Jason Licht said he would not be addressing the team needs with the free agency, but instead, would be building through the draft, specifically the defense. Well, that sort of happened. They spent quite a bit of money signing free agent players and addressed both sides of the ball while doing so. Bucs spent around $31 million signing free agents out of the close to $60 million they had for the cap.
The move in re-signing Doug Martin for five years, $35.75 million was a definite fan favorite, and the Buccaneers picked up a run blocker to go with their star running back.
J.R. Sweezy was picked up for five years $32 million, to replace the recently retired, Logan Mankins. All signs of this pickup point to big runs after big runs.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Buccaneers went out and picked up a pro bowl veteran CB Brent Grimes. Grimes comes with some baggage, but he also comes with some skill. At two years $13.5 million, with or without the baggage, he’s a heck of a deal.
Bucs didn’t stop there. Bucs moved on to the defensive end position and snagged a solid DE from the Giants. Three years $21 million should ensure that the 30-year-old Robert Ayers will bring veteran wisdom, and skill to the defensive line.
No safetys were signed yet, but one was re-signed. The Buccaneers finally came to terms with Chris Conte, but many fans are left wondering why. In my personal opinion Chris Conte is an underrated safety, and his play last year, proves this to me. Pro Football Focus agrees as they rate him the No. 32 safety out of 88. Not too bad. Last season for the Buccaneers Conte, recorded 80 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and six pass defends. If he has a repeat performance, in 2016, he could be taking a trip to Hawaii.