How Much Firepower Will The Bucs Buy?February 28th, 2014
Clearly the Bucs’ biggest mystery lies at the quarterback position. But the second giant question mark is how much the Bucs will invest into improving the offense next month
As glaring a hole as the Bucs have at defensive end, there’s a bigger crater in the receiving corps.
The Bucs have nobody at No. 3 receiver, the modern NFL equivalent of Joe going to a bar with no money.
Joe would be giddy to see wide receiver Sammy Watkins drafted by the Bucs, assuming Johnny Football or Teddy Bridgewater are unavailable. As Joe’s written before, that would feel like landing Julio Jones without coughing up loads of draft picks like the Falcons did. But Joe doubts the Bucs will go the Watkins route.
Frankly, the Bucs should not wait that long to find another receiver.
Yeah, the NFL buzz says this year features an extraordinarily deep draft class of receivers. That may be true, but it’s still just talk. There are always Arrelious Benns and Michael Claytons and Maurice Stovalls in every draft.
That brings Joe to 26-year-old Cardinals wide receiver Andre Roberts. He’s expected to be on the market when the free agency bell rings in 11 days. He’s an established slot guy with speed and toughness. He won’t be too expensive, and Arizona is not expected to open their wallets for their No. 3 receiver. You can watch former players Heath Evans and Solomon Wilcots rave about Roberts here on NFL Network. Presumably, Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows Roberts intimately after spending last season in Arizona.
Roberts told FOX last week that he wants to go where he has a shot to be the No. 2 receiver, and he doesn’t think Arizona will pay him No. 2 money to rank behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. For the Bucs, who at least publicly are concerned about Mike Williams, Roberts could represent a smart move. And if Jeff Tedford wants to run a load of three-receiver sets like most NFL teams, then selling Roberts on Tampa might not be so tough.
Joe is aching to see how the Bucs attack improving the worst offense in the NFL. The salary cap is higher than expected, and the Bucs will have a chance to make upgrades on both sides of the ball very soon. Joe can’t envision the Bucs waiting around in hopes one of their high draft picks — the Bucs don’t have a third round pick this year — is a savior.