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NFL Free Agency 2015: Buccaneers like Mike Iupati

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According to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers like Mike Iupati. The San Francisco 49ers left guard is expected to be the top free agent offensive guard in the class, and one of the top free agents overall. Meanwhile, the Bucs have a big need at left guard. Connect the dots!

Unlike most available offensive linemen, he's both experienced and young -- a rare combination, even more so given the fact that he's actually good. Not perfect, but good. Three Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro selection don't happen by accident.

Of course, signing him will be very expensive and will lead to another problem: does he move to right guard, or does Logan Mankins? Jason Licht has repeatedly called Mankins "part of the solution" and there's no real reason to believe he'll be cut, but both he and Iutpati have primarily played left guard in their careers. Not that either one of them couldn't swing to the other side, but that's not an ideal solution.

Then again, most of the available offensive guards play on the left side for some odd reason, so the Bucs may be faced with that dilemma regardless of what they do.

Another issue with signing Iupati is pushing Edwards further back. If they sign Iupati, he's going to start -- and so is Mankins, assuming they keep him. So that leaves last year's fifth-round pick competing for a backup spot. The Bucs must find competition for him at minimum, but perhaps someone he could have a shot at actually beating out would be better for his development. Then again, he's 'just' a fifth-round pick, so it's not like we're talking about a likely savior here.

Finally, there's another issue here: finding a (left) tackle is arguably a bigger priority than finding a starting guard. The Bucs have Demar Dotson, but he's best at right tackle. Last year's fifth-round pick Kevin Pamphile has the potential to turn into a starting left tackle, but relying on him would be foolish. So going after a veteran tackle would make a lot of sense -- and targeting a veteran tackle like Orlando Franklin and Mike Iupati at the same time would cost the Bucs a pretty penny.