In an inactive day to open free agency, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached out to a former player who thrived under Todd Bowles with the Arizona Cardinals.
The day of the legal tampering period saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers subtract three significant contributors in 2018 from the roster. Kwon Alexander signed a four-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, Adam Humphries inked a deal with the Tennessee Titans, and DeSean Jackson has reportedly been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Buccaneers were not able to come to an agreement with any free agents yesterday, and one target, Tyrann Mathieu went to the Kansas City Chiefs on a three-year deal. However according to The Athletic’s Greg Auman, Jason Licht did reach out to a former player under Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles during their time at the Arizona Cardinals, Deone Bucannon.
At just the age of 26 years old and having familiarity with Bowles’ defense the Buccaneers must prioritize bringing Bucannon to Tampa Bay. Especially the way that safeties and linebackers have been flying off of the market, bagging a versatile and bargain defensive play, it would be in Tampa Bay’s best interest to make him their top priority.
Bucannon is a box safety who has also played a good deal of linebacker during his time in Arizona, a prototypical player that is becoming a hot commodity in the NFL. Players such as Landon Collins, Jabrill Peppers, and Eric Berry are becoming the way of the future due to the increasing use of the spread offense and speed making its way into the NFL.
While he had a hard time seeing the field under head coach Steve Wilks in 2018, Bucannon thrived under Bowles, and a chance to reunite with his former defensive coordinator could help to reignite his career. On paper, it seems like a win-win situation for both Tampa Bay and Bucannon.
Throughout his five year career in Arizona with the Cardinals, the hard-hitting safety has tallied over 404 tackles, 27 behind the line of scrimmage, hit the quarterback 14 times, and recorded seven sacks. In addition, he had broken up 12 passes and picked off an additional two.