TAMPA, FL - JULY 29: A young fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches play during the team's first pre-season training camp practice July 29, 2011 at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been relatively quiet in free agency, only signing punter Michael Koenen as an external free agent, and re-signing Jeremy Trueblood, Davin Joseph and Quincy Black as unrestricted free agents. But free agency is far from over, and a slew of players will be released and signed in the next couple of days. Other free agents who have not seen much interest yet will be signed as well, as the second wave of free agency will begin. So, who could the Bucs be after.
Resigning their own role players
The Buccaneers have a number of free agent role players they could re-sign. Cadillac Williams is the most obvious re-signing, as the Bucs lack a trustworthy third-down back. Earnest Graham could take on that role as a blocker, but lacks skills as a receiver, making Cadillac very valuable to the Bucs. The Bucs seem to be working on making that happen, as they met with Caddy's agent earlier today,according to Roy Commings. im Crowder would add depth as a decent defensive end who could provide the Bucs with some certainty behind two talented rookies. Stylez G. White would offer the same, with a little more pass rush prowess, a lot more age and not as much practice intensity. Adam Hayward would offer experience and quality special teams play
Other possible but unlikely re-signings include Maurice Stovall, who would offer mostly special teams value and a little depth at wide receiver, and Barrett Ruud, who would immediately start at MLB if he was re-signed. These re-signings are long shots, though.
Unrestricted Free Agency
Jared Gaither, OT: Gaither is a solid, young offensive tackle who has seen his career slowed by injuries and questions about his motivation. He reportedly reached an agreement with the Oakland Raiders earlier this week, but has not yet signed with them, possibly because of medical issues.
Jammal Brown, OT: The former Saint used to be a pretty good left tackle, but has lost a lot after having hip surgery in 2009. He played at right tackle last season for the Redskins and was serviceable there. The Bucs aren't likely to look at an older tackle with injury issues, but it is an option.
Malcolm Floyd, WR: Floyd offers a big body and speed downfield as an inferior version of Vincent Jackson. He would add size to the Bucs' receiving corps, and could turn into a down-field weapon.
Braylon Edwards, WR: Edwards is a supremely talented receiver who has never lived up to his potential. He is still just 28, however, and had very few drops last season, while that was a major problem for him earlier in his career. Similar to Malcolm Floyd, he offers a big body with speed. Multiple legal issues including a DUI and a no contest plea to an aggravated assault charge make him unlikely to land with the Bucs.
Steve Smith (NYG), WR: Smith is a very, very good slot receiver - when healthy. But injury issues have slowed him down, and no one knows how much he will have left after going through microfracture surgery this offseason.
Stephen Tulloch, LB: If the Bucs want a run-stuffing middle linebacker with little ability in coverage, this is the guy they go after. The linebacker market is fairly dry, however, and Tulloch would limit the Bucs' scheme. The Bucs are more likely to re-sign Ruud than go after Tulloch.
Cullen Jenkins, DT/DE: Cullen Jenkins is a very good penetrating defensive linemen. His versatility would be a plus for the Bucs, who have dabbled with 3-linemen sets in the past year. Unfortunately, he is old and has missed many games with injury over his past seasons. In addition, with Roy Miller, Brian Price and Gerald McCoy the Bucs seem set at DT, and have quality young players at DE as well.
Zach Miller, TE: Miller is one of the best and most versatile TEs in the business. The Bucs, however, already have Kellen Winslow and fourth-round pick Luke Stocker. They might go after Miller and he would certainly be an upgrade, but it is a very long shot.