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NFL Rumors: Buccaneers interested in Andre Smith

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to be interested in upgrading their right tackle position. According to Darren Wolfson of 5 ABC in Minnesota, the Bucs are one of several teams interested in right tackle Andre Smith. Bucs right tackles Demar Dotson and Gosder Cherilus both have one year left on their contract, and Cherilus was adequate last year -- but only barely so.

Andre Smith is an interesting player. He's massive at 6'4", 325 lbs. and has struggled with his weight throughout his NFL career. He's also been incredibly inconsistent, never really living up to his status as the sixth overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft. He's had some outstanding years, which is why the Cincinnati Bengals re-signed him in 2013, but has also had some down seasons early in his career -- and most notably, injuries have limited him to just a single season with 16 starts.

Smith does fit the Bucs in one way: they've clearly been looking for big, athletic linemen over anything else. That's guys like Ali Marpet, J.R. Sweezy and Donovan Smith. They have the combination of athleticism and a massive frame that is incredibly hard to find. It seems like the Bucs prioritize those attributes over everything else -- even if these players have some technical flaws.

One curious fact: Smith is 29 years old. Not exactly rejuvenating the line, there. Another noteworthy fact: Pro Football Focus hated his play last year, grading him as one of the worst tackles in the league -- and grading him as a worse player than J.R. Sweezy, who they also hate. Clearly the Bucs don't care one bit about PFF's evaluation.