Hunting Defense

February 18th, 2016

Imagine the concept of the Bucs having seven of their own defensive free agents they wanted to re-sign.

That would feel like a fantasy from the glory days of Tampa Bay football.

There is an NFL team in that boat, and more and more their live bodies seeking big cash are getting scrutinized.

Joe’s talking about the Rams. Jeff Fisher wants to keep his nasty defense in tact, and that includes cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, safety Rodney McLeod, safety/linebacker Mark Barron and defensive ends William Hayes and Eugene Sims, and defensive tackle Nick Fairley.  

The Los Angeles Times made a fuss about this on Monday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dove deep on the Rams’ predicament last month, explaining that all the good drafting bolstered by the 2012 draft-day trade that gave the Redskins the rights to Robert Griffin, III, has a price.

We’ll see. Since the early days of the Fisher-Snead tandem in St. Louis, the Rams have boasted about their youth, and all the draft picks they have accumulated — in part due to the RGIII trade and spinoff trades. These were the players the team would develop and grow with. They would become the foundation of the team for years to come.

But now comes the problem. If you can’t re-sign those players, they become somebody else’s core — or as Fisher says, you have developed them for somebody else. And history shows, the closer you get to the start of free agency — which begins March 9 this year — the more likely players are to explore the market.

The data nerds at Pro Football Focus even have five Rams among their top 45 overall likely free agents.

There’s also talk in L.A./St. Louis of either Jenkins or Johnson being worthy of the franchise tag.

Joe has no clue whether the Bucs have a bunch of Rams on their wish list. But it sure looks like at least one shiny apple will fall from that tree.

8 Responses to “Hunting Defense”

  1. Billdabuc Says:

    Mark Barron com baq at linebacker Dis tym I love DAT guy

  2. @Hands2theface Says:

    Safety Rodney McLeod would be a nice grab.

  3. Johnny "America's Commenter" Dejay Says:

    Mark Barron played the WILL (weakside) linebacker for the Rams last season. Is he good enough to unseat Lavonte David at WILL or Kwon Alexander at MIKE (middle) linbacker? Barron is clearly too light (215#) to play SAM (strongside) linebacker, so the only way he would fit on the Bucs defense is if Lavonte or Kwon were moved to SAM. Considering SAM typically isn’t on the field in the nickel package, it would seem to be a waste to have a premier player on the bench that much. The Bucs are better off chasing any of the other Rams free agent defenders.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Mark Barron?! Moving on.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    More interested in either of the corners or possibly their DT Fairley. Not interested in Barron, and I really doubt he would want to come back here, even if we did want that.

  6. Bucwild007 Says:

    William Hayes would be a killer signing. Most likely a reasonable contract that brings a strong stout DE, I’m in!

  7. Mort Says:

    Fairly and one of the corners would be on my shopping list.

  8. godzilla13 Says:

    The key word is “nasty”. We need a bunch of players who love to hit someone with a nasty attitude. Looks like they will only be able to keep one CB and I was surprised to hear it would be Janoris Jenkins? Trumaine Johnson is a young, really good player and the Bucs should go all in in if he hits the market. Safety Rodney McLeod will probably be franchised and believe it or not safety/linebacker Mark Barron is in the franchise discussion. I have read they don’t want to let defensive end William Hayes walk? If there ever was a clone of George Johnson, Eugene Sims would be that guy. People wonder why the Rams have so many good players entering FA? RGIII trade up, that’s why.