The Buccaneers are in win-now mode. They have an aging quarterback who must be protected to have any shot of making the playoffs or the Super Bowl. To do so, the team will absolutely need to shore up the offensive line in the draft. There is one trade that could happen before or during the draft that could help them out.
The Washington Redskins
The Redskins have been in a dispute with offensive tackle Trent Williams. This situation started in 2013 when Williams noticed a growth on his scalp. The Redskins medical staff at the time informed him it was not serious. Then, in April 2019, Williams had a medical procedure done to remove the growth. It turned out to be cancer.
This soured the relationship between Williams and Washington’s medical staff. Subsequently, Williams asked to be traded or released. To further show he was unhappy, Williams did not come to mandatory minicamp. Ultimately, Williams was placed on the reserve/did not report list. Later in the year, after the Redskins could not find a trade partner, he was added to the non-football injury list. This was because of his failed physical, as he complained of discomfort from the surgical location and wearing the helmet.
Williams, even with the new coaching staff in place in Washington, does not want to remain with the team. Granted permission to seek a trade, he and his agent have not found a suiter just yet. This may change shortly with the draft fast approaching and teams in need of an offensive tackle get nervous they may not get one.
New York Jets
The New York Jets have been working endlessly this offseason to revamp their offensive line. The Jets gained Le’Veon Bell in 2019 hoping to resurrect the run game. Bell fell short, and not necessarily to his own fault. The Jets running backs averaged only .7 yards before contact last year.
So they attacked free agency and added multiple players. They added Connor McGovern to play center and Greg Van Roten signed as a new guard. George Fant and Brandon Snell have been added at tackle. Fant may be better suited for right-tackle, leaving a large need on the left side of the line.
Adding Williams would go a long way to making this offensive line stout. This also allows the Jets to use their first-round pick, 11th overall, on another need. They may have to give up a second-round pick for Williams but if Williams can get back to being a Pro Bowl player, it would be worth it in the long run.
Also tied to rumors in Williams trade talks, the Browns are in search of a left tackle. Without a true starting left tackle, the Browns have a clear need and have the capital to make a trade happen.
At this moment the Browns seem set on taking a tackle in the draft instead of trading for Williams. But what Williams offers the Browns are options. They may only like three of the four top offensive tackles and none of the three fall to them at the 10th pick. This could trigger them to trade for Williams and draft another need or best player on their draft board.
Recently the Browns have been tied to unsubstantiated rumors with Odell Beckham being traded to the Vikings. If those rumors come true, then the Browns may have a larger need at wide receiver and sit perfectly in the draft to possibly pick one they believe is the best this year. They then could trade for Williams and still have a top left tackle added to the team.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Williams is a player the Buccaneers should keep tabs on. If they move him prior to the draft or on draft day, it could impact the Buccaneers’ ability to land a top tackle in the draft. If either the Jets, Browns or other tackle needing teams to jump on Williams, its good news for the Buccaneers.
For the Jets, the trad makes sense even without a run on tackles. They have multiple needs to include a wide receiver and an edge rusher. Subsequently, they could have a top-ten talent in either of those positions of need and have a Pro Bowl level tackle.
The Browns seem less likely to move on Williams. There will be other moves needed to be made first if they are to get Williams. The only way the Buccaneers can benefit is if the Browns prioritize other needs over tackle. This trade scenario is one that should happen before draft day or very early on it.
If they make these trades, the Buccaneers could land an offensive tackle at 14 and not need to trade up. The draft is right around the corner, it will be interesting to see what happens between now and then and on draft day!
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