Hot Trend: Free Agent Defensive Ends

February 8th, 2014

AbrahamYou’ve heard the annoying cliché repeatedly, “the NFL is a copycat league.”

It’s accurate. Teams are always looking at what worked for a competitor and/or are seeking a successful trend.

In addition to mobile, young, non-first-round-pick quarterbacks succeeding in the playoffs this season and last, another position sure to garner attention is defensive end.

Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett were relatively inexpensive, free-agent beasts for Seattle’s Super Bowl team, and old John Abraham was back in the Pro Bowl with Arizona, which finished 10-6. The guy who replaced Abraham in Atlanta, Osi Umenyiora was pretty good, too. The 32-year-old stayed healthy and had 7 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles.

Overall, the 4-3 DEs in free agency fared pretty well. Of course, there were injuries and busts (half a sack for Dwight Freeney comes to mind), but general managers likely won’t be too gun-shy chasing pass-rush talent next month.

And that brings Joe to the Bucs. What is there to say? The Buccaneers are desperate for an edge rush. Last year’s Bucs had a monster up the gut in Gerald McCoy and they couldn’t find any heat off the edge. Blitzes and line stunts weren’t too effective, either.

Joe would be stunned of Lovie Smith doesn’t buy himself a proven pass rusher in five weeks.

20 Responses to “Hot Trend: Free Agent Defensive Ends”

  1. pablo Says:

    James Jones
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Alex Mack


    Jared Allen
    Captain Munnerlyn
    Justin Tuck
    Josh McCown

  2. BucsQcCity Says:

    If at #3 clowney is still there I would consider trading up for him. I think khalil mack is overrated at #7..

  3. Tomcin Says:

    Pettigrew sucks. Not sold on Tuck. Carolina will not let Hardy get away. Would really like them to get Mack, but I’m afraid he’ll be to costly. Fine with the rest of the list.

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Bolster our Defensive Line Rotation

    [From The Left Side]
    • Justin Tuck 6-5 268 (FA *Giants have cap issues)

    [From the Defensive Tackle]
    • Kendall Langford 6-6 313(Reportedly will be cut)

    [From the Nose Tackle]
    • Tony McDaniel 6-7 305 (FA *Seattle has Cap Concerns)

    [From The Right Side]
    • Julius Peppers 6-7 287 (Reportedly will be cut)

    Comparable Vet Defensive end contracts (2013)

    • DE/OLB-John Abraham (Jul 25 2013) 2 year $4.6 million contract (ARI)
    • DE Osi Umenyiora (Mar 27 2013) 2 year $8.5 million contract (ATL)
    • DE/OLB Dwight Freeney (May 18 2013) 2 year $13.35 million contract (SD)

    New Rotation
    • LDE Justin Tuck-Adrian Clayborn-William Gholston
    • DT Gerald McCoy-Kendall Langford-William Gholston
    • NT Tony McDaniels-Akeem Spence
    • RDE Julius Peppers-Daquan bowers

    Note: Seattle NT Tony McDaniel was one of the league leaders in short yardage/goal line stop rate percentage. Would be a great addition to our rotation.

    (More Serviceable Options)

    [From The Left Side]
    • Jason Hunter
    • Willie Young

    [From The Right Side]
    • Jared Allen
    • Robert Ayers

    [Defensive Tackle]
    • Randy Starks
    • Arthur Jones
    • Linval Joseph
    • Vance Walker
    • Kevin Williams

    [Nose Tackle]
    • Paul Soliai

  5. Orca Says:

    While you’ve now splooged in your pants with fantasy scenarios, I’ll remind you that they’re going to be value shoppers in free agency. So says the GM.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    lol….why not list all the free agents? lol

  7. Blake Bortles Mob Says:

    Just want everyone to know that after watching Blake Bortle’s highlights I am very impressed. I am changing my name from Mike Glennon Mob to Blake Bortles Mob. As for DE, if we take Bortles with the 7th pick then
    we will have to go to free agency for a DE.

  8. DallasBuc Says:

    That was your humble opinion?
    While your at it lets magically trade for Aaron Rogers, Adrian Peterson, jimmy graham and who ever else you can dream of.
    Shoot, maybe you should have interviewed for GM job. You clearly have the best plan for our Bucs!

  9. PRBucFan Says:

    And I’ll remind you that “value” does not mean “cheap” 😉

    The most value we’ll find for this defense is an ELITE DE, don’t be surprised when we spend a pretty penny bringing in the best value.

  10. Bucs55 Says:

    Idk why not Michael Johnson

  11. Bucs55 Says:

    He’s a athletic pass rusher at 6’7 wanted the bucs to Draft him a couple of years ago commin out of GeorgiatTech in the second

  12. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Yeah, “value” isn’t the same as cheap. Seeing as Lovie brought in Julius Peppers and he picked our GM, I don’t think we’re going to be shy to pull the trigger on an elite DE. Now I wouldn’t expect us to grossly overpay for an elite DE, but I’d expect at least one very good one. While I can dream about getting a Hardy and Bennett, I’d be happy with one of those two and a Jared Allen/veteran DE. I truly believe we are a DE or two away from being an elite defense.

  13. Bucs55 Says:

    And if we get anyone from the vikings i bet u is not Allen it’s Williams to help on the rotation as well as in lovie system we don’t use a nose guard it’s a tackle and a 3 technic so dey both have to pass rush and get to there gap just to let u know iluvmybucs

  14. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Grading the value of free agent DEs is pretty tough for me…but really like what I see in William Gholston. Reminds me of a young Strahan. A picture perfect DE who just needs to be polished and gain some experience.

    that said, I would take Peppers or Allen in a heart beat. I remember when both Allen AND Favre were on the verge of being Bucs.

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    The advantage in taking a DE like Allen is that #1 he’s not going to demand a huge long term deal. One or two years, which will allow a guy like Golston to develop (hopefully), so by the time he’s ready, Allen will be gone. I love the idea of being able to rotate guys on the line, especially early on with the Florida heat. If we just keep bringing in guys that excel at rushing the passer (ala Seattle), the offense doesn’t stand a chance. It also will be very beneficial in the event of an injury. If there’s anything we as Buc fans realize it’s that injuries happen and you have to have depth. I think having Hardy, Allen, Clayborn, Goldson, and (hopefully) Bowers would be pretty impressive.

  16. william Says:

    bowers sucks

  17. Buc1987 Says:

    All this free agent speculation makes me feel like I’m a kid again, waiting for Christmas to arrive to see what the presents are going to be.

  18. Bruno Says:


    If Clowney drops to 3 or 4 do you see the Buc’s possibly trading up to nab him?

  19. coolbreeze Says:

    my free agent wish list is Lamar Houston BJ Radji Charles Tillman or cook Emmanuel Sanders and James Jones MichaelVick what yall think can we afford these guys> Draft Clowney Watkins or the tight end out of North Carolina. 2nd rd draft def end frm standford trade joseph or penn for a 3rd rd pick and draft a OT or OG whatever we need 4th rd draft wr out of Oklahoma or deAnthony Thomas out of Oregon 5th rd pick up a lb we hv no 6th rd pick 7th rd draft bet available player> restructure revis contract penn and joseph if they are not traded or release

  20. BoJim Says:

    C’mon William

    I’d like to see Bowers under the new regime. If he prospers then we got us a dandy.