Should Buccaneers look to upgrade left tackle position?

Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t have many holes in their roster to fill as far as skills are concerned. What concerns they may have this offseason lie in bringing back their own pieces that have expired contracts. They’ve already begun solving this by slapping the franchise tag on Chris Godwin while re-signing Lavonte David to an extension and beginning talks with Shaq Barrett to do the same.

The Buccaneers became Super Bowl champions on the strength of an outstanding roster comprised of a perfect blend of veteran leaders and young studs. Of course having the greatest of all time at quarterback helped too. However that doesn’t mean the team was perfect. There’s always room for upgrade in the NFL. Part of the reason Tom Brady was able to still thrive was the strength of the offensive line. Center Ryan Jensen’s dominance allowed Ali Marpet to kick down to right guard where he’s become quite the force himself. Left guard Alex Cappa has matured before our very eyes and then there’s Tristan Wirfs. A rookie last season, the 13th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has already established himself as arguably the best right tackle in the game after giving up a single sack as a rookie.

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As for left tackle, Donovan Smith is a curious case. Since entering the league in 2015, the former second round pick out of Penn State has had an up-and-down career thus far. A real roller coaster if you will. However, in 2020 he did step up, especially in the playoffs, for his best season yet. The thing is though, if the Buccaneers are looking to upgrade this would be the position to do it.

The free agency class this year isn’t exactly sparkling when it comes to tackles. However, Trent Williams hitting the market is surely making teams very happy. If the Buccaneers wanted to sign him, they’d have to break the bank which they are currently in no position to do. Russell Okung and Alejandro Villanueva are also interesting names, as they are both solid and wouldn’t be as expensive as Williams. There are also the two former Kansas City Chiefs tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Both tackles were cut to save money for the Chiefs after their absence was being used and excise for them getting pulverized in Super Bowl LV. Go figure.

Anyway, all of those names would be a little pricey. There’s other veteran tackles out there that could provide some veteran leadership like former Tampa tackle Demar Dotson and Philadelphia Eagles great Jason Peters, but at this point neither of them would be upgrades to Smith. Which brings us to this.

Speaking of Peters, Baltimore Ravens two-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown has asked for a trade, the main reason being he wants to play left tackle. One would think it would be expensive to land him in a deal, but ESPN Stats & Information reports that the best comparable package for

Orlando Brown Jr., Baltimore Ravens(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Brown would be what the Eagles paid the Buffalo Bills for the future Hall of Famer Peters’ services in 2009, which was the 28th overall pick, a fourth and a sixth. The Buccaneers are certainly capable of offering a similar package for Brown or any other tackle that may come available they would see as an upgrade over Smith.

Fortunately, Smith isn’t going anywhere this year and the left tackle spot isn’t a dire need for the Buccaneers. They are more than able to sit and wait while running with Smith at left tackle for a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions. If one were to place a need on this loaded roster, left tackle would be one of them, but like we said it isn’t urgent. The offensive line was one of, if not THE best, in the NFL in 2020. The Buccaneers are in a super spot, but there’s never harm in looking to see if the roster can be upgraded anywhere, especially at their 43-year-old quarterback’s blind side. If the offensive line was that good in 2020, just imagine if it could possibly get better.

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