The deadline for using the franchise tag passed the Steelers by yesterday, meaning starters Plaxico…
Inside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As the Buccaneers head in to this month's draft and to the rest of free agency, they'll need to find depth at several areas and if they can fill those holes, that will go a long way to improve over the last two less than stellar seasons.
RUNNING BACK: Despite coming off of a solid season, head coach Jon Gruden wasn't satisfied from the performance of Michael Pittman. He's not a back that will break a lot of tackles and isn't one that can get a lot of yards on his own. With that being the case, they're looking for a younger back to take over the starting role.
WIDE RECEIVER: After veteran Joey Galloway, who turns 34 this coming season and second-year receiver Michael Clayton, the team has next to nothing in regard to depth. They could use at least one veteran to serve as the third receiver and they could also use a few young receivers to round out the depth chart.
GUARD: With veteran guard Cosey Coleman signing with Cleveland, the Buccaneers don't have a proven starter left at either guard spot. They'll need to look to add at least one veteran and a younger player for depth.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE: With veteran tackle Todd Steussie's future with the team up in the air, they have no experience in back of starters Derrick Deese and Kenyatta Walker.
LINEBACKER: After projected starters Derrick Brooks, Shelton Quarles, and Ryan Nece, the team has little depth at any of the positions.
FREE AGENCY / OFF-SEASON:
KEY ACQUISITIONS: K Matt Bryant: UFA Dolphins; TE Anthony Becht: UFA Jets; DT Chris Hovan: UFA Vikings; CB Juran Bolden: UFA Jaguars; CB Rod Babers: UFA Lions.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: FB Jameel Cook: UFA; WR Joey Galloway: UFA; TE Dave Moore: UFA; OLB Ryan Nece: RFA; S Dexter Jackson: UFA.
KEY DEPARTURES: QB Brad Johnson (Released. Signed with Saints); WR Joe Jurevicius; UFA Seahawks; G Matt O'Dwyer; UFA Packers; G Cosey Coleman; UFA Browns; DT Chartric Darby: UFA Seahawks; OLB Ian Gold (Released. Signed with Broncos); LB Keith Burns; UFA Broncos; CB Mario Edwards (Released. Signed with Dolphins); S Dwight Smith: UFA Saints.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FB Greg Comella; WR Tim Brown; WR Charles Lee; WR Frank Murphy; TE Ken Dilger; TE Rickey Dudley; DE Chidi Ahanotu; S John Howell.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHT FREE AGENTS: WR Edell Shepherd; TE Will Heller.
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