Free Agency Preview: Offensive Line

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NFL free agency is just over a month away. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently have about $85 million to spend this offseason, which will go quickly after players like Jameis Winston and Shaquil Barrett sign new contracts. Bruce Arians and Jason Licht will have to decide which positional group to attack, and I think the offensive line is a smart place to start. Here are some players that could be on the Buccaneers radar come March 18th.

Jack Conklin, OT

I was a huge fan of Jack Conklin coming out of Michigan State in the 2016 draft. After serving four seasons on the Tennessee Titans, Conklin was apart of one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL. In 2019, Titans running back Derrick Henry earned the rushing title with 1,540 yards behind an offensive line that was primarily anchored by Conklin.

The 6’6″ 308 lbs primarily played right tackle for Tennessee, and can replace an aging Demar Dotson. While Conklin is an elite option, he won’t come cheap, and will likely cost around $15 million per year. The Buccaneers have the cap room to afford this contract, but will be forced to spend down on other positions this free agency.

Greg Robinson, OT

Another potential option at the tackle position is Greg Robinson. The 27 year old product from the Cleveland Browns will likely be a cheaper option than Conklin. With that being said, he will still command around 10-12 million dollars a year.

Robinson spent his career at left tackle, but there is no reason he can’t make the switch to the right side. Another potential option that I wouldn’t oppose to is moving Donovan Smith to right tackle. We all know Demar Dotson is an aging veteran, and the Buccaneers need a backup plan going into 2020.

Andrus Peat, G

Drafted in 2015, Andrus Peat has made a name for himself on the New Orleans Saints offensive line. While he primarily plays left guard, Peat has shifted to left tackle and even tight end in jumbo sets.

Peat will likely command top dollar at the guard position, but his versatility makes him an interesting investment. Alex Cappa improved drastically from the 2019 season, but he is still just an average player at this point in his career. Peat would make an immediate impact in the running game, something the Buccaneers desperately need.

Brandon Scherff, G

Brandon Scherff, a three time pro-bowler from the Washington Redskins, is another interesting option at the guard position. He spent most of his five year career playing right guard, and might go under the radar on a Redskins team that struggled on offense.

His injury history might be a concern, as the Redskins placed him on injured reserve in 2019. The year before, Scherff was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn pec.

With that being said, Scherff can be an elite option at right guard. But he will need to pass a physical if teams are to give him guaranteed money.

Joe Thuney, G

Joe Thuney is a much cheaper option at the guard position. So far, Thuney has appeared in two Super Bowls and took home the Lombardi trophy in 2019.

Jason Licht has a history of signing former championship players. In 2018, he singed Vinny Curry and Beau Allen, defense lineman from the Philadelphia Eagles. Thuney brings with him the philosophy of the Bill Belichick and the Patriot way. He was also groomed under one of the best offensive line coaches in Dante Scarnecchia.

Thuney will likely command a mid tier deal, and will provide good value if the Buccaneers decide to go with a cheaper option in free agency.

 

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