Bucs have free agent questions to deal with
Among the Bucs’ many off-season decisions will be determining which of their own unrestricted free agents they will attempt to re-sign.
The most well-known is safety Ronde Barber. He plans to take a few weeks and decide whether he would like to return for a 17th season. If so, the Bucs will meet with him to discuss possible role and compensation.
Defensive end Michael Bennett, who led the team with nine sacks, would appear to be another priority. Bennett has an expressed an interest to play on the same team as his brother, Giants tight end Martellus Bennett. There has been speculation about using a franchise tag on Bennett, but that figure would be in the $10.5-million range.
Here are the other Bucs free agents and speculation on each.
TE Dallas Clark – After 10 seasons, Clark has to first decide whether he wants to play in 2012 or retire. In any case, it might not be in Tampa Bay. He was only targeted 76 times last season, catching 47 for 435 yards and four touchdowns.
T Jeremy Trueblood – Finished the season on Injured Reserve. Lost his starting job to Demar Dotson. Will move on.
CB Brandon McDonald – Experienced cornerback who was signed on several different occasions. Not a big part of the worst pass defense in team history.
WR/KR Roscoe Parrish – Signed during the season to stabilize the kick return game after a season-ending injury to Sammie Stroughter. Not likely to be re-signed.
LS Andrew Economos – Valuable long-snapper and part of the battery for PK Connor Barth and P Michael Koenen. Bucs will likely attempt to re-sign.
CB E..J. Biggers – Veteran CB who over-achieved as a late-round pick. Biggers started a lot of games with the injuries and suspensions by Aqib Talib. He’s probably best suited for a nickel CB spot.
NT Roy Miller – Had his best year as a pro starting alongside Gerald McCoy. Miller, playing in a cocked nosetackle position, was a big reason why the Bucs were able to lead the league in rushing defense. Miller would love to return and the feeling should be mutual.
WR Sammie Stroughter – Oft-injured wideout can also return punts. The Bucs aren’t real deep after Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. All depends on whether he has a market.
Restricted free agents
LeGarrette Blount – Seldom used tailback still is the best alternative to Doug Martin if he gets hurt. Bucs need only to tender him to keep his rights.
Daniel Te'o-Neshiem – Filled in admirably at right defensive end for Adrian Clayborn. He’s a play-maker who would be a valuable for depth. Finished with four sacks. Bucs will use a decent tender on him.