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Free Agent Spotlight: OL Ja’Wuan James

Could he replace Dotson along Buccaneers offensive line?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line last season, as a whole was not very good. Bruce Arians, has stated several times that the offensive line needs improvement if the team is going to have any type of success.

Outside of Ali Marpet and probably Ryan Jensen because of his contract, the Buccaneers are surely looking to see if they can improve at the other three spots. With the vertical offense of Arians coming to Tampa Bay, all options must be open on improving the line, which brings us to our next candidate, right tackle Ja’Wuan James.

Ja’Wuan James Career

James has spent all five years of his career with the Miami Dolphins after they selected him with the 19th overall pick back in the 2014 NFL draft. Since coming into the league in 2014, James has played a total of 62 games, but has had some injuries that held him back in both 2015 and 2017. The best year of his career came in 2016, when he posted an overall grade of 75.9 according to PFF. In 2018, he was the 34th ranked offensive tackle in the league, while current Buccaneers Demar Dotson, was the 44th ranked tackle. In 2018, James allowed 26 pressures, 16 hurries and seven sacks.

Why The Buccaneers Need Him

With James, the Bucs would not drastically improve the position should they make the swap. While James was the higher graded tackle, he and Demar have very similar stats. Dotson gave up 25 pressures, 21 hurries, but only two sacks. James isn’t the greatest pass blocker and if Tampa Bay was to replace Dotson, they better be replacing him with a right tackle who can hold up for 2-3 seconds each pass play. James wouldn’t be an immediate upgrade at right tackle for Tampa Bay.

What Will Da’Wuan James Cost?

Da’Wuan James isn’t going to cost a ton of money because he isn’t a top tackle in this league. I look at the contract Demar Dotson received back in 2015 and project James to command something similar to that. Expect a contract in the 3-4 year range with $16-$20 million dollars.

Will It Happen?

I don’t see this move happening. James is right in line with Demar Dotson in terms of production and for another year, I think Tampa Bay would be better of with Demar then committing to another average right tackle for 3-4 more years. A lateral move at this stage is unnecessary.