agency, as veteran players who have established themselves can command hefty amounts of salary.
If any of these players become available, and the Buccaneers interest in said player appears reasonable, be sure to check back for a more in depth profile. (Thanks to Rotoworld for contract numbers and player rumors)
- Michael Turner, Running back, Atlanta Falcons – No matter what you think of Michael Turner, you can hopefully agree that he would be an upgrade over LeGarrette Blount. Turner is a very hard runner who has a sturdy frame. He started to fade as a featured back in Atlanta, but he could certainly contribute as a change of pace for Doug Martin. Turner currently makes almost 7 million dollars, which is why the Falcons could let him go this offseason. He will need to ask much less than 7 million to have any chance to latch on with the Buccaneers. Still, the Buccaneers would have a very formidable running attack with Turner and Martin
- Shaun Phillips, Linebacker, San Diego Chargers – Phillips is a linebacker who knows how to get after the quarterback. He’s getting on in age, but still appears to have plenty of good football in his future. He was making around 4.5 million in San Diego, and likely won’t draw more than that from the Buccaneers. But if Quincy Black is let go or otherwise unable to play in 2013, Phillips could be a veteran option to replace him.
- Champ Bailey, Cornerback, Denver Broncos – Bailey is set to make almost 10 million in 2013, and there are whispers that he might be let go for cap reasons. The former Georgia Bulldog would be an upgrade over anyone currently on the roster, and while he could command a hefty price tag, it would be a short term deal that might be worth the gamble. It’s unlikely that Bailey would be made available, but in case he is, the Buccaneers would be wise to have a sit-down with the veteran lock-down defensive back.
- Jermichael Finley, Tight End, Green Bay Packers – Another possible cap casualty, Finley has fallen out of favor with fans in Green Bay, and may be wearing out his welcome with the front office, as well. The Buccaneers are in need of a playmaker at the tight end position, and with potential target Martellus Bennett possibly receiving the franchise tag from the Giants, Finley could emerge as another option.
- Nnamdi Asomugha, Cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles – Once considered the best cornerback in the game, Nnamdi has gone through a rough stretch in Philly. There are questions as to whether or not he’s in the right system with the Eagles, and rumblings that a new coaching staff may show the veteran corner the door. As with Champ Bailey, Asomugha is older, and will receive a shorter contract if he hits the open market. He thrives in man-to-man coverage and would fit very well in Greg Schiano’s defense.
As the free agent period approaches, and more players are either re-signed, kept, or released, we will have a better idea of who is available for the Buccaneers to sign. Tampa Bay will be in a strong position to make deals with prospective players this summer. With a large amount of salary cap space and an attractive roster with a solid core of talent, and the ability to work and live in a state that does not collect state sales tax, helping to maximize players’ paychecks. I ask you now, Bucs fans, do any of these players sound like someone you’d like to see the Bucs target this offseason? Leave a comment and let us know! Have a better idea of who the Buccaneers should go after? Feel free to let us know that, as well.