Defensive Free Agents that Could Help the Buccaneers in the Playoffs


As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare for the playoffs, some free agents could come in and aid the team. Bringing in players adds good depth and provides security in case of injury. These defensives players could come in and provide rest for starters on a rotational basis and could perform well. For the free agents, it’s a chance to take a small contract to play for a possible Super Bowl championship.

Defensive Line: Marcell Dareus

Back in February, the Jacksonville Jaguars declined Marcell Dareus’ option on his contract making him a free agent. Much like Glenn he visited a few teams and came up empty for a contract. A solid rotational player he surely should be in the conversation if the Buccaneers are to bring in more players to add depth.

In the 2019 season played in a limited number of snaps during six games. 206 in total, he managed a Pro Football Focus (PFF Subscription Required) overall grade of 62.7. He fared well against the run with a grade of 68.8 and was not as well regarded against the pass with a 53. In 2018 he faired very well. His overall grade held strong with a 78.5. This was due in part to his great run defense (he was graded at 80.7). His abilities could be used to add depth to a defensive line that is without Vita Vea.

Bonus Name: Dontario Poe

Edge: Clay Matthews

The Matthews name is synonymous with the NFL. A true NFL family filled with great players. Still, a free agent, Clay Matthews has already stated he would like to play in 2020. So why not with the Buccaneers on a playoff run to the Super Bowl?

In 13 games last season Matthews had 11 quarterback hits, eight sacks, and nine tackles for loss. Though his overall grade by PFF was a 54.5 he would not be asked to start. His presence, leadership, and skill set would be an outstanding addition to the rotation.

Bonus Name: Terrell Suggs

Linebacker: Nigel Bradham

This situation is tuff. The Buccaneers have one of the best linebacker corps in the NFL. Additionally, the linebackers left in free agency are few and far between. Nigel Bradham steps in as a free agent addition but with caveats. The biggest issuing being he has stated that he is taking a break from the game after leaving the Denver Broncos earlier this year. His desire to play and the ability to commit to any team is in question.

Last season Bradham continued to show he still has some speed and tackling ability. Notching a total of 61 combined. More importantly, he graded well in coverage. According to PFF, he mustered a 74.9. His overall grade dips with the inclusion of his pass rush and runs defense to a 64.6. His availability is a huge question mark.

Bonus Name: Mark Barron….yes that Mark Barron.

Secondary: Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas found himself in some trouble in Baltimore this year. He punched another player during practice. Subsequently, the Ravens released him a few days later. The Buccaneers could surely use someone with his talent. If they feel that he won’t bring a bad attitude to the locker room he could be a huge investment for the playoffs.

A Pro-Bowler last season,  Thomas racked up some solid stats as he plays well in coverage and against the run. The overall play for Thomas was graded as a 76.7 by PFF. He’s the kind of player that knows what a winning football team looks like. If he was brought in he could also provide some insight to the staff if the Buccaneers were to face the Seahawks.

Bonus Name: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

The Buccaneers’ Depth And Strength 

The team is far from perfect. Adding another player or two to the roster for depth and strength may be on the docket for Jason Licht and his staff. We will know soon enough if the Buccaneers will be adding and making roster moves for the playoffs. Those moves could very well push the team into the Super Bowl.

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