Key NFC South Players Entering Free-Agency
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Projected Cap Space: $74.6M
Upcoming Free Agents:
QB Mike Glennon *QB Ryan Griffin
RB Jacquizz Rodgers RB Antone Smith
*FB Austin Johnson *WR Josh Huff
WR Vincent Jackson WR Russell Shepard
WR Cecil Shorts III TE Brandon Myers
OT Gosder Cherilus C Joe Hawley
*LS Andrew DePaola
DT Sealver Siliga DT Akeem Spence
DE John Hughes DE William Gholston
*DE Jacquies Smith *LB Adarius Glanton
LB Daryl Smith CB Josh Robinson
FS Chris Conte FS Bradley McDougald
The Buccaneers have the most projected cap space of any team in the NFC South and if recent rumblings about Doug Martin being cut loose after his suspension for performance enhancing drugs has any truth, they could have over $80M to spend when free-agency begins on March 9th.
This team performed well over the second half of the season following a disappointing start to the year, but they still have plenty of holes to fill. Who they keep will be a sign of who they intend to target outside of the organization and in the draft.
MUST KEEP – RB, Jacquizz Rodgers
He knows the system, and even more he had success in it. Rodgers doesn’t look like the Bucs’
primary back of the future, but he could pair nicely with Charles Sims if the team does part ways with Martin.
Losing the NFLs second leading rusher in 2015 could spark an early round running back selection in this year’s draft, and the team would be wise to hold onto Rodgers who could help ease the workload as they break in the rookie behind a less than stellar offensive line.
MOST EXPENDABLE – FS, Chris Conte
No, this isn’t bash on Chris Conte time, it’s be realistic time. Keith Tandy – the Tandyman – has made a name for himself here in the last quarter of the season and looks like he’ll be lined up to fight for the starting job in 2017.
On the other side, Bradley McDougald is just as good – if not better – is younger and has been more consistent than the six-year vet.
Add in a rookie who should get picked up in the draft, and there simply isn’t room or cause to re-sign Conte at this point.
MOST LIKELY TO JOIN A RIVAL – DE, William Gholston
William Gholston’s chances of re-signing have dipped a bit with the rise of rookie Noah Spence who flashed greatness at key moments of the season.
With his starter status in question, the former Michigan State stand-out is likely to pursue other options and the Buccaneers likely won’t overpay to keep him.
Every team in the NFC South could use help in their front-line attack, and Gholston could end up on any one of their depth charts in 2017.