Potential Free-Agent Targets
The Buccaneers have a few expiring contracts which deserve some attention and potential renewal. In the interest of giving some fresh information – or takes – I’m not going to address the obvious.
Guys like Clinton McDonald and Sealver Siliga have certainly carved a niche with the team. McDonald is a team favorite with his professionalism, ability to step-up in clutch situations, and community outreach efforts.
Siliga’s retainment really depends no just how confident the Bucs are in year-two of Tu’ikolovatu’s career.
Here’s the guy I’m most interested in though.
Previous Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Clarke played on less than 30% of defensive snaps for his squad in 2017. He was still able to notch two and a half sacks, good for third most on the team.
In fact, his snaps per sack rate is just higher than McCoy’s. By a hair.
Now, this isn’t to say that the Bucs would get higher sack production out of Clarke than McCoy if he got 800+ snaps. It is to say his production rate was efficient enough to warrant an extension.
In fact, it’d be a wise move by Jason Licht to lock him down for three years and see if he can stand-out in the upcoming season.
Previous Team: New York Jets
Again, there are more obvious targets such as Ezekiel Ansah out there, but I wanted to get into the weeds a bit deeper.
Ealy is a former second-round pick by the Carolina Panthers and had back-to-back five sack seasons in 2015-16 while starting just over half of his team’s games in the same time frame.
Known as a better run stopper than pass rusher coming into the NFL, his pass rushing skills seemed to be coming along splendidly.
Then, in 2017 he was traded to the New England Patriots in a package which netted the Panthers a second-round pick they used on offensive tackle Taylor Moton who appeared on just 64 offensive snaps in his rookie year.
Meanwhile, Ealy played 452 (40%) snaps for the New York Jets after being released in August by the Patriots.
Now, the still young (26) defensive end may be looking for a new start with a new team as an unrestricted free-agent.
Better news is, given his disaster of a 2017 campaign, they should be able to ink him for right around $1 Million per year or less. Thus, making him a low risk, high reward signing if they go with it.
It may not seem like the opimal signing, but before we dismiss it, let’s remember the Buccaneers did put in a waiver claim for him when he was released by the Pats.
And let’s all admit, it’d be a nice change of direction to see Tampa Bay revive a career instead of sending someone away to revive theirs with a different team.