One That Got Away?June 2nd, 2014
Yes, Ravens Super Bowl winning general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh took a look at former Bucs center/guard Jeremy Zuttah and proverbially said, ‘There’s our guy.”
The Bucs traded versatile Zuttah to Baltimore, where he’s impressing already and seems to be a great fit to snap the ball to Joe Flacco, who ironically is often compared to the “quarterback of the future” by the Mike Glennon Mob.
Yeah, Zuttah’s gone and Joe must get over it. But that would be a lot easier if the Bucs had more O-line depth, talent and weren’t targeting Patrick Omameh and Oneil Cousins as potential starters at left and right guard.
Joe could accept the loss of Zuttah better if the Bucs find a way to use their available pile of 2014 salary cap room to restructure and extend Gerald McCoy’s contract. At least Zuttah’s cash savings would be going to good use.
Now, however, Joe is feeling Zuttah’s loss. The Bucs are in a near desperate situation on their O-line. Zuttah, who turned 28 yesterday, had no problem blowing open holes for Doug Martin during Carl Nicks’ absence in 2012. Zuttah played well at right guard in Davin Joseph’s absence in 2008, and he was on the field at center and guard when LeGarrette Blount was gutting NFL defenses in 2010. He has a long track record of sound play and staying healthy.
According to Friday’s Baltimore Sun story linked above, Zuttah didn’t allow a sack last year (Is that accurate?) for Tampa Bay.
Would it have been such a bad thing to have Zuttah competing in Bucs camp? His Tampa Bay contract wasn’t even guaranteed.
New regimes have to make tough decisions. Joe respects that the Bucs’ new O-line plan didn’t include Zuttah. He was no Pro Bowl candidate, but he was a solid, young, healthy, versatile veteran.
Joe’s eager to see whether the Bucs find a way to replace Zuttah’s value this season.