The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in need of a new linebacker after the exit of Kwon Alexander, and there is a former Todd Bowles player on the trade market.
According to NFL Insider Benjamin Allbright on a radio show, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested in trading for New York Jets’ linebacker Darron Lee. He also stated that the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos are interested in the fourth-year Ohio State product.
Lee was having his best season as a pro in 2018, before being suspended the last four games of season after being busted for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He finished last season with three interceptions and five tackles for loss before his suspension. Throughout his three-year career to this point, Lee has tallied 238 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and four sacks.
Playing his entire career under new Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the familiarity is there and if Bowles gives his stamp of approval, general manager could make the move to bring Lee to Tampa Bay and give him a change of scenery. With the 2019 NFL Draft just a month away, teams will be looking for more draft assets, and the Jets, missing a second and a sixth rounder, are expected to move Lee after adding C.J. Mosley in free agency.
The Buccaneers have a variety of holes on their defense, and only $2.8 million in cap space, they must explore cost efficient ways to make moves and infuse talent into their roster. Owed only $1.8 million in 2019 with the option to pick up his fifth year, Lee would give the Bucs a chance to add an extremely athletic backer to fill the void left by Kwon Alexander at a budget cost.
The Jets are currently asking for a third round pick for their former first rounder in the 2016 pick, but Allbright stated that it is more likely that they will receive only a fifth or a sixth instead. Althought the Bucs have limited draft assets, giving up a day-three pick is worth the exploration.