The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want cornerback Brent Grimes back next season. Or at least, head coach Dirk Koetter said yesterday that the Bucs want him to return.
“Well, I tried to give him a sell job this morning and I told him we would love to have him back. I think Brent defies his real age and there’s been other guys around the league that have been able to do that. He’s a free agent so he’s in control of it but we’d love to have him back and I told him that.”
This is a no-brainer, really. Grimes tied for the team lead in interceptions with three, easily led the team in passes defensed with 11, and made some spectacular plays throughout the year. He’s not a shutdown cornerback, but he’s productive and the best cover guy the Bucs have, who’s also pretty tenacious against the run.
The Bucs have a decent amount of depth at cornerback, but not a lot of really good players. Ryan Smith is coming along slowly, Vernon Hargreaves has been very up-and-down and probably best fits a slot cornerback role, and Robert McClain and Josh Robinson are okay at best.
The question is whether Grimes wants to be back. He’ll hit free agency this offseason, and at 35 he may be more interested in retirement than another year. There’s also a chance he’ll prefer to go to a team that didn’t just go 5-11 because, you know, everyone likes to win. His comments were a bit ambiguous.
"I like everybody here. They treat me well," Grimes told the Tampa Bay Times. "I'll sit back, relax for a little bit, then make a decision. I've been talking to them and they've made it clear they really do want me back. That's a good thing to hear."
"With a good group that we have that likes playing together, obviously we have to make some things better, fix some things. The key in football is people wanting to play together. That's a big part, and I feel like we've got that part."
That sounds hopeful, but a lot can happen between now and the start of the regular season. All we can do is wait and see.