Free Agency Countdown: 24 Days

February 13th, 2017

Safety upgrade?

The free agency dinner bell officially rings Thursday, March 9 at 4 p.m. The Bucs will be coming to the buffet table with a pile of cash. But how will they spend it? How much will they spend? Joe is counting down the days with a different look at a potential free agent signing.

In case you missed it, Bucs young stud linebacker Kwon Alexander led the NFL in solo tackles. Kwon’s 108 solo tackles were a true standout act. Nobody else broke 100.

The last Buccaneer to lead the league? Mr. Derrick Brooks in 2004.

Another 2016 NFL tackling machine was Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien, the No. 33 overall pick in 2013. He had a breakthrough season– his contract year — with 96 solo tackles.

Many consider him an absolute stud as a run stuffer but he has been subpar against the pass through his career.

Chatter in Jacksonville says the new Tom Coughlin regime might look to move on, which would mean Cyprien, 26, is moving on.

Joe would like to see the Bucs retain free-agent-to-be Bradley McDougald. He’s the same age as Cyprien, knows the Bucs system and is an OK starter.

But what if McDougald smells more cash elsewhere? Is Jason Licht really interested in paying McDougald significant starter money?

Cyprien is interesting because he is very talented and physical, and he could be one of those guys that just needs as change of scenery and/or better coaching.


48 Responses to “Free Agency Countdown: 24 Days”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:


  2. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Let McDougal walk he is average at best, go get a real NFL safety like the guy from jville…the bucs had 3 NFL safeties playing on other teams last year, thanks to the greatness that is lovie and licht…but we had Conte and MacDougal….I think tandy is a smart perfect fit in smittys defense and should be able to keep playing that nickel robber spot because he excelled at it last year

  3. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    We Need Safeties that can actually cover. Mcdougald is already a really good in the box safety. That’s why I’d prefer Tony Jefferson, he’s incredibly athletic and actually has ball skills. In addition to being a solid blitzer, and reliable tackler.

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m gettin’ antsy Joe.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Doubt seriously that McDougald will command huge amounts of cash to re-sign. Would love to keep him as one of our safeties and let him compete for a starting slot, but only at the right price. Grab another safety in FA (Cyprien is interesting) plus draft a safety (probably in rnds 3-5), then let them all compete for staring spots. Gut feel is that Keith Tandy can hold onto a starting slot … we’d just need to have 1 of the other 3 step up to the plate and excel.

  6. Rob Says:

    Dang it, why is the off-season so long lol

  7. Joeypoppems Says:

    Quintin Demps still makes the most sense to me if we target a Safety in FA

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    I still don’t think that we know what we have at safety. We need to retain Tandy and McDougald for that reason alone but the position definitely needs upgrading.
    Tandy played well in 4-5 games over a 4 year period. I have no idea why everyone feels like we’ve found the next Lynch yet.

  9. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I’m on board with drafting UConn SS Obi Melifonwu.

  10. SB Says:

    To be honest, if we can land Calais Campbell and DeSean Jackson in FA I couldn’t care less what they do with the first pick then.

  11. macabee Says:

    The Bucs need safeties with length that that can cover TEs down the seam and come up and tackle in the box when needed. I scouted several late round safeties and this guy caught my eye. Kinda reminds me of Aqib Talib is his build and his attacking style on the field.

    RD6 – FS David Jones/Richmond 6-2, 210, 4.53

    *David Jones is a local kid graduating from St. Pete High School. He is a ball hawk and a hard hitter. Injured for most of 2016, in 2015 he led the FCS with nine interceptions (his four interceptions against Albany tied the NCAA record) He finished second on the team with 97 total tackles and would be a higher draft pick but for his choice of small school Richmond.

  12. BucTrooper Says:

    So you’re looking to bring in another Mark Barron Clone.
    Umm, nowhere did Joe write that the Bucs should go after the guy.–Joe

  13. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Mark Barron is playing pretty good to me.

  14. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Mark Barron was victim of Clueless Lovie Smith.

  15. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @LakelandBuc Mark Barron is a mediocre linebacker, not a safety. If we were gonna draft a LB in the 1st round of that draft, it shoulda been Luke.

    Mark Barron is about 2 seasons away from full bust mode.

  16. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Giants just released victor cruz

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    As time passes, I am believing more and more that Jason Licht has stolen a WR that everyone will wish their team had next year. I’m talking about Derel Walker, who came over from the CFL. The kid has amazing stats.

    Rumors are that there was competition for him, and Licht wanted him bad enough to outbid the other teams.

    As I understand it, he is not a speed guy, but he has great hands and gets open. I am starting to think he is Vincent Jackson’s replacement.

    Derel Walker may well be one of those players who teams passed on, went to another league, and took a huge step forward.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And if Jason Licht believes in him enough, he may be willing to wait a round or two before drafting a WR for speed.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Bonzai, Derel Walker sounds more like Adam Humphries II than he does Vincent Jackson’s replacement. Couple inches taller, tad lighter than Adam, and with a little slower 40 time coming out of college (4.65 secs vs 4.53 secs for Adam). Both have displayed excellent hands, but neither can really stretch the field like we need a #2 WR to do for us. Hopefully Licht picks up a bonafide #2 WR in free agency (as in one with an established track record of success vs an unproven rookie) because we have a gaping hole there right now. Bucs have drafted several WRs through the years who were fast, very fast, but most seemed to forget one thing … you actually have to CATCH the football to be considered a threat.

  20. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Mcdougal was underrated this year, and was our best safety throughout the year, that’s excluding the emergence of Keith Tandy late in the season. He is above average in pass coverage and has good range not to mention ball skills. There’s no point in moving on from him, if he doesn’t start, he is an excellent depth piece.

  21. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Mark Barron was better than anything we had at SS. We gave up 4.4 YPC, we was so bad that we didn’t know who actually was playing SS.

  22. LakeLandBuc Says:

    People are going on like we were a Top-5 Defense last season. We Stunk on defense.

  23. LakeLandBuc Says:

    And TBH….Mark Barron had a better season than our Strong Side LB and SS.

  24. LakeLandBuc Says:

    117 Tackles ( including 90 Solo Tackles) 2 INT, 8 PD and didn’t miss a game. If that’s Mediocre, then give me 11 Mediocre players on defense.

  25. pick6 Says:

    DJ Swearinger had a pretty good year for Arizona. It’s a shame he couldn’t survive the Lovie Smith Experience, I would’ve liked to see if Mike Smith could have done something with him.

  26. Wausa Says:


    I am with you 100% on Tony Jefferson.

    I think he should be our top target in free agency assuming Kawann Short and Eric Berry are not available.

  27. LakeLandBuc Says:

    My mistake Mark Barron had 118 Tackles ( Including 91 Solo Tackles). I wonder what type of year he will have in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense.

  28. Wausa Says:

    We were hurt terribly by TE’s last year with the exception of the KC game.
    Usually that’s a sign of poor play at the safety position.
    I think we are better off getting offensive weapons to grow with Jameis through the draft and plug some holes on defense with FA’s.

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Wait so some of ya’ll actually believe – Jonathan Cyprien is average?
    C’mon man he’s better than ANY safety we currently have on the roster.

    No ones saying move on from Bradley McDougald.
    All I’m suggesting is that we move him over to Free, and put Cyprien at Strong.
    Keep Tandy as valuable reserve/special teams guy. Somebody goes down, at least you the guy behind him is reliable for a COUPLE games.

    • FS -Bradley McDougald | Keith Tandy
    • SS -Jonathan Cyprien | *Draft Pick

    If McDougald finds a better offer, there’s always Barry Church, Jefferson -etc.

  30. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Somebody goes down, at least you *know the guy behind him -is reliable for a COUPLE games.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Wait so some of ya’ll actually believe – Jonathan Cyprien is average?
    C’mon man he’s better than ANY safety we currently have on the roster.

    No ones saying move on – from Bradley McDougald.
    All I’m suggesting is that we move him over to Free, and put Cyprien at Strong. Keep Tandy as valuable reserve/special teams guy. Somebody goes down, at least you know the guy behind him is reliable for a COUPLE games.

    • FS -Bradley McDougald | Keith Tandy
    • SS -Jonathan Cyprien | *Draft Pick

    If McDougald finds a better offer, there’s always Barry Church, Jefferson -etc.

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    My bad on the double post – but unedited version was in moderation

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    Budda Baker in the 2nd will be excellent value and the answer to our talent upgrade need at Safety.

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    If we speaking of about value in the 2nd – then we gotta be talking about HB Evan Engram. In terms of how you can use him in this offense – he would be a major commodity to Jameis.

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Even though the Franchise tag for the Safety position is relatively low.

    Franchise Tag by Position
    • QB -$19.953M
    • DE -$15.701M
    • WR-$14.599M
    • LB -$14.129M
    • CB – $13.952M
    • OL -$13.706M
    • DT -$13.651M
    • RB -$11.789M
    • S -$10.806M
    • TE -$9.118M
    • K/P -$4.572M

    Please don’t undermine the value or importance of having a couple good safeties – on the backend. Note – Over the past 16 seasons – 11 out of 16 “WINNING” teams – had at least 1 ALL-PRO or PRO BOWL safety.

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    SB Winning Safeties (2000-2005)
    • 2000 – Rod Woodson* – Baltimore
    • 2001 – Lawyer Milloy* | Tebucky Jones – New England
    • 2002 – John Lynch* | Dexter Jackson – Tampa
    • 2003 – Rodney Harrison * – New England
    • 2004 – Rodney Harrison * – New England
    • 2005 – Troy Polamalu* | Chris Hope – Pittsburgh

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    SB Winning Safeties (2006-20011)
    • 2006 – Bob Sanders* | Antoine Bethea* – Indianapolis
    • 2007 – None/New York
    • 2008 – Troy Polamalu* | Ryan Clark – Pittsburgh
    • 2009 – *** | Roman Harper* – New Orleans
    • 2010 – Nick Collins* | Charles Woodson* – Green Bay
    • 2011 – Antrel Rolle | Kenny Phillips – New York

  38. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    SB Winning Safeties (2012-2016)
    • 2012 – Ed Reed* | Bernard Pollard – Baltimore
    • 2013 – Earl Thomas* | Kam Chancellor* – Seattle
    • 2014 – Devin McCourty | Patrick Chung – New England
    • 2015 – T.J. Ward – Denver
    • 2016 – Devin McCourty | Patrick Chung – New England

  39. LakeLandBuc Says:

    LUVMYBUCS..We all know who the Saints FS was in 2009.

  40. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yeah a real piece of sh!t

  41. tjbucs Says:

    If I had to choose between Mcdougald and Conte, it would have to be Mcdougald.

  42. LakeLandBuc Says:

    LUVMYBUCS…Why because you didn’t name the Saints All-Pro FS during their Super Bowl Run? Instead you name a sidekick, you name everyone else name.

  43. LakeLandBuc Says:

    LUVMYBUC…I don’t think we can name his name on this site. I don’t blame you for not mention his name. And you’re right he is a piece of crap for doing what he did.

  44. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    My Point lakeland was that Barron is a Linebacker and not a safety. He is only good against the run, and can literally only cover running backs and the slowest tight ends. And their was a Linebacker still on the board that is superior in every way shape and form to Mark Barron. 2 actually. We got one of them in round 2. I’d roll with Lavonte and Kwon over Barron all day errr day.

  45. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Blake…It’s amazing that Mark Barron had 89 Tackles and 10 PD in Greg Schiano defense as a Rookie.

  46. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Blake..My point is that Clueless Lovie gave up on Mark Barron too soon. We had too much invested in him, and he wasn’t playing bad. The same can be said about Donald Penn, Darrelle Revis, Johnathan Casillas, Mason Foster, Jeremy Zuttah. And I wanted the Bucs to draft Luke Kuechly also. It didn’t make sense to replace good players with players with less ability.

  47. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    maybe not but in my mind Barron is no great loss. Not like he’s carrying that team anywhere. He went from a team that was losing and is on a team that’s losing.

  48. SOEbuc Says:

    I’m not a huge fan of McDougald. If he’s not asking for too much dough I think he would be great depth but I would love to see us get a really nice coverage FS. Give Keith Tandy another year to see if he’s the real deal and if not scoop up a boss SS next year or see if Licht can find a sleeper in the later rounds this year.