The Buccaneers have an opportunity of a lifetime to sign Stephon Gilmore in free agency.
Sometimes, the stars line up, even for Super Bowl champions like the Buccaneers. In a year marred by numerous injuries in the secondary, the opportunity to sign Richard Sherman was a massive step in the right direction. Stephon Gilmore becoming available in free agency is an unprecedented stroke of luck.
The Bucs need another corner with so many question marks at the position. Tampa is currently on pace to finish this season with the worst secondary in NFL history, and teams with stats like that normally don’t win the Super Bowl. 3-1 may look nice, but there is a glaring hole on this roster that will derail a season in the playoffs.
If anyone thinks this secondary can hang with the likes of Kansas City, Green Bay, or the Rams again, we admire your optimism but don’t share it. A secondary like this is bad enough to waste an entire season, so acting now to remedy the problem could keep the team on track to winning another Super Bowl.
Gilmore needs a team to finish his season with and prove he is still worthy of another massive contract.
It is worth noting that Gilmore is still dealing with an injury and wouldn’t be able to take the field for a few weeks, but this is an opportunity the Buccaneers can’t ignore.
The one area where this deal could slow down is on the money front. Tampa does not have a lot of cap space, but they wouldn’t have to completely break the bank to bring Gilmore in based on the uncertainty. Sherman was cheap and signed for slightly over the veteran minimum, but Gilmore would be a bit more expensive.
The Bucs would have to move some money around to make the deal happen, but this hasn’t stopped them before, and it certainly shouldn’t now.
As for Gilmore himself, he would fit with this defense like a glove. As one of the few corners in the NFL that can play on an island, Gilmore is still one of the best man corners in the league. The fit with Todd Bowles’ defense is impossible to ignore, and this move would easily give the Bucs the best secondary in the NFL when healthy.
The opportunity to field Gilmore, Carlton Davis, Sherman, and some combination of Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting when healthy is too great to ignore. Some fans may say Gilmore is a luxury at this point based on the rest of the unit when healthy, but failing to make this move because of the potential to return these players from various ailments is coward ball.
Throw the kitchen sink at Gilmore, make it work, and the Bucs move comfortably back into being the favorites in the NFL. Great teams stay good by making moves like this; the Buccaneers just have to decide which type of team they are.
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