5 free agents the Buccaneers can still sign after start of OTAs

The Buccaneers can dip back into the free agency pool to sign a key difference-maker with several quality free agents still unsigned
Miami Dolphins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Miami Dolphins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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Just two months ago, the start of the new NFL year kicked off, signaling the first time teams were able to sign free agents. As of this week, 613 different players signed contracts worth $3.9 billion in free agency, as well as 257 prospects were selected in the NFL draft, capping off an offseason with plenty of player movement across the league.

This offseason, the Bucs were one of many teams that used the offseason to their advantage. In free agency, Tampa Bay spent most of their money to bring back its own players, getting deals for key guys like Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans. Tampa Bay also cooked up a pretty decent draft class as well, which featured a handful of undrafted rookies.

That said, the Buccaneers are still in the midst the offseason, and have several months to add another key player (or two) in free agency. While none of these free agents will be game-changing talents at their respective positions, a number of them are more than capable of playing pivotal roles in the starting lineup or on the bench, such as these five listed below.

CB Xavien Howard

Throughout the offseason, the Buccaneers made several transactions regarding their cornerback room. That starts with the Buccaneers trading Carlton Davis III to Detroit in exchange for the Lions' 2024 third-round pick. With that, Tampa Bay selected Georgia's Tykee Smith at No. 89, who figures to be the Buccaneers' starting nickel corner in 2024.

In free agency, Tampa Bay signed Bryce Hall and Tavierre Thomas to one-year deals, with both corners coming off solid seasons. Coupled with the return of starting cornerbacks Jamel Dean and breakout candidate Zyon McCollum, and the Buccaneers' cornerback room figures to be a solid point of their defense in 2024.

Outside of the five corners mentioned, Tampa Bay's reserves at the position leave a lot to be desired, with the likes of Josh Hayes, Quandre Mosely, and Keenan Isaac set to slot in the starting lineup barring the starters missing time. For example, Dean has missed 15 total games in his first five seasons, while Hall and Thomas have dealt with lingering injuries that has kept them off the field.

As several starting-caliber cornerbacks remain in free agency, Howard, an eight-year veteran, appears to be the best option for Tampa Bay. Howard, the No. 38 pick in the 2016 draft, has been a steady option at cornerback for the Dolphins. Starting in 99 of 100 games played, Howard has recorded 331 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 95 pass breakups, 29 interceptions, four forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries.

Howard was especially impressive in the 2020 season, totaling 51 tackles, 20 pass breakups, and a league-leading ten interceptions in 16 starts, making the All-Pro First Team and Pro Bowl, along with a third-place finish for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Although Howard only totaled 90 tackles and two interceptions in his last two seasons with Miami, he is still capable of adding value on the boundaries for Tampa Bay in the secondary.