Potential NFC Release Candidates the Buccaneers Could Target

Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard Ali Marpet (74) runs out of the tunnel before the game against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard Ali Marpet (74) runs out of the tunnel before the game against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

A few Buccaneers players have landed on “Around the NFL” editor Gregg Rosenthal’s list of NFC Players on the bubble. There are some interesting names joining them as well.

As the Buccaneers prepare to execute what is hopefully a well-planned off-season strategy, most of us on the outside looking in are trying to figure out what to make of rumors and trends from years past.

This off-season, the aforementioned Mr. Rosenthal has graced us with his thoughts of veterans who may find themselves shopping for new homes before the dust settles and all the mayhem has come to an end.

Of the Bucs on his list, one has already received his release as cornerback Alterraun Verner was released just a few short days ago.

If you missed this tidbit of news, I wrote up some initial thoughts on it myself as it happened, and I’m sure you can find a link to that somewhere around here.

Must Read: Bucs Release Verner

Joining him on the list of potential cuts are running back

Doug Martin

, defensive end

George Johnson

and center Evan Smith.

Of the latter two, Mr. Rosenthal wrote,

"“These are three free agency ghosts of the Buccaneers’ recent past who are likely to be put out to sea.” – Greg Rosenthal"

I can’t say I wholeheartedly disagree with his thought here, but if one of these guys stays over the rest it seems likely to be Smith.

The Bucs are not deep on the offensive line, and a veteran who can play multiple spots serviceably is valuable in today’s NFL where pass protection is a must and run blocking is always appreciated.

As I mentioned before, this was not a list exclusive to Tampa, and there were close to a dozen other NFC teams which Gregg hypothesized could see receive their release.

The three I found most intriguing from a One Buc Place standpoint were offensive tackle Doug Free from the Dallas Cowboys, guard Zane Beadles of the San Francisco 49ers and tight end Lance Kendricks from the Los Angeles Rams.

On the offensive line, Free and Beadles make sense for different reasons, but good ones.

The Cowboys’ lineman was linked to the Bucs the last time he was coming available on the market, and it looked closer than it perhaps ever was before Dallas inked him to his current deal.

While he would only be a two-year lease, he’d be a good one, and if fans of this franchise really want to see Dalvin Cook get drafted and have success then who better to put in front of him than one of Ezekiel Elliott’s guys?

More from The Pewter Plank

With Beadles, it’s easy to forget he was one of the better linemen up-and-coming when he signed with Jacksonville and subsequently the 49ers after leaving Denver.

The 30-year old probably isn’t a Pro Bowl caliber lineman, but he’s no slouch, and his price tag should come in a bit under what he’s capable of producing should he get released from the bay.

He played inside and out for San Fran’s offensive line in a season where running back Carlos Hyde finished eighth in yards per carry among players with at least 200 carries.

In fact, he very quietly amassed nearly 1,000 rushing yards despite missing three games and getting 20 or more carries in just four. You can’t do that without some help up front.

Finally, there’s Kendricks. The tight end may be the odd man out as the Rams seem to be deep at this one position more than any other.

I wouldn’t say he’s a dual threat tight end who can be a dominant in-line blocker and receiver, but he’s more of a dual threat than the Buccaneers have on their roster currently.

Again, referring to the Tampa fan-base’s apparent desire for their franchise to draft the kid coming out of Florida State, this means the likes of O.J. Howard will be long gone before Jason Licht gets to spend another pick.

Cameron Brate was great, but there was no run threat to his spot on the field when he was out there, and no other tight end in pewter presented much of a receiving threat save for the occasional surprise pass to Alan Cross.

There’s only one potential L.A. castaway that I’d want to see this team bring in, and Kendricks is him.

So here are my thoughts. Adrian Peterson was also on Mr. Rosenthal’s list, but we’ve all talked about him already, so he wasn’t covered here for those reasons.

If you haven’t seen it already, click the link in this article to check it out and come back to let me know who else you like for the Buccaneers to target from this list.

Next: Bucs Need Help At Tight End

There’s also an AFC version, and I’ll be putting my thoughts on digital paper very soon about those as well. In the meantime, feel free to read ahead and send me some thoughts on your favorites on Twitter.

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