The Buccaneers and Stephon Gilmore could be the perfect fit.
Stephon Gilmore, one of the best corners in the NFL, is a free agent. Top-tier corners rarely ever hit the open market like this, even those struggling with injuries. As Gilmore starts to go through his options, the Buccaneers should emerge as one of the top contenders for his services.
On paper, there are several obstacles for the Bucs to overcome, but none that should prevent them from throwing themselves at Gilmore with reckless abandon.
The first issue is money. Tampa doesn’t have a mountain of cap space, but Gilmore also won’t be as expensive as many would imagine. Coming off an injury and unlikely to sign a multi-year deal, Gilmore is probably looking to finish this season with someone and earning a longer opportunity.
This low price would mean that Tampa may not have to free up that much money, although the front office has done exceptionally well in this regard in recent seasons. Restructuring deals is not a foreign concept to Jason Licht and Mike Greenberg, so that shouldn’t be a holdup here.
The other issue is determining what role Gilmore would play. However, that question existing implies three corners like Carlton Davis, Richard Sherman, and Stephon Gilmore could not coexist on one defense.
One of these corners could easily move to the inside when called upon to do so, and Todd Bowles is the right coach to get the most out of these three without causing a drop-off in production.
Stephon Gilmore would join a talented group of corners that the fanbase likes, but he would still be one of the best immediately. It may rub some of the fans the wrong way to see Sean Murphy-Bunting or Jamel Dean replaced, but Gilmore is still an obvious improvement.
This move would also be one of Gilmore’s best chances at joining a contender. The Bucs are still one of the best teams in the NFL, and it helps that they have several of Gilmore’s former teammates in key positions as well.
There are certainly some other opportunities for Stephon Gilmore to consider, but the Buccaneers have to at least be in the mix.
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