Inexpensive Free Agent Targets For The Buccaneers


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely not done creating cap space. How much of it can they create is yet to be seen. So here are a few options at key positions that wouldn’t break the bank and could have a positive impact on this team.

Wide Receiver

Buried deep on the depth chart of the Atlanta Falcons is/was Olamide Zaccheaus. A young player who has not been given much of an opportunity to hit the filed in an organization struggling to find ways to win. Zaccheaus was a free agent signing after not hearing his name called in the 2019 draft.

The Virginia Cavalier has found a way to start getting targets and produce some positive results. In his four years in Atlanta he’s gone from 7.4% of the offensive snaps to 27.5%, 58%, and 70.7% in this previous season. Each time capitalizing on his opportunity. In all four years in the league Zaccheaus has averaged over 13 yards a reception and averages 4.5 yards after catch. Those are chain moving numbers.  He’s played in the slot primarily bt can swing out wide to mix the play calling and scheme.

Spotrac has an assumed two year deal worth $7.5 million as an estimate. At $3.7 million on the year this is a feasible contract for a player that seems to have a higher upside to me than what he is being graded as having.

Former Buccaneers Options

I would also throw Scotty Miller or Breshad Perriman  back in the mix to come back as well.

Lastly I’ll throw out a wild card free agent. Former first round pick N’Keal Harry hasn’t played in an outstanding offensive scheme with complementary wide receivers or a strong run game since entering the NFL. He could very well still reach close to his draft potential. Maybe. There are some signs he could. Take into account in 2021-2022 he averaged  15.3 and 16.6 yards a reception respectively. Though it’s a very small sample size.

Tight End

A little on the steeper end Foster Moreau of the Raiders looks to earn around nine million a year for what Spotrac suggests is a four year contract. He won’t command a David Njoku $50 million over four year contract so he’s a bargain in that regard. He would be valued more if he saw more than around 65% of the offensive snaps but he found himself behind Darren Waller.

Over the last two years the 25 year old has averaged around 12.5 yards a catch and seen an average of 31.5 receptions throughout the season. He’s proven he should see the field more than when he did in Las Vegas. Couple in his pass blocking capability and ability to shift to both the slot and outside and he can become a force on this team. Especially in two tight end sets with Cade Otton. The question becomes would the team be willing and able to spend that kind of money.

Cameron Brate could come back much like Scotty Miller could.

Running Back

Hailing from South Florida is a running back that may find it a good time to return to Tampa. D’Ernest Johnson. Spotrac has the former Brown looking to to make around $2.6 million a year on a two year contract. This is a small sum to pay for another sturdy back. Johnson was improving each year since 2019 until he had to take a back seat to Nick Chubb. In the year before Chubb’s arrival Johnson had reached an average of 5.3 yards a play. Even in extremely limited action last season he averaged 4.3 yards.

Coming off of what amounts to a year of rest, Johnson would be an excellent fit for the Buccaneers. Add in the fact he has experience in kick returns and punt returns and he becomes a versatile weapon.

To keep the theme of returning players as additional names here, one has to think that Marlon Mack, like Johnson, could make a South Florida (locationally) return. The question is that of durability. A third option may be a player like Benny Snell Jr.

Final Thought

There are players who are not going to earn a lot of money that are worth investigating. These three represent players I feel are undervalued and would compliment those players on the roster and push this team to competing for the playoffs. I do see the Buccaneers drafting a running back this year. They are abundant and rookie contracts are inexpensive. The addition of a D’Ernest Johnson could really push the pace of this offense. This team however needs more depth at wide receiver and tight end and those can be harder to find in the draft.


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