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Notable free agents the Buccaneers may be wise to look into

The early offseason free agency hoopla is long gone but there are still valuable pieces available on the open market.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Buccaneers have adjusted expectations for the 2023 season, comparable to the last few seasons of Tampa Bay football. Even though the season is not projected to end with a Super Bowl championship, that doesn’t mean the organization isn’t trying to do everything it can to win games. That means putting the best product possible on the field each week. Here’s a list of a few free agents who could help the Buccaneers do that this season.

Justin Houston- He might have little use for the Buccaneers, (Houston may want to play out the rest of his NFL days on a championship contender) but Tampa Bay could certainly use him. The 34-year-old has had a phenomenal career, 12 years and over 100 sacks on his resumé. Last year for the Baltimore Ravens, Houston registered 9.5 quarterback takedowns. He’s been ageless, more importantly, Tampa Bay has a hearty dose of young pass rushers across their lineup this year. A vet like Houston can provide some solid production while also taking on a mentorship role, similar to what Tampa used to have in J.P.P.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

John Johnson III- Mike Edwards anyone? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost a very talented safety this offseason in Mike Edwards. Edwards’ impact for Todd Bowles’ defense was very tangible— seven interceptions over the past three seasons. Tampa Bay’s done little to replace his ball production so far. John Johnson III has snatched 12 interceptions off of opposing quarterbacks, during his six-year career. Perennial stud Antoine Winfield Jr. stands as the team’s best deep defender, beyond him the Buccaneers did sign Ryan Neal away from the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year, however he has just three career interceptions. Neal may be a good pickup, but he also doesn’t directly address the absence of Mike Edwards. Past their two anticipated starters, Tampa’s safety depth is uninspiring. The team did add to its defensive backfield through the draft with sixth round pick Josh Hayes, but for a defensive strategist who has shown a propensity for three safety sets, adding a more proven playmaker like Johnson III may be an intriguing option for Todd Bowles.

William Gholston- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Will Gholston in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. 10 NFL seasons later, he’s racked up over 400 career tackles and just two years ago during his 2021 campaign he reached a new career high in single-season sacks. Gholston has never been a superstar for Tampa Bay, but on multiple occasions he has openly stated his desire to retire as a Buccaneer. He has always done the red and pewter proud and can likely be brought back on a very team friendly deal for his 11th season.

For a more extended list of available free agents check out Greg Rosenthal’s top 101 on


Who do you think Tampa Bay should pick up?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Houston! We NEED edge pressure. I miss having a guy like J.P.P. around.
    (118 votes)
  • 17%
    Mike Edwards was a big loss. Johnson III might make it hurt a little less.
    (94 votes)
  • 53%
    BRING BACK GHOLSTON! He’s one of us!
    (295 votes)
  • 7%
    I got my eye on someone else.
    (43 votes)
550 votes total Vote Now

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