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Free Agent Spotlight: OT, Germain Ifedi

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Could the Buccaneers look to lock down the RT spot with a former Seahawk first rounder?

NFL: NOV 27 Seahawks at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buccaneers offensive line has been a roller coaster unit for years now and things aren’t looking to get any easier with some looming decisions to make. Demar Dotson is aging at a fast rate and is a free agent, meanwhile Donovan Smith has the team still waiting for him to take a bigger step forward as he again is expected to protect the quarterbacks blind side. This leads us to former first round pick, Germain Ifedi.

GERMAIN IFEDI’S CAREER THUS FAR

Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Ifedi was a standout at Texas A&M where his play garnered him high praise from NFL teams. Ifedi finished his career as a right tackle for the Aggies and eventually was selected 31st overall by the Seattle Seahawks.

Ifedi has made 60 starts in his four years with the Seahawks to this point and after the team declined to pick up his 5th year option, he is set to be an unrestricted free agent once free agency officially begins.

WHY IT WORKS

Ifedi works for the Buccaneers for two very obvious reasons. The main reason is that the team has been dealing with inconsistency in both play and availability at the right tackle position. Demar Dotson has struggled to stay healthy in recent years and his play has been steadily declining at the same time.

The second reason is simple, Ifedi is an upgrade to Dotson and is much younger as he enters only his fifth year in the league. The Buccaneers could use another young talent on the offensive line and putting Ifedi opposite of Donovan Smith would give the team two healthy tackles that could continue to grow with each other.

BUT...

Ifedi has his own issues... namely penalties. Ifedi was penalized 13 times in 2019 which placed him in 5th overall as one of the most penalized tackles in the game. Pro Football Focus wasn’t too kind to the pending free agent either as they ranked him 53rd among 60 qualifying tackles.

There’s also something to be said about leaving the only team and locker room you’ve known in the NFL, as signing with a team like the Buccaneers would mean a cross country move for the tackle. While offensive lineman are hard to come by, there’s also something to be said about the fact that the team that believed in him as a first round talent, is now allowing him to test free agency after declining to pick up his 5th year option a year ago.

WHAT’S THE COST?

Ifedi is going to get paid this off-season. While someone like Demar Dotson can most likely be had back in Tampa Bay at a reasonable 1-year price, that’s likely not the case with Ifedi. According to Geoff Schwartz of SB Nation, he sees a multi year deal in the realm of $12 million a year.

If Schwartz best guess is right, given the market at tackle and Ifedi’s age, you can almost rest assure that he won’t be getting that deal in Tampa Bay unless this team is going with a rookie quarterback behind center in 2020. With Bruce Arians running the show, it would seem unlikely that this franchise would put a rookie in charge of the offense which means a high priced lineman would seem out of realm of possibility.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

We still don’t know for sure what the contract demands will be for Germain Ifedi. If he doesn’t sign quickly, there’s definitely a possibility that the market gets set lower than anticipated and players like Ifedi will ultimately be forced to settle for less.

We also don’t know about the teams thoughts on Demar Dotson at his age with his injury history. A big part of how the Buccaneers enter this free agent period along the offensive line may come down to how healthy Dotson is heading into this off-season.

MAKE THE DECISION

Does having two young and developing tackles make sense when the quarterback situation is still unclear? Tampa Bay has risked it with tackles before, see Anthony Collins. Even with Ifedi’s road to free agency being completely different, it seems far-fetched for the Seahawk tackle to end up in Tampa.

You be the judge.

Poll

When it comes to Germain Ifedi, what would you have the Buccaneers do?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Sign him, no matter what.
    (16 votes)
  • 38%
    Make an offer, but keep it reasonable.
    (124 votes)
  • 19%
    Invite him for a cup of coffee and see where it goes from there.
    (62 votes)
  • 21%
    Call him up if there’s a need after the draft.
    (71 votes)
  • 15%
    Don’t need him.
    (50 votes)
323 votes total Vote Now