It looks like Jacquies Smith will stay with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. The defensive end did not sign an offer sheet with another team before the deadline yesterday afternoon, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Bay Times, which means the restricted free agent is left with little option but to sign the Bucs’ tender.
Jacquies Smith will sign his RFA tender at some point soon -- under CBA, really has no other option. Then unrestricted free agent in 2018.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 21, 2017
Of course, it’s not entirely true that Smith has no other option. He can hold out and demand a long-term contract, or a trade. That’ll cost him and it’s a gamble, but it’s not impossible. It does seem highly unlikely, though, as Smith has essentially no leverage coming off an ACL injury and not having been much more than promising in previous seasons.
With Smith around the Bucs’ edge rush needs at least drop a little bit, assuming Noah Spence continues to develop, too. The Bucs could still add a defensive end in the draft, though. Both because there’s some uncertainty around Smith’s and Spence’s continued development, and because veteran Robert Ayers is likely nearing the end of his career.