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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs target offensive line help with Mankins retirement



The retirement of seven-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins and an aging right tackle position has the Bucs looking for offensive line help in free agency.

Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz has drawn interest on the first day of the free agency negotiating period from the Bucs, Giants, Vikings and Falcons, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Schwartz is expected to become the highest-paid right tackle in the league at about $8.5-million. The Bucs have veterans Gosder Cherilus, 31, and Demar Dotson, 30, at right tackle. Schwartz played for Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop in Cleveland.

Meanwhile, Seattle Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy also has drawn attention from the Bucs and Jaguars. Sweezy has started at least 15 games the past three seasons for the Seahawks with the majority of those starts at the right guard position.

The Bucs have $57.4-million in salary cap space, the fourth-most in the NFL. The two-day legal tampering period of free agency began Monday. Teams cannot sign free agents until 4 p.m. Wednesday, the start of the new league year.

According to multiple reports, Bucs free agent running back Doug Martin has received interest from at least a half dozen teams. The Jaguars, Broncos, Raiders and 49ers are all in the running back market. The Broncos placed a low tender on restricted free agent running back C.J. Anderson, giving them only right of first refusal.

As perhaps a preemptive strike, the Bucs have expressed an interest in Jets free agent Chris Ivory if Martin signs elsewhere. Dolphins RB Lamar Miller also is expected to be a target of  the Bucs should they lose Martin.

The Bucs also are expected to re-sign S Keith Tandy, an unrestricted free agent.


[Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2016 6:56pm]


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