3 offensive linemen Buccaneers need to target in Free Agency

Starting March 13, the Buccaneers will be able to upgrade their offensive line with the potential addition of these three free agents offensive linemen

Ryan Kang/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Cody Whitehair, OG/C, Chicago Bears

Similar to Dallas' Smith, Whitehair appears to be on his way out the door with his former team. On February 15, the Bears released Whitehair to save $9.4 million in salary cap space. The move will make Whitehair an unrestricted free agent as soon as free agency begins on March 13 at 4:00 PM.

At 31 years old, Whitehair just finished his eighth season in the NFL as the Bears' starting guard and center. Overall, Whitehair has started in 118 of 124 total games played, totaling 7,582 snaps and earning his lone Pro Bowl nod in 2018.

After earning a 76.3 grade from PFF for the 2020 season, Whitehair's numbers have taken a noticeable drop, with the eight-year veteran earning grades of 66.2 and 65.9 in the next two seasons. The drop would continue to this year, as Whitehair was given a poor 45.0 mark for the 2023 season.

With that said, Whitehair is still a considerable upgrade over Tampa Bay's starting guards Aaron Stinnie and Matt Feiler. For comparison, Stinnie earned a 56.6 PFF grade in 13 games and 718 snaps, while Feiler finished with a 54.7 mark in 13 games and 386 snaps.

While adding Whitehair would be a marginal improvement from Stinnie or Feiler, doing so would improve the offensive line while not breaking the bank. Per Sportrac, Whitehair's average salary value is a one-year, $7.8 million deal, giving the Buccaneers a cost-effective and proven improvement on the offensive line.