clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Buccaneers should trade for healthy scratch Willie Young

New, comments
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need an edge rusher, preferably a speed rusher, to pair with Jacquies Smith and George Johnson, who's been a disappointment through three weeks. They need that, because their defense is preidcated on getting to the quarterback, and they're not doing so consistently -- despite Jacquies Smith's four sacks through three games. They only got to Ryan Mallett once on Sunday, despite a patchwork offensive line. That's in part the result of allowing a whole lot of quick throws, but even on deeper drops they had trouble affecting Mallett's throws.

There's a solution, too: Willie Young, who's reportedly been on the trade block in Chicago for weeks and was inactive this past week -- according to him, he was fully healthy and could have played. The Bears moved to a 3-4 defense and have no real place for the hand-in-the-dirt edge rusher. Young had 10 sacks last season, which was the first time he played a full season -- and his speed rush had been on displays for years in Detroit, where he was buried on the depth chart.

Of course, Young is likely to cost something decent in trade. The Panthers could have traded for him, but instead opted to go with giving up a sixth-round pick for Jared Allen. It's a safe assumption that they'll want more than that in return for Young, and at age 30 with two years left on his contract, trading for him is maybe not the best long-term move. Still, it's clear that Young's days as a contributor are over -- and he'd be a perfect fit in Lovie Smith's defense.

But the Bucs are in win-now move, no matter what Lovie Smith says. Because if this ship doesn't get turned around and they don't start really winning some games, Smith and Licht could be out of a job come January.