We are in the end of Free Agency but there are still a few players out there that are worth taking a look at. Could pass rush specialist, Dwight Freeney, be a fit in the Buccaneers defense.
The Buccaneers have been lacking a strong pass rusher since the days of Simeon Rice and Warren Sapp. The Buccaneers have addressed the issue this off season by signing free agent Robert Ayers, and drafting Noah Spence in the second round. But if you could have an excess of something it’s definitely pass rushers. Dwight Freeney, 36 years old, is some one you could call an experienced veteran. Famous for his first ten seasons with the Indianapolis Colts while winning the Super Bowl with them in 2006.
He is not an average pass rusher either, amassing 120.5 sacks over his 14 year career, leading the league in 2004 and winning AFC Defensive Player of the year in 2005. Many thought after the 2014 season he would regress and fade away into veteran oblivion. Not so fast, he signed on with the Arizona Cardinals last season and had eight sacks and three forced fumbles in only 11 games, the most since 2011. He may have been a product of the fantastic system that is run in Arizona but I like to think that he still has some gas left in the tank. In week 16 of last season he had 3 sacks of a 38-8 rout of the Green Bay Packers in top playoff seed clinching game. He won NFC defensive player of the week, ironically with Robert Mathis winning AFC defensive player.
I believe that Dwight Freeney would be a perfect fit as a situational player in the Buccaneers new system under Mike Smith. Why he would be a great fit in this system is because, excluding Robert Ayers, he has more years than the rest of the Buccaneers defensive ends combined. He would be the perfect mentor to the youth and inexperience on the roster. Especially with Noah Spence and Jaquies Smith. Smith and Spence are both very young and with mentors like Ayers and Freeney they could easily develop in to successful pass rushers.In a pre-draft interview Spence said, “I want to get my spin down, I’ve been watching Dwight Freeney’s spin move. It’s beautiful. But I get in a game and I’m kind of still raw to it. I want to put that in my game.” Who better to teach him Dwight Freeney’s spin move than the man himself.
I believe that Freeney would bring veteran expertise while still providing some excellent production in a slightly reduced role. I would love to see Freeney in a red and pewter at what ever salary he wants because the Bucs still have plenty of cap space. Defensive end isn’t a position of need it’s really a position of want and I want Dwight Freeney.