Bucs shed salary as free agency looms

By Ken Filler
Feb. 28, 2018

With the free agency period just 2 weeks away, the Tampa bay Buccaneers are tweeking their roster and getting ready to re-make the roster in what is shaping up to be a very important off-season.

The Bucs have already parted ways with RB Doug martin and DL Chris Baker saving over 10 million dollars in salary.

The Bucs are approximately 73 million under the salary cap, and should be big spenders on the defensive side of the ball.

The Bucs released K Nick Folk who spent the last three months of the season on IR. This was not a surprise as Folk made just 6/11 FG’s in the four games he played in.

Center Joe Hawley was not tendered and will become a UFA. Hawley was active for just four games last year after starting 29/32 games in 2015-16. With the move of Ali Marpet to center, that moved Hawley to a backup role.

Linebackers Adarious Glanton and Jude Adjeh-Barimah were also not tendered making them UFA’s. Glanton who has played well in a back-up role started three games last season when the injury bug hit the linebackers as Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander misssed some time. Adjeh-Barimah has been injury prone the last couple of years and has not seen a lot of action, so this move was not a total surprise.

There are three players who the Bucs have not made a decsion on as far as an offer for 2018, but will be sure to tender two offensive players. TE Cameron Brate and WR Adam Humphries are two very valuable assets to the offense and the Bucs would look very foolish letting them walk. Brate compliments OJ Howard’s game and is one of the leading TE’s in TD receptions over the last two seasons. Humphries is an excellant possession receiver and is the the third receiver on the depth chart behind Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson.

The Bucs will need to decide on wether to tender DE Ryan Russell as the bucs could let him walk.

The Bucs could also be in the market for a backup QB as Ryan Fitzpatrick may not be back. All indications are that Fitzpatrick would like to be back, but it all depends on the direction Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter want to go in. The rumours are flying that Mike Glennon may return to Tampa as the back-up. The Bucs really liked him and offered him 8 million per season to be the backup before he signed that 3-year 45 million dollar contract with Chicago. It was essentially a one year 16 million dollar contract with club options for 18 and 19. I think the Bears have thrown their support around Mitch Trubisky and Glennon could be looking for work in a few weeks.

With the NFL investigating Jameis Winston obver the alleged groping of a female Uber driver in 2016, the Bucs would be foolish to go into the 2018 season with Ryan Griffin as their starting QB. Griffin has never thrown a pass in a regular season NFL game and the Bucs will need to bring a veteran back-up.

As I wrote earlier the Bucs will not sign DB TJ Ward making him a free agent. That was not a good fit for the Bucs or Ward and both parties will move on. There is a rumour out there that Aqib Talib may find his way back to Tampa. Heck of a player but a lot of off the field issues when he was here before. I won’t hold my breath on that one.

The free agency window will officially open for business on March 14th. The Bucs need to shore up their DL, defensive backfield, and OL. Let’s hope that Jason Licht and the front office make the right decisions to get this team going in the right direction.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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