Bucs Sign Evan Dietrich-SmithMarch 14th, 2014
Updated 4:38 p.m.: The Bucs continued their shopping spree this afternoon by signing former Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith. The Bucs had wooed Dietrich-Smith at One Buc Palace earlier this week.
The signing of Dietrich-Smith evokes a couple of questions:
One, what is the status of Jeremy Zuttah?
Joe finds Zuttah to be valuable, only because he is flexible. He can play center or guard. He was a right tackle in college. At left guard for the Bucs, Zuttah was just so-so. He exceled at right guard for Davin Joseph in 2008. One could argue there was no drop off at all. Of course, Zuttah can play center, too.
The second is, what is the status of Carl Nicks? The Bucs claim Nicks is making progress with his bum toe, but no one has seen Nicks and for all we know, Nicks is just swimming in the training pool. Though Joe likes Nicks, he has only played in a handful of games since he was signed two years ago by Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik. To bank on Nicks is, at best, a major gamble.
Joe’s hunch is that the signing of Dietrich-Smith means Zuttah is playing guard somewhere this fall, and maybe not with the Bucs.
As for Dietrich-Smith, he’s no castoff. The mighty Packers wanted to keep him. Aaron Rodgers was lobbying for him. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel weighed in when he inked his new Bucs deal.
The Packers had been talking to Dietrich-Smith on a regular basis, but they were unable to meet his price. Dietrich-Smith had visited the Buccaneers on Wednesday and pursued him throughout the last couple of days.
The deal Dietrich-Smith signed with the Buccaneers was four years, $14.5 million, an average of $3.625 million, which is less than the Packers paid LB Mike Neal (two years, $8 million).
An interesting side note, Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford is a close friend of Rodgers, his former college QB. Joe suspects Tedford has heard all about the quality of Dietrich-Smith, who, per Joe’s research, handled most of the protection calls in the Packers offense.