The final two games introduce the final two teams in our playoff free-agency watch. With the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints both earning first round byes, there is definitely talent on each roster which could benefit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Who are they, are who should you be looking for this Sunday? We’ll tell you right here, and if you missed their opponents’ previews, go ahead and take a look at who the Chargers and Eagles have worth watching as well.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
|DEFENSIVE TACKLE||MALCOM BROWN||25|
|OFFENSIVE TACKLE||TRENTON BROWN||26|
|WIDE RECEIVER||PHILLIP DORSETT||26|
|DEFENSIVE END||TREY FLOWERS||26|
|WIDE RECEIVER||JOSH GORDON||28|
|WIDE RECEIVER||CHRIS HOGAN||30|
|WIDE RECEIVER||CODY HOLLISTER||25|
|OFFENSIVE TACKLE||ULRICK JOHN||27|
|DEFENSIVE END||UFOMBA KAMALU||26|
|WIDE RECEIVER||CORDARRELLE PATTERSON||28|
|DEFENSIVE TACKLE||DANNY SHELTON||26|
|DEFENSIVE END||JOHN SIMON||28|
|OFFENSIVE TACKLE||LAADRIAN WADDLE||28|
PLAYER TO WATCH: OFFENSIVE TACKLE, TRENT BROWN
The New England Patriots have made some good trades in the past, and the one to get Brown is one of them.
After losing first-round draft pick Isaiah Wyn in Week 2 of the pre-season, the acquisition of Brown has looked better and better each week.
He’s been praised by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick alike, and will draw quite the crowd of suitors come this off-season.
The Patriots would surely love to keep him, and they could offer him a solid deal if they choose to extend one. However, it’s not as simple as do they like him or not.
For one, Wyn will be coming back. How confident the team is in Wyn’s return will play a part in this.
Brown can play both tackle positions, something which should be intriguing to the Buccaneers as they decide their own future at both tackle spots. This is something of interest to the Patriots too.
If Wyn does come back, and the team re-signs Brown, then releasing right tackle Marcus Cannon may come into play. However, this also leaves them exposed should Wyn or Brown get injured.
This isn’t a Patriots post, so let’s wrap this portion of the conversation up saying this, Brown has played impressively protecting Tom Brady’s blindside, and has played in the NFL at right tackle in the past.
How he stands up to Joey Bosa and the Los Angeles Chargers will go a long way towards his next paycheck, and determining which teams will come calling when the new league year gets started.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
|DEFENSIVE TACKLE||JAY BROMLEY||27|
|WIDE RECEIVER||DEZ BRYANT||30|
|DEFENSIVE TACKLE||TYELER DAVISON||26|
|TIGHT END||MICHAEL HOOMANAWANUI||31|
|WIDE RECEIVER||JOSH HUFF||27|
|RUNNING BACK||MARK INGRAM||29|
|RUNNING BACK||DANIEL LASCO||26|
|WIDE RECEVIER||TOMMYLEE LEWIS||26|
|OFFENSIVE TACKLE||MICHAEL OLA||31|
|TIGHT END||BENJAMIN WATSON||38|
|DEFENSIVE END||ZACH WOOD||26|
PLAYER TO WATCH: KICKER, WILL LUTZ
Good kickers are hard to come by. Just ask the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Unless Lutz starts asking for Dan Bailey money, he’s probably getting locked down by the Saints.
Still, the 24-year old won’t turn 25 until next pre-season, and has gotten better all three seasons he’s been in the NFL.
This year, he had a made field goal percentage of 93.3%. Yep. Oh, and one of his two misses - all year - was blocked. His long was 54-yards, and he made all but one extra point.
So, including a blocked kick, Lutz has missed three attempts all year. Chandler Catanzaro had that many misses before the NFL season hit its eighth week of play, and he had a week off for Tampa Bay’s bye.
Similarly, in seven games with the Bucs after replacing Catanzaro, Cairo Santos missed five kicks. One fewer than his predecessor.
If Lutz hits the open market, Jason Licht should be gauging his interest in moving to Florida.
The only question for Bucs fans is, how much will not kicking in a dome nine games per year impact Lutz’ numbers? For what its worth, he went 12-for-12 on field goals and 14-for-14 on extra points in open air stadiums this year. All three of his misses came indoors.
Paige Dimakos of TD Fantasy and The Draft Network joins James and David to give insight on her close relationship with the Arians family, and gives an inside look on who the coach is when the cameras are off.
The Patriots and Saints take the field Sunday as they host the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles respectively.
We won’t enjoy not seeing the Buccaneers playing, but we can keep an eye out for some future contributors to the cause.