Buccaneers Free Agency Edition: Monday Morning Pick Six

Oct 2, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) warms up before the game against the Denver Broncos at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) warms up before the game against the Denver Broncos at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

With legal tampering beginning Tuesday, we bring you a special edition of Yarcho’s Pick Six as we dive in to all things free agency and the Buccaneers.

Ah, yes. It’s finally here. We are on the precipice of free agency and the rumors swirling around the Buccaneers are already hot and heavy. There are already major reports surrounding wide receiver DeSean Jackson as well as the Bucs now being tied to defensive lineman Calais Campbell.

It’s been a while since we dove in to the world of Pick Six and what better time to reintroduce it than something as riveting and franchise changing as the frenzy that is free agency? With that said, allow us to Pick Six…

Six Topics Suitable For Conversation

  • Are The Buccaneers Closer To Contending Than Many Already Believe? It sure seems that way. If they’re truly pursuing the likes of DeSean Jackson and Calais Campbell, they’re saying that they feel they are just a few pieces away from really making a run. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense to bring in these guys on the back end of their career for two or three years. They’re obviously not part of any long term plan. Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter are simply saying with these kinds of players, we are in win now mode while continuing to use the draft to build for the future.
  • Is Doug Martin Done In Tampa? The next few days will likely give us a more clear answer, but we won’t really know for sure until the draft. Should the Bucs decide to go for Adrian Peterson, that’ll be pretty telling in itself. If they just re-sign Jacquizz Rodgers then that will tell us absolutely nothing. Another name to look out for is Latavius Murray who I mentioned in a column about players the Bucs should consider last month. Murray would give the Bucs a young back that can replace Martin and still be a long time contributor to this offense. However, it seems more likely the Bucs will look to address running back in the draft for a player that can grow and evolve with Jameis and the offense.
  • Is Will Gholston Coming Back?

    Many Bucs fans – myself included – believe it’s important for Licht to re-sign

    William Gholston

    to provide depth to the defensive line. Gholston is one of the best run stoppers on the team, but can’t get after the quarterback. That means he likely won’t command the major dollars teams dish out to defensive ends and the Bucs have a solid chance at bringing him back. Then again, another team may view him as the next

    Michael Bennett

    and give him a big enough contract to lure him away from Tampa and attempt to mold him into a pass rusher.

    More from Bucs Free Agency

  • Bye Bye Mike GlennonMike Glennon was offered a deal with the Bucs worth $8-million dollars a year making him the highest paid back up in the league. Glennon rejected the offer and will hit the free agent market in hopes to not only land a bigger deal but also a starting job. The Chicago Bears are already rumored to make a strong push for him while other teams like the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers have also had their names throw out there as potential landing spots. At the end of the day, it appears all but certain that Glennon’s time as a Buccaneer is over. If so, I wish him nothing but the best of luck wherever he goes – except when he plays the Bucs.
  • There Better Be An Upgrade At Safety. If the Bucs’ plan at safety is bringing back Chris Conte, we’re screwed. I’m sure Conte is a great guy. However, he is not a great football player. He is a liability and replaceable in free agency or the draft. A lot of people would love to see Tony Jefferson join this team and would love even more to see Conte in another team’s uniform.
  • Will The Bucs Stand Pat At Offensive Line? Many Bucs fans are clamoring for upgrades along the offensive line. With the “return” of J.R. Sweezy, the run blocking is already getting an upgrade. It seems likely they move on from Evan Smith to save on his $4.5-million dollar cap number. Center Joe Hawley is a free agent the Bucs have expressed interest in re-signing but they can certainly upgrade at that position. As much as I love Hawley, he was injured in every game last season and is rather small for a center. He may have the biggest heart on the offensive line, but the Bucs need a bigger push in the middle.
  • Six Numbers To Consider

    $69.9-million dollars –  Estimated cap space the Bucs have (according to Spotrac)

    18 – Number of unrestricted free agents the Bucs have hitting the market

    34 – Age of receiver Vincent Jackson who says he’s not ready to retire yet

    2 – Years left on Mike Evans‘ contract – including the fifth year option

    4 – Number of off-seasons Jason Licht has had with the Bucs

    7 – Draft Picks the Bucs have in the 2017 NFL Draft

    Six Best People To Follow On Twitter For Up To The Minute Free Agency News

    1. Adam Schefter – @adamschefter
    2. Ian Rapoport – @rapsheet
    3. Rick Stroud – @NFLSTROUD
    4. Jay Glazer – @JayGlazer
    5. Chris Mortensen – @mortreport
    6. Josina Anderson – @JosinaAnderson

    Six Players Bucs Could Pursue

    1.) Safety Tony Jefferson – Jefferson could be a major upgrade at a position of major need and one the Bucs will likely go after. Now, if they sign Campbell and Jackson, there may not be enough money left to get Jefferson depending on where his market value falls. If not, the Bucs will need to go safety early in the draft, potentially round one.

    2.) Center Nick Mangold – Mangold has a few good years left in the tank and would be a solid upgrade in the middle of the offensive line. This could give the Bucs time to continue to search for or develop their center of the future and give them that veteran leadership that left along with Logan Mankins.

    Nov 13, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara (21) runs out for intros prior to a game against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field. Houston Texans won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
    Nov 13, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara (21) runs out for intros prior to a game against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field. Houston Texans won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports /

    3.) Cornerback Prince Amukamara – The cornerback position still needs addressing. Brent Grimes only has one year remaining on his deal and Amukamara is only 27. He won’t command a mega deal and would help this secondary moving into 2017. With the release of Alterraun Verner and nothing but question marks behind Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves, Amukamara could be a solid addition.

    4.) Kicker Steven Hauschka – The Bucs have to bring in competition for Roberto Aguayo and that competition needs to be far more than an undrafted rookie. If Aguayo can go into camp and legitimately beat out Hauschka, then we’re going to be just fine at kicker. If not, and Hauschka gets the job, then we’re going to be just fine at kicker.

    5.) Defensive Tackle Dontari Poe – With the Jackson/Campbell rumors, this one seems nearly impossible. Poe is going to command a lot of money on the open market and far more than the Bucs are likely wanting to spend. That being said, their interest in Campbell may end at just that; interest. Bringing in a 26 year old Poe would make this defensive line one of the best in the league along with Gerald McCoy, Noah Spence, and Robert Ayers. It’s a long shot, but it’s possible.

    6.) Running Back Adrian Peterson – Peterson is at the bottom here because he’s still in play, but it sounds like he isn’t generating near the amount of interest many initially thought he would. Now, with that being said, he will likely take offense to teams overlooking him due to age and/or injury concerns so he’s going to have one hell of a chip on his shoulder that he’s willing to take out on opposing teams. Just like Poe, it’s a slim chance, but it’s still a chance.

    Six Bucs That Will Return

    1.) Akeem Spence – He isn’t going to cost a lot and provides reasonable depth along the defensive line. Licht has preached the draft and develop strategy so in order to do so, they need to retain their own. Spence will stick around.

    2.) Jacquizz Rodgers – Both Licht and Koetter have spoken about how important it is they get Quizz to come back as part of the running back stable. He didn’t play well enough for another team to offer him a big deal and make him a focal point of their offense but he did play well enough for Koetter & Co. to want him back in red and pewter.

    3.) Bradley McDougald – McDougald showed flashes last season and, again, is a depth signing for the Bucs. He may get the opportunity to start but he’s certainly worthy of a contract to play in a back-up role. The only safety the Bucs currently have under contract is Keith Tandy and it’s unlikely they sign more than one safety from another team in free agency. Re-sign him, sign another starter, and draft one. That needs to be the safety formula this week.

    4.) Russell Shepard – He’s a captain on special teams, he stepped up at wide receiver, and he’s one of the best locker room guys on the team. It seems highly unlikely the Bucs let him walk away given how important he is both on and off the field.

    5.) Josh Robinson – An under the radar signing from last season and a guy that helped make the Bucs’ punt unit one of the best in football. Robinson provides depth at corner, but that’s not why they need him. They need him to continue to be the elite gunner he was in 2016 and to help continue making Bryan Anger look so good.

    6.) Vincent Jackson – Wait, what? 34 year old Vincent Jackson? Yep! Jackson said he doesn’t want to retire. It seems the relationship between VJax and the Bucs is one that isn’t going away any time soon. I believed the Bucs would keep Jackson around in an advisory or coaching role come 2017 but maybe that role involves him still suiting up. Jackson is a competitor and his injury issues the last two seasons likely left a bitter taste in his mouth. If the price is right, I could see VJax suiting up one more season before hanging it up. He and his wife have expressed their love of Tampa numerous times and that this is their “forever home”. They have a restaurant in the area and it would seem unlikely Jackson signs on with another team this off-season.

    Next: DeSean Jackson Set To Visit Bucs

    Six Final Words

    Let The Free Agent Frenzy Begin!