Watson Review Key To Free Agency Direction

February 9th, 2014

WatsonsackA huge Bucs X-factor this winter is how Lovie Smith and friends evaluate unrestricted free agent Dekoda Watson.

Why? Because Watson has shown an ability to rush the passer.

Previous regimes gave him little shot to do that, but if the new staff evaluates Watson and sees a guy that can get to the quarterback, then Joe has no doubt they’ll make Watson an offer he can’t refuse before the free agency bell rings in March. Lovie’s too smart to let go of young talent that can pass rush.

Frankly, if Joe hypothetically was told he had only one snap to sack a quarterback and could pick both the edge rushers for that play from the Bucs roster, Joe would finger Watson as one of the two DEs. That doesn’t say much, but it’s noteworthy. Watson has skills and speed.

Perhaps savvy defensive minds and coaches like Lovie and Leslie Frazier see Watson as a legitimate situational pass rusher, in addition to his special teams prowess and linebacker experience? If so, with that kind of perceived versatility, Watson likely would qualify as a “value” free agent coveted by new general manager Jason Licht.

Watson is arguably the best athlete on the Bucs roster. He’s also a devoted teammate and a guy who doesn’t sniff any trouble. But all that doesn’t mean much. Joe suspects Watson will remain a Buccaneer if, and only if, the team thinks he can come off the edge.

18 Responses to “Watson Review Key To Free Agency Direction”

  1. ander Says:

    i rather resign casillas i thought he played some solid football before he got hurt, also i am a fan of watson especially as a special teams player but unfortuanetly he hasnt been able to take that step of becoming a good starter for the bucs. if the bucs resign him it should be for one year and see if he can prove that he can rush and play consistently at a high level

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    I agree Joe, there is still a place for Watson, even if he remains at SLB, or plays a situational DE, and plus the fact he’s an exceptional STeamer. If I were LSmith it would be a no-brainer to sign him long term.

  3. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    Watson’s special teams contributions alone are worthy enough to get him a new contract imo. I won’t disagree with the guy above that Casillas played better purely as a LB, but why cannot we have both? Kassim Osgood has always been an A+ Special Teamer. Even at the age of 34 when he has not been able to improve as a WR, he has someone to offer him a job because the guy is a playmaker on Special Teams. I see Watson’s contribution the same way. His presence right not may not be as visible, but without him our STs will likely become fully impotent lacking bark or bite.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Casillas will be coming off an injury so there is a question mark there. Watson is a good Buc….would like to see him signed for a one or two year contract. I think his play on special teams makes him valuable.
    We need an upgrade at one of the Linebacker positions….perhaps Middle & moving Foster with Watson providing depth.

  5. THETRUTH Says:

    I agree joe this guy makes playes when he has had chance. I also wondered why not let him rush from the end, he seems same size as TEO or what ever that sack less DE name is on our roster. He is also the best special team player we have.

  6. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    So true about Kassim Osgood

    49er’s had (4) players in the Top 20 Lead in special teams tackles in 2013.

    • #4 C.J. Spillman S *(16)
    • #4 Michael Wilhoite LB *(16)
    • #9 Kassim Osgood WR *(14)
    • #16 Raymond Ventrone S *(13)

    IMO-Kassim Osgood (Gunner) & Chargers special team demon SS Darrell Stuckey would be good special team acquisitions .

    Strong Side Linebacker Prospects
    • Kyle Van Noy
    • Jeremiah Attaochu
    • Larry Webster (Hybrid)

  7. INDYbucsfan Says:

    We should keep him, great depth, great person, great special teams player. I personally think Casillas and foster will be moved down the depth chart. Which again builds great depth.

  8. Destinjohnny Says:

    Never understood why you wouldn’t have d wat rushing the passer on 80% of the passing downs. He would have 10 sacks a year. These cordinAters over think things

  9. Kevin Says:

    If he could rush the passer don’t you think we’d know by now? He’s athletic, for sure, and a dynamic special teamer – but I think we need to keep our expectations in line here. I’d love to see him back, but we’ve got options too.

  10. ButIt941 Says:

    If i was allowed 1 play to get a sack on a QB with only 4 selected from our roster. I would have:
    Gholston (RE)
    Bowers (if healthy) (DT)
    GMC (DT)
    D. Watson (LE)
    *Note* Clayborn got snubbed from moving inside only because he has a slower get off. Bowers (again, when healthy) has that GMC type burst off the snap.

    This would be my pick. If the coaches can get the most out of the talent on the roster we have now (like i believe they can) this would be a solid pass rush squad in my opinion.

  11. ButIt941 Says:

    If i was allowed 1 play to get a sack on a QB with only 4 selected from our roster. I would have:
    Gholston (RE)
    Bowers (if healthy) (DT)
    GMC (DT)
    D. Watson (LE)
    *Note* Clayborn got snubbed from moving inside only because he has a slower get off. Bowers (again, when healthy) has that GMC type burst off the snap.

    This would be my pick. If the coaches can get the most out of the talent on the roster we have now (like i believe they can) this would be a solid pass rush squad in my opinion.

  12. Bill Says:

    THREE SACKS IN FOUR YEARS.

    FACEPALM.

  13. Jon Says:

    Sign him back. He’s quality depth, may start at Lb and is a great teams player. Why wouldn’t we?

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Casillas was okay when healthy. The problem is keeping him healthy. Injuries plague this team because we sign injury-prone players and the natural environment in Tampa is conducive to injuries.

    Lovie has talked about speecial teams, so I think he’ll want to keep Watson. As long as it is cheap I have no problem with it. The Bucs may not have a say in the matter if Watson wants to test Free Agency.

    I would like them to resign Eric Page. He did okay at KR in his rookie year and I think there is a strong chance he will make a leap in year 2.

  15. biff barker Says:

    I thought Castillas outplayed Watson but doubt he’ll be 100% to open the season. Watson is the new Quincy.

    Time to upgrade here.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Personally, I want to see how Spence improves this year. If we add a good DE opposite Clayborn I think Spence and Clayborn will start doing well.

    Spence showed a lot of potential in his rookie year. He may well become GMCs Booger McFarlane.

  17. BirdDoggers Says:

    He could be a value signing as a potential starting/back up WLB and situational pass rusher. If were the former Rock Star GM making the decision, he would likely give Watson a fat contract.

  18. Clowney Says:

    Maybe, a 3-4 defense would be a better fit for him? Is Quincy Black through?

 
 

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