May 15, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Ronde Barber (20) works out during organized team activities at One Buc. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a full roster for now, after a massive overhaul this offseason. But a simliar overhaul could occur next season, as there are a lot of players whose contract runs out in 2013. Who will the Bucs keep and what does each player have to do to stay on the roster? We'll go buy each of them quickly in this story. The list of free agents was pulled from Spotrac.
S Ronde Barber (unrestricted):
If Barber continues to play at an adequate level and can contribute at free safety, the only real question is whether he wants to return. If he can't adjust to playing as a safety, though, the Bucs might move on.
CB Aqib Talib (unrestricted):
Talib has to prove the Bucs can trust him to stay out of trouble off the field. The Bucs can give him a long-term contract, while the franchise tag might make sense as well.
DE Michael Bennett (unrestricted):
He's deserving of a long-term contract, although the franchise tag is an option as well. The question is whether the Bucs want to pay him a lot of money if they have a healthy Da'Quan Bowers ahead of him on the depth chart. The ability to contribute as a three-technique defensive tackle will help him get paid.
RB Legarrette Blount (restricted):
The Bucs will undoubtedly retain him. The question is whether they want to reward him with a long-term contract, or whether they'll use a restricted tender to keep him in Tampa for another year.
T Jeremy Trueblood (unrestricted):
Somehow the Buccaneers gave Trueblood a fairly expensive contract in 2011, despite his limitations as a pass-blocker. But the Bucs appear content with his play, which has at least been consistent. If they can't find a quality replacement, he'll probably be back.
CB E.J. Biggers (unrestricted):
Biggers has ability as a cover cornerback, but is coming off a disastrous season. If he wants a new contract he will have to improve both in coverage and especially in run support this season.
DT Amobi Okoye (unrestricted):
Signed as a pass-rusher and for depth, he is only likely to return if the Bucs give up on either Gerald McCoy or Brian Price. A quality season would make him highly sought-after on the free agent market, and the Bucs probably can't afford to pay him, McCoy and Michael Bennett big salaries, unless Okoye is a starter with Price or McCoy out of the picture.
DT Roy Miller (unrestricted):
Miller has shown flashes as a run defender but is useless against the pass and not consistent enough against the run. If he can finally be an active and consistent run defender he might return, but he has to make the 2012 roster first.
DT Frank Okam (unrestricted):
Was hyped during the 2011 preseason but showed absolutely nothing during the season, occasionally finding himself on the practice squad. He'll have to make the 2012 roster and then do very well during the season to earn a new contract.
TE Chase Coffman (restricted):
Coffman is a former third-round pick who busted out of the league with the Bengals. He's one of Josh Freeman's best friends, which likely earned him an offseason roster spot. He'll have to live up to his talent to be re-signed, though the Bucs can cheaply retain him with a restricted tender.
LB Rennie Curran (restricted):
Another offseason flier, Curran is a speedy but undersized linebacker and a former third-round pick for the Tennessee Titans. He's competing for a roster spot and seems like a natural fit at Will linebacker. Can be cheaply retained with a tender in 2013.
LB Jacob Cutrera (restricted):
Signed last year as mostly a special teamer, he's now competing for a roster spot. A backup who can be easily retained with a tender if needed.
LS Andrew Economos (unrestricted):
He's been the Bucs' trustworthy longsnapper for years on end and has done well. Longsnappers are cheap, and there's really no need for the Bucs to let him go.
WR Greg Ellingson (restricted):
Can be retained extremely cheaply, but likely won't even make the roster this year.
TE Collin Franklin (restricted):
Just a guy at tight end, he didn't do much to distinguish himself last year. Adequate blocker, but fighting for a roster spot now. Can be cheaply retained.
WR Ed Gant (restricted):
Bucs fans loved what they saw during the last preseason game last year, but he didn't get a chance during the regular season. He's fighting an uphill battle to even stay on the roster this year. On the off chance that Gant breaks out the Bucs can retain him quite easily.
DE Wallace Gilberry (unrestricted):
Has four years of NFL experience as a backup, and could easily be retained if he does well during the season. However, Bucs have decent depth at defensive end already.
T Mike Ingersoll (restricted):
Competing for a roster spot, there's a tiny, tiny chance he does anything this year to make it worth the Bucs' while to retain him. But he's more likely to stick as a practice squadder.
DE Jayme Mitchell (unrestricted):
Another backup at defensive end. Has a lot of experience but very little production. Is fighting for a roster spot and extremely unlikely to stick beyond this year.
QB Brett Ratliff (unrestricted):
Probably won't even make the roster this season, the Bucs should move on in 2012 or at least 2013 and find a young third quarterback they can actually groom.
WR Sammie Stroughter (unrestricted):
Looked like a quality player in 2009 but struggled with production and injuries the past two seasons. A slot receiver exclusively, he is also a pretty good return man and that could lead the Bucs to keep him. But with Preston Parker clearly ahead of him as a slot receiver, the Bucs are more likely to let him walk, unless he puts up a great season.
WR Tiquan Underwood (restricted):
The Bucs took a flier on this former Rutgers player. He has speed and some talent, and if that shows during the season the Bucs can keep him with a restricted tender. He has to make the roster first, though.
DE E.J. Wilson (restricted):
This defensive tackle/defensive end hybrid player hasn't gotten on the field the past two years due to injuries, but he has some talent. Needs to first make the roster and then perform during the regular season to earn a tender.
WR Wallace Wright (unrestricted):
Came into the league in 2006 and has collected a total of 108 receiving yards. Probably a special teamer who's very unlikely to even make the roster.