The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need depth at outside linebacker if they want to compete in 2020, and free agent Clay Matthews would be a great fit.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to pull off their best draft in years this past weekend, and the team is well on its way to becoming a powerhouse in the NFC for the next two seasons. Even with the great draft picks, the addition of outside linebacker Clay Matthews wouldn’t hurt Tampa Bay in the slightest.
Tampa Bay has two great pass rushers in Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, but the depth past those two is shaky. Carl Nassib moved on in free agency, and Anthony Nelson still has some learning to do before stepping into that third role.
The Bucs need to find depth in free agency for proven talent at the position, and the Rams just released Clay Matthews after one of his best seasons in recent years.
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Contributing eight total sacks and 11 quarterback hits, Matthews cost the Rams under four million dollars in 2019.
Cap space may be tight for the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay could bring Matthews in for a similar contract and create space where necessary. The cap space should not be a problem for the Bucs as their division rival, the New Orleans Saints, have handled their financial cap beautifully and shown a proper way to fill depth when necessary.
Matthews would immediately step into the third role on the team and would provide rest to Barrett or JPP. Matthews could also join the two starters on the field, allowing JPP to line up on the inside when necessary.
This move would also protect the defense if either of the starters are injured.
This scenario would be perfect for a Buccaneer defense that is desperately trying to rebrand itself. Matthews brings playoff experience that most of the roster lacks and also fills one of the last significant holes for Tampa Bay heading into the regular season.
He may not be the player that he used to be, but the Buccaneers would immediately benefit from the addition of Clay Matthews. With Tampa Bay’s win-now mentality, any player that makes the team better, regardless of their age, should be in consideration.