It was a wild first week of free agency in Tampa Bay, and I talked about that in last video, breaking down the defensive free agents that the Bucs signed. Now it’s time to move to the offense.
The Bucs signed veteran quarterback Josh McCown to a two-year deal worth $10 million, a move that some Bucs fans expressed frustration with. When you look at it though, it was a wise move, addressing a key need in a free agent market with very few solid choices at the quarterback position.
General Manager Jason Licht said the team didn’t want to be ‘pigeon-holed’ going into the draft. With at least four teams ahead of the Bucs who have needs at quarterback, who’s to say one falls into their laps at No. 7? And if one does, who’s to say they can’t still take one?
Bucs fans have been clamoring for a tight end in recent years, and they got one in Brandon Myers, who was previously with the Giants and also the Raiders. Is he the vertical threat that Jimmy Graham is? No. But he’s a complete tight end who can do a little bit of everything and should contribute in the short to intermediate passing game, much in the way of a Zach Miller in Seattle.
The Bucs signed former Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins for five years and $30 million, allowing them to part ways with Donald Penn, who would have been an $8 million cap hit and saw a drop-off in play last season. My only issue with Collins, and I’ve heard this from some folks who worked with him in Cincinnati, is that he needs to have more consistent effort on every play and in every practice.
Along with filling a void left by Donald Penn, the Bucs picked up offensive guard/center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who was previously with the Packers. It’s reportedly a four-year deal worth $14.25 million, including $7.25 in guaranteed money. This move could allow them to part ways with Jeremy Zuttah, who would count $4.5 against the cap and is rumored to be on the trading block.
Given Dietrich-Smith’s ability to play both guard and center, it would make sense. According to Pro Football Focus, Dietrich-Smith gave up just five sacks last season in 17 total games. He had an overall grade of +12.1, which was eighth-best among 35 centers playing 400 snaps or more.
Rumors about Zuttah’s departure continued to heat up when the Bucs signed another offensive lineman Sunday in veteran offensive guard Oniel Cousins (that deal was done while we were shooting this video).
A former third-round pick by the Ravens in 2008, Cousins spent three seasons in Baltimore and three in Cleveland under Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop. Cousins comes to the Bucs on a one-year deal. Keep in mind, the Bucs also re-signed guard Jamon Meredith to a two-year deal.
Be sure to check out Part One where I broke down the Bucs free agency on defense.