The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to re-sign fullback Erik Lorig and linebacker Jonathan Casillas, but talks are just in the preliminary stages, Rick Stroud reports. Jason La Canfora was the first reporter to note the team's interest in retaining Lorig, and he claims that Lorig's versatility as a possible tight end and a connection with Jeff Tedford are some of the reasons why the Bucs want to re-sign him.
Erik Lorig was a seventh-round pick for the Buccaneers in 2010 out of Stanford, taken just three picks before the end of the draft. He was originally slated to be a defensive end, but was converted to fullback in his first season. Since then he's proven to be a very good blocker, but he tends to struggle to adjust to defensive movement on the fly.
Jonathan Casillas was signed to a one-year deal last season, and he managed to play around 20% of the team's snaps before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury in December. Casillas eventually beat out Dekoda Watson for the strongside linebacker spot, but it took him nearly half the season to really separate himself in that competition.
Casillas would be a good fit at strongside linebacker under Lovie Smith, but the position is of low priority in the team's defensive system. The Bucs don't have any depth at the position, though, with Adam Hayward and Dekoda Watson scheduled to be free agents as well.