In recent days many of the teams around the NFL have been locking up their in house free agents before they are able to hit the open market. So I thought it would be good to look at what players we have that are going to be free agents.
Jonathan Casillas, Ted Larsen, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Adam Hayward, Derek Landri, Rian Lindell, Gary Gibson, Erik Lorig, Jamon Meredith, Jacob Cutrera, Dekoda Watson, Danny Gorrer, Andrew Economos, Brian Leonard, Dan Orlovsky, Lawrence Tynes, Spencer Larsen, Tiquan Underwood, Eric Page, Deveron Carr, Nate Byham, Bobby Rainey, Bradley McDougald, and Kyle Adams
Likely to be back:
Jonathon Casillas- Casillas played decently well at strong side linebacker. He had 35 tackles and 1 forced fumble on 12 games played with 4 starts.
Erik Lorig- The homegrown defensive end turned fullback has become somewhat of a fan favorite. He has been a pretty good lead blocker for Doug Martin, Mike James, Bobby Rainey, and LeGarrette Blount. All those guys have managed to put together pretty good seasons following Lorig. Bring him back.
Dekoda Watson- Over the last few years we have witnessed Watson go from a special teams guy to a starter. He is credited with 3 starts last season on 15 appearances but he was the strong side linebacker for most of the season. Watson managed to get 42 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception in those games. I would like to see Watson back but the Bucs could look to go on with Casillas instead of Watson. I don't see a reason why they shouldn't bring back both.
Bobby Rainey- Did well in his few starts. Is a restricted free agent so the Bucs shouldn't have any problems locking him up for another year.
These are the only four I would expect to be resigned in the next two weeks. The rest probably won't be dealt with until closer to camp.
Up in the air:
Adam Hayward- The special teams captain is another year older. If both Casillas and Watson are brought back I don't see him returning.
Andrew Economos- Long time long snapper. Haven't seen a drop in his abilities so might as well keep him around.
Danny Gorrer/Deveron Carr- These two should both be brought back because both didn't get much of a chance to play last season whether it was injury or other problems. Both will be cheap and if they can't produce than can be cut loose in camp. Carr is also a exclusive rights free agent so very cheap.
Tiquan Underwood- The speedster is just that, speed. Whether he is brought back or not, don't expect much out of him.
Nate Byham- Tim Wright can't block, Nate Byham can't catch. Perfect match! I'm slightly just playing. Byham hasn't had much of a chance to play after missing most of last season with a injury, but I think he can add more to the team than current blocking tight end Luke Stocker. Also, he is a restricted free agent.
Eric Page- Restricted free agent means cheap. At least a camp body.
Bradley McDougald- Exclusive rights free agent that is a very cheap camp body.
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim- Always seemed to get locked up at the line and when he did break through would miss the quarterback so gotta say goodbye.
Derek Landri- The journeyman will probably walk because this staff will look to bring their own guys in.
Rian Lindell- Had a few key misses that really ruined his reputation with fans. Barth returns, Lindell walks.
Gary Gibson- Another journeyman who should be let go.
Jamon Meredith- Although he has had a few quality games filling in for injured lineman, I would expect the staff to bring their own journeyman in.
Jacob Cutrera- Never really made a impact to the team. Injuries bogged him down in recent years.
Brian Leonard- Hats off to Leonard for staying healthy and playing well, but the Bucs are just deep at the position and don't need to bring him back.
Dan Orlovsky- Never really threatened the starting position. Better guys are available.
Lawrence Tynes- No. Just. Ew.
Spencer Larsen- Helped when Lorig got hurt, but 2 fullbacks shouldn't ever be on a roster.
Kyle Adams- Never made a impact.
How much will they cost us?
Watson, Lorig, and Casillas should only cost between 1 and 2 million a year for each player. Rainey could also be around those numbers if other teams look to take him away from the Bucs. Underwood, Gorrer, Larsen, Hayward, Economos, Page, and Byham are all going to be around 500k a year. Carr and McDougald will likely receive minimal numbers. So to bring most of these guys back, it would likely cost the Bucs 6 million of this years cap. A lot of these guys aren't going to get any guaranteed money in their contracts and some probably won't be around come the regular season. None of these guys are world beaters or realistically gonna be starters, but you still do need to have 53 people on the roster when the regular season comes around.
If you were to bring people back from this list, which guys would you bring back? Think about depth and cost, not just starters and pro-bowlers.