With one of the most unfortunate injuries, players can suffer Buccaneers’ Shaquil Barrett is out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles. This leaves a glaring need for the Buccaneers’ defense. With this injury so close to the trade deadline can Jason Licht and the staff pull off something in a short time?
Candidate 1) Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos
Bradley Chubb seems to be consensus number one on everyone’s list who wants their team to get a pass rusher. Chubb has been one of the only shining spots on a disastrous Denver team. He currently has tallied 5.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits. Chubb is a force multiplier on the line and requires offensive linemen to note where he is at all times.
The issue however is the price. At only 26 year old Chubb still has time to grow and get better. Couple that with his productivity and the asking price to pry him away from the Broncos is probably steep. Do the Buccaneers want to give away that kind of draft capital? Additionally there’s a money issue. Chubb is playing on the last year of his contract and has a steep number of over 12 million dollars. In cases like this the Buccaneers would have two options. First, ask the Broncos to cover some of the money allowing him to fit under the cap or two, rework a new contract. The second being the hardest to do.
Candidate 2) Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars
Yet another young pash rusher, Josh Allen is on a team that may want to gain some draft capital heading into the off season. The Jaguars are third in their division and struggling. Moving from Allen could net them a high round pick and allow them to move from his cap number of 11.5 million dollars next season. Again another cap issue for the Buccaneers in a trade.
Before the start of the London game Allen has three sacks, five tackles for loss, and 11 quarterback hits. He too is applying ample pressure. But the question still remains, how much would the Buccaneers have to give up for him? It may require a second round pick. Though this model (vets over draftees) has worked for the Rams it’s hard to say if the Buccaneers would be willing to do the same.
Candidate 3) Brian Burns, Carolina Panthers
Brian Burns follows much of the same story. He’s on a team looking to gain draft capital and position themselves to rebuild. Burns too, like those mentioned above, is applying pressure to opposing offenses. With five sacks, seven quarterback hits, and eight tackles for loss he of course is garnering attention.
Much of the same problem exists though. Can the Buccaneers afford him? What are the Buccaneers willing to give up and what is the asking price? Though there is one more issue with Burns, would the Panthers trade him to a divisional rival?
Candidate 4) Jerry Hughes, Houston Texans
Much like the last three players Jerry Hughes is on a team looking to rebuild and in need of draft capital to do it. Unlike the other three candidates, he is inexpensive contract wise and would likely cost the Buccaneers very little to acquire him. Hughes would be a one year rental given his age and likely walk the next season.
On the season Hughes has four sacks, four quarterback hits, and three tackles for loss. Not the numbers of the others but a contributor none the less.
For a team that is in win now mode and this most likely being Tom Brady’s last season the team needs to do something in a few areas. Offense should be the primary candidate if they are going to give up large sums of draft picks and leverage the future. But you never know with Licht and company.
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