The Buccaneers will have a few holes they’ll need to fill in the offseason. While the draft can solve a few spots, the free agency can add depth, veteran presence, and require less of an adjustment period. The Buccaneers will also undoubtedly lose a few players to free agency as well. Here are 5 of the better fitting free agents of 2019.
1. Tyrann Mathieu – Safety
Let’s just get this out of the way; It’s not very likely to happen. However, Mathieu’s attitude, work ethic, and athleticism will make him a very hot commodity going into the 2019 offseason. His attributes are what will also make him an excellent fit for the Buccaneers. His on-field attitude could create great chemistry with players such as Kwon Alexander, Gerald McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lavonte David, and Vernon Hargreaves III, who also have large personalities on the field. Starting in all 16 games, last year, he had 89 total tackles, 70 of them solo, 5 tackles for a loss, 8 passes deflected, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery. He warrants some serious attention this offseason. It would be worthwhile for Jason Licht to give him a call.
Mark Ingram – Running Back
Facing a multi-game suspension, for PEDs at the start of 2018, Ingram got off to a slow start. However, that was short lived as he gained his stride back in short order and hit holes very well from that point on. Ingram is a dynamic back with impressive stats. Starting 6 of the 12 games he played in, he had 138 rushes for 645 yards, averaged 4.7 yards per carry, with 6 touchdowns. He was targeted 27 times, catching 21 of his passes for 170 yards, which is an 8.1-yard average, and 1 touchdown. Running back Peyton Barber is headed to free agency this year, and Ingram could complement him well. It would allow 2nd-year running back Ronald Jones II some more time to develop. It’s a wise investment for a struggling running game.
Ty Sambrailo – Offensive Tackle
It’s obvious the offensive line has had significant struggles in 2018. With Jameis Winston returning this year as the Buccaneers starting QB and holding PFF’s Highest-Graded Passer Outside of Pocket rating, it makes the message very clear: The offensive line needs help, and Winston will need real protection. Enter Ty Sambrailo, the former Denver 2nd round pick now Atlanta Falcon, he holds a higher grade than Donovan Smith, who is entering the free agency this year. Perhaps he could give competition for that position or provide a replacement for Smith.
Pierre Desir – CB
With the imminent, and very obvious departure of Brent Grimes, the Buccaneers will need a veteran replacement and a coverage man for our young and hungry secondary. Pierre Desir could serve just that purpose. An amazing coverage back at the age of 28, he has 79 tackles, 60 of them solo, and 1 interception in 2018. He could serve our secondary well in the coming season, and in future years.
Landon Collins – Safety
Before the 2018 trade deadline, Landon Collins was a very popular name for multiple teams, which included the Buccaneers. Although no one seemed to match the asking price, the New York Giants had set. Finishing the 2018 season, Landon Collins played 12 games, recording 96 tackles, with 67 of them being solo. Collins has former teammate Jason Pierre-Paul here as well, so his transition could be easier. He’s also gone on record to say he’s searching for a long-term deal, and having a veteran presence in the backfield would help immensely if we should lose Andrew Adams and Chris Conte in the offseason.
While these players may not fix every hole made in the year, it’s hard to think that they wouldn’t at least help in areas lacking depth.
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