Signing Melvin Ingram III may have depended on whether or not the Bucs bring back Shaquil Barrett. It was known that re-signing Barrett would have been costly for the Bucs and a guy like Ingram would have been a much cheaper option. However, Tampa Bay strategically formulated a cap-friendly contract for Barrett.
So far in Ingram’s career, he has shown he has a ton of talent. But can he stay healthy?
Melvin Ingram’s Career Thus Far
Ingram was recruited to South Carolina as a linebacker before switching over to defensive end once he got there.
Ingram had a dominant career with the Gamecocks. He totaled 30.5 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks, and two interceptions. He was also named First Team All-SEC and a consensus All-American as a senior.
Following his senior year, in the 2012 NFL Draft, Ingram was selected 18th overall by the then San Diego Chargers. His career with the Chargers has been impressive despite dealing with some injuries early on in his career. After the early injuries, Ingram has started in every single game he's played in since the 2014 season. He’s totaled 70 tackles for loss, 49 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, and three interceptions in his career with the Chargers.
In 2017-2019, Ingram was selected for all three Pro Bowls. Statistically, 2017 was Ingram’s best season since being drafted.
Why It Works
Signing a guy like Ingram will not only provide a Pro Bowl caliber pass rusher, but a veteran who can really give some younger guys a spark in their game. Ingram played alongside Joey Bosa an we’ve seen Ingram teach Bosa a lot about the position.
This would've been a good replacement if the Bucs didn’t sign Barrett in free agency. With the Bucs re-signing Barrett, there is really no reason to sign Ingram. However, Ingram would've been one of the most reliable options out there to fill that role. Ingram was also a cheaper option compared to Barrett.
Ingram playing alongside Vita Vea, Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White, and Lavonte David could have be pretty terrifying.
The Buccaneers were much more likely to re-sign a guy who is familiar with their scheme and has already proved he fits in the defense versus a guy who would be brand new to the team.
It was all depending on what happened with Barrett. If the Bucs would have let Barrett go, it would've been expected of them to make a strong push for Ingram.
What’s The Cost?
PFF has projected the deal for Ingram to be two years, $20M ($10M APY): $16M total guaranteed, $14M fully guaranteed at signing.
What We Don’t Know
Whether or not Ingram will be able to remain healthy for the rest of his career. Like I stated before, Ingram has had some issues with injuries in the past. He also chose to sit out of practices last season due to contract issues.
The Bucs don't really need to add an experienced pass rusher with what they already have. JPP is very experienced and could serve as a role model if the Bucs chose to bring someone younger in.
Do the Bucs also want to change up one of the best defenses in all of the NFL from last year?
Make The Decision
So, what are your thoughts? Should the Bucs go after a veteran pass rusher in Ingram? Would he compete for a job if he was here? Has he showed what he’s fully capable of yet? Could he be part of a stellar pass-rushing rotation?
Let us know via the poll/comment section below!
When it comes to Melvin Ingram III, what would you have the Buccaneers do?
This poll is closed
Sign him, no matter what
Make an offer, but keep it reasonable
invite him for a cup of coffee and see where it goes
Call him up if they still have a need after the draft
Don’t need him