The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can take advantage of teams that could be selling talent at the trade deadline. General manager Jason Licht should be on the phones looking to add talent in the secondary.
As bad as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have looked over the past month, some teams have it much worse.
Take the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals, for example. Both organizations sit with just one win each and are on the path towards a top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The poor play through six weeks has awoken the rumor mill. Rumors surrounding All-Pro Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson have begun to swirl. While the Raiders reportedly have an asking price for talented wideout Amari Cooper.
Many key players from the Cardinals and Raiders are logical fits for the Buccaneers. A top-tier corner like Peterson could fix the issues in the secondary. The same goes for Oakland safety Karl Joseph. The young defensive back could be a building block in Tampa Bay’s defensive backfield.
If reports are accurate, the Buccaneers should take advantage of the impending fire sales around the league.
For one, a trade can provide the defense the necessary boost to play at a competent level. With the way the offense has been playing, an average defense will be enough to turn the Bucs season back around.
Both teams provide some intriguing options. While players like Chandler Jones and Amari Cooper may not make sense from a salary or need standpoint, there are other options.
Peterson is probably the target that makes the most sense for Tampa. Peterson is 28 years old and is locked into his contract until 2020. He will make about $12 million per year as well which is a reasonable contract for his production.
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Tampa Bay has been in every game, aside from the beatdown in Chicago. If the Bucs found a way to stop opposing passing attacks, an argument can be made that they would only have a loss or two.
Peterson could fill that void. It would be a significant risk, but his ability to lock down an entire side of the field may be enough to mask the flaws in the Buccaneers defensive backfield.
The only issue with a Peterson trade will be the salary cap. The Bucs would likely have to send a player in return. The Bucs only have about $5 million in cap room according to Spotrac.com. DeSean Jackson is making $11 million this season but has a team option that can wipe him off the books at the end of the year.
Peterson is just one option, Oakland’s Karl Joseph is the other name that would be a nice addition for Tampa.
Joseph is only 24 and has another year left on his rookie contract. The Bucs likely won’t have to give up a top-tier Draft selection to acquire him to boot.
Now, Joseph isn’t a quick fix. He isn’t going to transform the secondary into a viable unit, but he can be a relatively cheap piece to the new foundation. With Evans, Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart the other building blocks, the Buccaneers might have a stout group in a few seasons.
Rather than investing in another top Draft pick or signing an expensive free agent, Joseph would cost just a fraction of that.
Diving into specific trades is tough because of how rare they are in the NFL. Teams usually don’t make any blockbuster moves mid-season. However, with Jon Gruden at the helm, the Raiders might be busy in a few weeks.
Price tag aside, Tampa Bay should at least make phone calls and see what teams are willing to take for their talented pieces.