While the early news relating to the Buccaneers was focused on the defensive side of the ball, it is a foregone conclusion that the offense, and in particular the offensive line, will also be addressed in free agency.
Early stories had the Bucs interested in Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe, both considered top offensive tackles in free agency. The actions of the Buccaneers tell us they might look to the 2nd tier of offensive tackles for their target.
Rodger Saffold has played both tackle and guard at the professional level. His versatility is valuable, but might not be on the market long enough for the Bucs to consider.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Saffold is expected to sign a contract with the Oakland Raiders worth roughly $8 million per year.
While the Bucs apparently talked to both Saffold and Bengals OT Anthony Collins, it appears the Bucs might be zeroed in on Collins as their guy.
Collins, a 4th round pick in 2008, came on strong as a pass protector in 2013. The Cincinnati Bengals have tried to sign Collins to a contract extension, but could not get a deal done before Saturday’s “legal tampering” period began.
The Bucs are expected to sign Collins for between $6.5-$7 million per season according to the Baltimore Sun.
A signing of Collins might spell the end for Donald Penn’s tenure with the Bucs unless they intend to try him at guard. Releasing or trading Penn would save the Bucs more than $7 million against the cap.
So far, the Bucs top two targets in free agency appear to be former Bengals DE Michael Johnson and OT Anthony Collins.
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