Grading the Buccaneers first 8 moves of free agency

How did the Buccaneers do on the first day of free agency this year?

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 6
Next

Carlton Davis III traded to Lions

Tampa Bay didn't dip its toes into free agent waters on the first day of the tampering period, but it did make a splashy move that subtracted from the roster.

Carlton Davis III was traded to the Detroit Lions after a week of growing speculation that he could be dealt. It's a blow to the defense, as the team's top cornerback on paper is now wearing a different uniform, but it's a move that could open up an even brighter future for the Bucs.

Detroit sent back one of its third round picks in this year's draft -- pick No. 92 -- which means the Bucs now have four selections in the first three rounds. Upgrading the interior offensive line remains an unaddressed task, but the free agent market has quickly grown a little rich for Tampa Bay's blood. That could mean this extra draft capital will be used to help fix things upfront by dipping into a deep and talented lineman class.

Cornerback was already a need even with Davis on the roster, and it now becomes an even bigger area to address now that he's gone. The Bucs have even more flexibility in the draft to go defense with its first pick and still circle back to take an offensive lineman or two later on Day 2.

Trading Davis also cleared all $14 million of his contract from the books. Tampa Bay created $6 million in cap space this year and $8 million next year, which suggests a potential move in free agency. While there's been a run on running backs and offensive linemen, cornerbacks remain largely untouched and the Bucs could use some of the newly created space to grab a veteran replacement while drafting someone as well thus adding two new cornerbacks for the price of one.

Grade: B+