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Quincy Black is ready to play, but do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need him?

Quincy Black is ready to play, just like every other free agent out there. The Bucs could easily re-sign him, though he may demand a fairly sizable contract. But the question is whether the Buccaneers should even want him back. 

In previous stories, I've talked about Quincy Black as a replaceable player, because I did not see much of a dropoff from Black to rookie Dekoda Watson and veteran backup Adam Hayward. But a lot of people disagree with my take, and see Quincy Black as a star. Pro Football Focus consistently touts him as one of the best 4-3 LBs in the NFL, and Matt Williamson of ESPN's Scouts Inc. has praised him as well. 


Quincy Black has not been a special player on the field these past seasons. He's been solid, perhaps, but he hasn't made many splash plays. He's weakest in coverage, but probably the Bucs' most consistent linebacker against the run. Unlike the other linebackers, he can occasionally shed blocks and there's a bit of a pop to his tackles. He's been used as a pass rusher by the Bucs, though with little success. What stands about Quincy Black more than anything, though, is his athletic ability. He's 27, but he has a lot of upside left at least in terms of physical potential. 

That's where the problem lies, though: he's 27. At that age, most linebackers stop learning. They enter their peak years, but they're not going to play differently than they've done in previous years. Quincy Black is a solid player, but so are Adam Hayward and Dekoda Watson. There's no need for the Bucs to re-sign just a solid player to play Sam linebacker. If they re-sign Quincy Black, though, he's going to have to do more than just be solid. He's going to have to start impacting NFL games to justify his new contract.