In 2018 the Buccaneers signed the 3rd ranked (86.1 PFF) center in the league; former Baltimore Raven Ryan Jensen. Jensen took some convincing to sign with Tampa, going to dinner with both Jameis Winston and Ali Marpet. He also left Tampa after receiving an offer and met with the Indianapolis Colts. Ultimately, however, Jensen decided the Buccaneers were a better fit.
At 6’4″ and 319 lbs Jensen was an answer to the offensive line issues that plagued the Bucs all of 2017. This also allowed Ali Marpet to move back to the Guard position where he was better suited and much higher rated. With all the upside there came a serious drawback: he doesn’t always back down. The man is no pushover, in fact, quite the opposite. Jensen over the course of the season was the source of 4 unnecessary roughness calls. In week 2 he threw an Eagles CB to the ground after the play was blown dead which cost them 15 yards. Most high tension situations and altercations had him in the middle of them, even if it involved his own QB. Though the altercation with Winston was short lived and when Winston went down, he was one of the first to come to check on him, it’s still not a good look.
So what do you do with a big, mean, intelligent, and physical guy? If you’re Bruce Arians, you find a way to leash him. His physicality and passion are 2 very fundamental pieces to have when you’re looking at your offensive line, but Jensen can and has proven he will take things a bit too far in the heat of the moment. This cannot happen. A 15-yard penalty can kill a drive before it even gets started. Perhaps Arians and Gilbert can find a way to hold him back while allowing him to perform to the level he did while he was with Baltimore. Only time will tell.