As the excitement gets closer with each and every minute, I along with everyone else cannot help but start to daydream. Manifesting dream scenario after scenario, my mind gets bombarded with pros, cons, and just down right confusion. Who would fit best in Coach Schiano's scheme? Who would fit this imaginary mold of a "Buccaneer Man?" What exactly IS a "Buccaneer Man?" And what makes me even think I have enough experience or knowledge to even attempt to rationalize decisions that our GM Mark Dominik and Coach Schiano may or may not agree with? All valid questions.
Either way, I move forward, trying to come up with an entertaining and somewhat logical insight as to what I would do if I was able to make a few decisions. Obviously my main objective is to have fun doing this, but also stay within the barriers of reality. So here it goes, a loosely written analysis of what I think would better the Buccaneers for this coming season and many moving forward. Feel free to mock, "nitpick," and even patronize if you feel you must. Just remember, I by NO means have the experience or "ins" in order to successfully predict a SINGLE move they will make, but I do have an imagination, and an interest to share my ideas with my fellow Buccaneers fans.
Resigning and Cutting our own players:
Resign EJ Biggers- If the price is right, it won't hurt to retain some familiar depth. A mediocre CB with knowledge of our current system and a lot of starting experience that should come rather cheap. I'm all for it. Hopefully with all the proper moves to bolster our #1 and #2 CB situation, Biggers can now slide to where he belongs, and excel covering lesser talented WRs.
Resign Daniel Te'o-Nesheim- Along the same lines as Biggers, when Te'o stepped up, he put forward a solid effort. A high motor DE with tons of energy and drive, if I had to guess THIS is the type of character driven player Coach Schiano wants on his team. Depth is priceless, and the added bonus that Daniel should come rather cheap as well helps the Buccaneers retain a formidable backup/rotational player at a position of need.
Offer Ronde a Respectable Contract- Now a days, if you asked me who my "favorite" Buccaneer is, I would have a hard time not jumping right to Ronde. What a career, and what a player. The quintessential and original "Buccaneer Man," Ronde Barber both on the field and in the locker room makes this team better in so many ways. Being respectful and straight forward with Ronde is a MUST for GM Mark Dominik. Making him understand that we cannot shy away from opportunities to pick up impact players at HIS position, we erase the past judgement that SOME have passed on the Bucs for how they "handled" greats like Derrick Brooks and John Lynch. Ronde needs to retire a Buccaneer. And he deserves to know what the teams plans are. If he chooses to turn down the deal, it MUST be because he is retiring, not because the deal insults him.
Resign Roy Miller-Surprising, I know. But after testing the market, we should bring Roy back in. He is a dedicated man, and also personifies the type of player Coach Schiano is looking for. Ignore his "lack of stats" and listen to what his fellow teammates have to say about him. In building a successful TEAM, these types of opinions do hold some water. And in this case, EVERYONE has good things to say. Another RESPECTABLE contract should be offered, and Roy should be happy to return to a scheme and a defense that he has grown quite familiar with. Next to Gerald McCoy, these two are the COGs of the D. And will continue to be for years to come.
Let M. Bennett Sign Elsewhere-Before I am attacked, please continue through the article to see why I suggest this. The shimmer of an idea of the brothers playing here I feel is blinding most fans. Sure its a heartwarming concept, but Martellus' body of work is not very impressive, and in comparison to, dare I say his name, Kellen, he is a civilian type TE. Someone will outbid the Buccaneers for M. Bennett, as they should. He has been a great pass rusher for this team, and issues and concerts with Bowers do make me nervous. But keeping our money in the right places, and making sure we have it to extend and resign our KEY players is a concern of mine. Let someone overpay Michael, I wish him luck, but we got him for a bargain, and we got A LOT out of him, lets not be foolish.
CUT E. Wright and Q. Black-It hurts me to type Q's name in here. A horrible injury for a guy who seemed to be really working through his problems from the year prior, Black seemed to be showing some promise before that game. Unfortunately this is a business, and Quincy will be taken care of, so save the team some more money and let Quincy focus on getting healthier. And Eric Wright. Dominik needs to "wright" his wrong and admit defeat. It was a mistake and a forced hand move last offseason, but the silver lining is that he now has an opportunity to rid himself of said mistake, and retain a lot of the badly spent money in the meantime.
Free Agency- These are the guys I would grab if at all possible. IN order of importance to me.
Derek Cox CB JAX- Injury concerns and just that. concerns, but either way, his abilities outshine to a team in need of multiple players at his position. Multi-year deal that comes moderately priced. Win situation for the Bucs
Brent Grimes/Dunta Robinson CB ATL- Dominik has shown that enjoys taking a player at a position of need away from a division rival. I honestly would probably take Robinson over Grimes with concerns of age and health along with the price tag being much more respectable for Dunta. Forming a secondary teams fear is something I feel is important for Coach Schiano, having Dunta and Barron back there is quite scary if you ask me.
Dashon Goldson S SF- Following the same theme, revamping the defense is a must, and creating a secondary that instills fear in a division FILLED with "down the field" playmakers is just what the Bucs need. Goldson will be the Bucs "splash" move of the off season, and rightfully so. Spend the money, and make sure Ronde knows what his role will be because of this. Again, Ronde deserves this respect. He can move to a situational player and still be utilized.
DRAFT-This is where I get excited. After the FA period is over the Bucs already seem to be heading in the right direction. Coupled with this draft, I am blown away at the possibilities. Again I know many will criticize, and maybe what I've come up with isn't very realistic in your opinion. But this article is just that. MY opinion.
1 (13)- Tyler Eifert TE-The only weapon Josh Freeman is missing. Letting M. Bennett and Martellus sign elsewhere seemed like a bad idea, but grabbing this kid, who reminds me of Jason Witten will give the Buccaneers a STELLAR offense. STELLAR.
2(43)- Margus Hunt/Datone Jones DE- This is a toss up for me. Most likely Margus will be gone which is why I am listing Datone as a second option. This will give us a pass rusher that won't break the bank just yet with TONS of upside and youth. Pair either of these guys with Bowers, Clayborn, and Te'o-Nesheim and the Buccaneers pass rush finally has the speed it needs.
3(73)-Jamie Collins OLB-This guy BLASTED the combine, and may very well be gone by this pick, but if for some reason he is there, he is a MUST grab. His athletic ability is incredible, and the fact that the Bucs run a ton of nickle and dime means that we have time to groom this young guy. Collins Foster and David become a quick youthful LB Corp that for years to come will give the Buccaneers quite a bit of success IMO.
4(109)- Ricky Wagner OT- We need depth at RT. We need a starter at RT technically. This guy after some grooming could be a quality starter and clear upgrade from Trueblood.
I cannot go much further than this without feeling like I am WAY over my head. As you can see, I have attempted to cover all bases. Slot WR is still a need of the Buccaneers so possibly in the later rounds, or maybe an undrafted FA could come in an surprise. I also feel like Michael Smith may show up this coming year and play a role. Please, I am eager to hear your reviews. I understand most of this won't happen, but again I tried my best to come up with a very realistic approach to the offseason. Let's continue to "Right" this Ship.