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NFL Rumors: Buccaneers after Eugene Monroe?

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are rumored to be after left tackle Eugene Monroe, provided he hits free agency.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Eugene Monroe is about to hit free agency, is not close to signing an extension with the Baltimore Ravens, and the Buccaneers are expected to be among his suitors. All of that according to the Baltimore Sun (h/t Justin Pawlowski). The Bucs had been previously linked with left tackle Branden Albert, but none of these reports appear to be more solid than some journalists playing connect-the-dots.

The Bucs have made it clear that they want to upgrade their offensive line this year, and that they want to fill most of their needs in free agency. Monroe would represent an upgrade over Donald Penn, although it's a stretch to call this filling a need.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not need a left tackle, in spite of a constant barrage of national reporters proclaiming they do. While Donald Penn could bear replacing, he could probably start for a few more years. And while he had a sub-par season for his standards, he still played better than many other NFL starting left tackles.

At least going after Monroe would make more sense than signing Branden Albert, who's significantly older, and not any better than Donald Penn -- and likely to be just as expensive. While Monroe will probably command a premium contract not dissimilar to Jake Long's four-year, $34 million deal. That would make him just as expensive as Penn, but his youth and quality play last year would make him a better investment.

Still, if offensive tackle is the Bucs' main priority this offseason, they're doing something wrong.