Anthony Collins signs five-year contract with Buccaneers

Joe Robbins

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have upgraded their offensive line by signing left tackle Anthony Collins to a five-year contract.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are continuing their free agency spending spree, signing free agent offensive tackle Anthony Collins to a five-year deal worth $30 million, with $15 million in guarantees, per Albert Breer. The former Cincinnati Bengal will likely displace Donald Penn as the team's left tackle, which means the latter is likely to be cut. At $6 million per year, Collins comes cheap for a left tackle and saves the Bucs about $1 million in cap space, compared to Penn.

Collins is a 28-year-old offensive tackle, who started seven games at left tackle last year for the Bengals and did very well doing so. However, the career back-up has just 25 starts in six seasons in the NFL, and just those seven starts over the past couple of years. While he's played well, that's not exactly a large sample size to base such a big contract on. Still, he was Pro Football Focus's fourth-ranked free agent tackle this year.

Josh Kirkendall of Cincy Jungle calls him a "fantastic pass blocker" who hasn't allowed a sack since 2009, or 713 consecutive pass blocks. He can struggle as a run blocker, however. Here's what draft/Bengals analyst Joe Goodberry had to say about Collins.

Collins is an athletic tackle with long arms. Pass protection comes natural to him and he's been highly productive in this phase. He rarely ever gets beat to the outside and the only time I've seen him give up pressures is when he over sets and allows power-rushers to get inside of him. Other than that, he's in the top half of the league as a pass blocker. Have no fears about him playing LT.

As a run blocker, Collins is almost a liability. His effort isn't in question when you often see him running down the field to help teammates off of the turf or pushing defenders off his Quarterback, but far too frequently you'll see him going half-speed in the run game. For an athletic lineman, you'd think he's good in space, but you'll see Collins searching for somebody to block instead. Power/ Strength has always been his downside and this hurts him most as a run blocker. During the 2009 season, Cincinnati actually rotated Collins and Dennis Roland at RT. Collins played passing downs, Roland played run situations. I've never seen that before.
I do have to think there's some upside left because he has relatively limited playing experience considering how long he's been in the league.

Unless the Bucs start moving around some linemen, however, the Bucs still haven't filled their holes at offensive guard. Having cut Davin Joseph, they have no right guard right now. Meanwhile, left guard Carl Nicks' future is still in doubt. Evan Dietrich-Smith is visiting the Bucs, and if the Bucs sign the center, they could move conceivably move Zuttah to guard.

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