4 big name free agents Buccaneers should sign before mandatory minicamp

There are still a few big name free agents looking for work who might be key additions for the Bucs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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Dalvin Cook, RB

Running back is still a massive question mark for the Buccaneers heading into next season. Rachaad White is a star on the rise but most of his allure seems to be tied to his skills as a pass-catching back rather than a runner. Part of that is on the offensive line, which has improved over what it's been the last two seasons and might help set up a true breakout year for White.

Tampa Bay needs to figure out how to get the run game going one way or another, and making sure the room is dynamic will be key. White is the clear starter and can have the biggest impact, and rookie Bucky Irving seems like a perfect complement. Finding a short yardage back might be a key missing piece, one that Dalvin Cook can help fill.

He had a down year with the Jets last season, but a lot of his struggles might have more to do with how much offseason time he missed while looking for a job than diminished skill. His best days as a starter might be behind him, but we saw Ezekiel Elliott go up to New England last season and prove he still has enough left in the tank for the Dallas Cowboys to welcome him back.

Cook could fill a few different mutually beneficial roles in Tampa Bay, not the least of which is a short-yardage workhorse. The Bucs struggled to extend drives last year thanks in large part to not being able to move the chains in third-and-short situations. Bringing in Cook gives the team a big back to put in on third down or goal line situations and come away with a different result than what we've seen.

He could also elevate himself to a sidekick role next to White and give the Bucs a thunder-and-lightning approach out of the backfield. Running back coach Skip Peete had a similar thing going in Dallas with Elliott and Tony Pollard, and Cook might help create that situation while using it to earn a big free agent contract next offseason.

Sounds like a pretty sweet win-win situation.

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