Posted by Aaron Wilson on February 16, 2009, 11:26 p.m. EST
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are intent on retaining unrestricted free agent cornerback Phillip Buchanon to bolster their secondary, according to ProFootball Weekly.
While the Buccaneers may use the franchise tag to hold onto free agent wide receiver Antonio Bryant, they’d like to lock up Buchanon’s services with a contract extension. That organizational desire was described as a “high priority” for new General Manager Mark Dominik.
While last year’s first-round draft pick, cornerback Aqib Talib, intercepted four passes as a rookie and seems to have a bright future, the Buccaneers are reportedly concerned that veteran starting cornerback Ronde Barber’s play is beginning to slip.
According to an unnamed source cited by Pro Football Weekly, Barber may play a less significant part in the defense next year as he heads into his 13th NFL season.
The St. Petersburg Times reported last March that the Buccaneers had broached the prospect of a hammering out a contract extension with Buchanon. Per NFL.com, he registered 52 tackles and two interceptions with one touchdown last season.