Bucs Sign Tackle Anthony CollinsMarch 13th, 2014
Joe finds this one a bit curious. Collins has never started a full season. He’s been a strong backup who has stepped in and performed well when asked at both tackle positions. He made nine starts last year, has 25 in his career.
Collins turns 29 in November.Collins will be rolled out to local media this afternoon along with new Bucs starting quarterback Josh McCown. Various reports have him earning $15 million guaranteed and $30 million over the life of the five-year deal.
Joe gets that Lovie Smith and Jason Licht likely evaluated Donald Penn, who turns 31 in April, and didn’t see him as their left tackle of the future, a guy who would be here in a few years when, hopefully, the Bucs are favorites to win the Super Bowl. But Joe sure sees this as a bit of a gamble, and left tackle is not a position you gamble on, Penn was extraordinary durable, and Joe does not believe Penn was the problem with the Bucs’ offensive line last season. He’s at least average.
Collins may very well be better. Joe can’t say he’s studied the guy, but it’s a leap of faith that he can be a strong, durable starter. Collins’ versatility does offer intriguing options if the Bucs draft a blue chip offensive lineman in May.
As of now, Penn remains a Buccaneer. In fact, they could hold on to him a while. Joe was told Penn’s contract has no significant guarantees. So the Bucs could potentially see how their line flushes out during the offseason. More likely, however, Penn’s ironman Bucs career will be over in a matter of hours.
One thing to note, Joe’s research reveals that Collins is a close friend of new Bucs defensive end Michael Johnson. Joe does like, really like, that these guys have lots of playoff experience.