The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their hands full this offseason trying to retain as many of the nearly two dozen free agents. With wide receiver Chris Godwin recently being franchise tagged, the team now turns their attention to the rest of their free agents.
At the top of that list in my opinion should be center Ryan Jensen. The Buccaneers signed Jensen as a free agent in 2018. He has started every game fir the Bucs since. His durability is outstanding, his tenacity is just what you want from an offensive lineman. His time in Tampa has been borderline dominant. Since arriving, Jensen has been flagged for four false starts and nine holding penalties. We’re not going to bring up the unsportsmanlike or personal fouls, that’s part of his tenacity.
So What’s The Problem, Sign him Already
With great play comes great interest, and Jensen is seeing exactly how much interest he commands even before free agency has officially begun. So who are the Buccaneers going to have to beat in a bidding war for the ginger assassin?
A Four-Way Battle
Graziano: “One player I expect to generate a lot of interest on the free-agent market is center Ryan Jensen, who has the attention of the Jets, Bengals, Steelers, and Ravens, among others. So many teams are looking for offensive line help, and Jensen is viewed as a nasty tone-setter who could help a line with his attitude and ability. If multiple teams are as interested as it sounds they could be, Jensen could be a hot commodity and rake in a nice payday.”
Fowler: “I’m told the Bucs will try hard to get something done with Jensen. They feel he’s among the best centers in the league, maybe the best, when in their system. If that costs $15 million per year — which it very well might — then that might be worth it. The same goes for Jason Kelce with Philly, as far as the system fit. He could do another one-year deal this offseason.”
All About The Benjamins
All three of these teams need a center, especially the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens see themselves as a perennial contender that is just a few pieces away. The Steelers are in a rebuild mode and desperately need offensive line help regardless of who their quarterback is.
The Buccaneers really need to keep Jensen especially with Ali Marpet retiring and guard Alex Cappa set to hit free agency. The problem for the Bucs right now is money. After tagging Godwin, the Buccaneers have roughly $2 million in cap space. We all know the Bucs front office will pull some wizardry and free up some money. But with Jensen looking to be valued at approximately $15 million per season, it’s going to be hard for the Buccaneers to swing that.
Jensen is definitely worth $15 million, he’s earned it. The question is will he be willing to give the Buccaneers a discount, and should he?
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