The Bucs’ offensive line was not very good in 2016. That they were able to win nine games with some very average play from the guys up front says a lot about the team’s defense. At this point in free agency, the front office hasn’t done much of anything to switch up the offensive line. Center Joe Hawley and tackle Gosder Cherilus are free agents and guard J.R. Sweezy appears to be healthy, but as far as transactions go with the o-line, Tampa Bay has stood still.
There’s been talk of Ali Marpet moving to center, but regardless, the line as of now consists of Marpet, Sweezy, Kevin Pamphile, Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson. Evan Smith, Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester are also on the roster, but something seems to be missing.
Veteran Nick Mangold is out there and there are options in the draft. It looks like Tampa Bay might just keep the line the way it is, but it’s also a big possibility that they add someone in the draft. There hasn’t been too much talk of a lineman going to the Bucs in the first round. However, they could look for one later in the draft, picking up someone to compete for a spot on the line in 2017. If they don’t, it will appear that in the front office’s mind, a returning Sweezy is enough to get the Tampa Bay offensive line going. It seems like there’s still a need along the line, which is surprising considering the feelings of everyone heading into the start of the free agency period.