Three Tampa Bay Defensive Tackles On The Brink

February 16th, 2016
Henry Melton has value

Henry Melton has value

Jason Licht’s team of personnel gurus, combined with new defensive coordinator Mike Smith, have significant decisions to make when it comes to their own free agents.

The Bucs have three backup defensive tackles set to become unrestricted free agents in a few weeks: Tony McDaniel, Henry Melton and popular fan punching bag Da’Quan Bowers.

McDaniel, 31, showed little last year, after he was a late-summer signing following Akeem Spence’s freak back injury. Joe has to think the Bucs can do better.

Bowers, well, let’s just say it’s time for him to get back to singing.

Melton is much more intriguing. He turns 30 in October but has stayed healthy for five of his six NFL seasons, including last year. Melton can play every position on the D-line, despite having the size of a tackle, and he managed 18 solo tackles last season, plus 12 assists, two sacks and a forced fumble. Pretty good for a guy who only made one start.

Solid defensive linemen, even backups, can earn $3 million per year in the NFL. Joe would applaud if the Bucs brought back Melton.

You don’t want to be caught with your pants down on the D-line because of poor depth. See the 2011 Bucs and Albert Haynesworth for how bad things can get.

20 Responses to “Three Tampa Bay Defensive Tackles On The Brink”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs paid Melton $3.75M in 2015. His production did not meet that figure.

    If he’s willing to re-sign at $5M for 2 years – then he’s probably worth keeping as insurance. If not – then let him walk and ride with McCoy, McDonald, Spence and whoever else the new DL coach wants to bring in.

    No to resigning McDaniel and HELL NO to resigning Bowers.

  2. Espo Says:

    Okam was even worse. The man literally got stood up at the line of scrimmage every single play. Didn’t bat any balls down either. To his credit, he was too fat to be pushed back. If I had PTSD, this conversation would set it off.

    McDonald is still under contract right? I like GMC, McDonald, Spence, Melton, and a camp body. I think Spence, if healthy, could start.

  3. Tnew Says:

    Upgrade this position. Melton has value as depth, but I prefer him at the end of the depth chart.

  4. CaptainStagger Says:

    In a 4-3 under hybrid Spence is 100% a starter.

  5. biff barker Says:

    For the record, I’d upgrade every single position along the DL if it were possible. I’d even consider trading McCoy.

  6. Dave Says:

    Stop with the “trade McCoy mantra” people. He is one of the best in the nfl, whether you like it or not, and is not going anywhere.
    I agree with joe. Keep Melton and spence of course. Get another backup. McDaniel and Bowers can go away now.

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    That didn’t take long! There just HAD to be mention of GMC being traded!
    Anyway, I agree with Joe, this team needs depth at ALL positions.

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    The more I hear about this draft the more you hear about how deep at DT this draft will be!! Maybe sign one of Free agents but no guarantee’s of making the team!!!

    I really hope that Coach Mike Smith wants his Huge front 7 again to make his system a dominate one!!!

  9. Waterboy Says:

    I agree they need to keep Melton but another guy that I could see them bringing in pretty cheap for a year or two is Wallace Gilberry. He’s a risk based on his age but a guy that has a proven track record of getting pressure on QB’s plus he has a working relationship with the new d-line coach.

  10. McClorasMaddenDaddy210 Says:

    Sign Vernon and Hardy…coach Joe will get them right! First pick…safety. our CBs will be fine. Much faith in Banks n ATV. 2nd pick WR or BPA
    YO JOE!
    GO BUCS!!!

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    McCoy, McDonald and Spence are all solid on the interior DLine, but I can’t remember seeing any of the three work outside yet. Melton on the other hand can occasionally come off the edge, as can Will Gholston. That’s a big plus on a team that seems to go through DEs like %$@&# through a goose. Personally I’d re-sign Henry Melton for $3 mil a year for 2 years without blinking.

  12. salish_seamonster Says:

    Bowers doesn’t even count. He was added late in the season out of desperation. I doubt they’ll make any attempt to re-sign him.

    Will be interesting to see, with the new defensive line coach and new scheme, if they begin to lean more towards big bodies on the inside.

  13. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    That’s a legitimate question seamonster if revisit history a moment or so I think we would be hard press not to think so considering that was these same guys m.o. while in Jville.

  14. gotbbucs Says:

    If I see one more person suggest signing Greg Hardy my phone might get tossed through a wall. He’s a fking piece of sh!t that gave the Cowboys nothing this year as far as pass rush, drama he gave them plenty of. Trash like that should never earn NFL money again.

  15. Pick6 Says:

    McCoy, C. McDonald, Akeem Spence, and Melton is a good starting point for the interior line. it’s not an area that will need alot of attention in the offseason, thankfully, and we certainly won’t miss the likes of McDaniel and Bowers

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    I agree about Hardy. I don’t get the fascination other than drama.

  17. Espo Says:

    Paid millions of dollars to scream on the sideline like someone he abused. That’s a Dallas problem. Please don’t make it an us problem.

  18. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    I like Melton and Spence. Both good players

  19. godzilla13 Says:

    With some of the best DT in recent years coming out of this years draft, it is time to upgrade. Do not re-sign all three. Below are my top ten in the first three rounds. There are even some standout DT’s in rounds four and up.

    1) NT Andrew Billings, (6’2″ 310) Baylor
    2) DT A’Shawn Robinson, (6’4″ 312) Alabama
    3) DT Robert Nkemdiche, (6’4″ 296) Mississippi
    4) DT Chris Jones, (6’6″ 308) Mississippi St.
    5) DT Vernon Butler, (6’3″ 325) Louisiana Tech
    6) DT Sheldon Rankins, (6’1″ 304) Louisville
    7) DT Jarran Reed, (6’3″ 311) Alabama
    8) NT Austin Johnson, (6’4″ 323) Penn St.
    9) NT Kenny Clark, (6’3″ 310) UCLA
    10) DT Willie Henry, (6’3″ 311) Michigan

    4th round and up –
    DT Hassan Ridgeway, (6’4″ 307) Texas
    DT Javon Hargrave, (6’1″ 309) South Carolina St.
    DT Maliek Collins, (6’2″ 300) Nebraska
    DT Nile Lawrence-Stample (6’1″ 326) Florida St.

    We need a DT/NT to play next to Gerold McCoy who will take the double teams away from him and help collapse the pocket. Elite defenses start up front with the two in the middle. Vernon Butler in the second round is my choice. If we go later rounds either Hassan Ridgeway or Nile Lawrence-Stample. Have McDonald and Spence be for depth.

  20. James Walker Says:

    Maybe Bowers will finally learn how to tune that guitar of his.