The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to be whiffing completely on the offensive tackle market. After seeing Jermey Parnell sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, it appears Bryan Bulaga is headed back to Green Bay. Mark Maske reports a deal for Bulaga to stick with his old team is "nearly done." Update: Chris Mortensen says Bulaga has told teammates he's staying.
The Bucs have to find two new starting offensive linemen this offseason, and Bulaga is one of the few players they'd been connected to. Other tackles have already committed to signing elsewhere or re-signed with their own teams, like Orlando Franklin heading to the Chargers. Derek Newton staying in Houston and Doug Free re-signing in Dallas. That leaves the Bucs with precious few options at tackle.
One potential signing: Jake Long, who was released by the St. Louis Rams yesterday, and for good reason: he's not good. Not anymore, anyway. But he's at least experienced and not a complete liability, so that would be an improvement, but hardly a long-term solution.
And beyond him, the Bucs have no good options in free agency -- which likely means that second-year player Kevin Pamphile will get a real shot at one of the two tackle positions. Pamphile did look okay in limited time last year, so perhaps he can develop quickly -- but that's not exactly something you want to count on. The final option would be drafting a tackle in the second round, but committing to that course of action because you failed to address a position of need in free agency is not a good thing -- and finding starters in the draft is not something you can reliably count on, anyway.