Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cornerbacks to consider for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA — Bill Sheridan had been at One Buc Place for only a few days after being hired as defensive coordinator when he watched game tape from the 2011 season. He saw a lot of Bucs defensive backs chasing receivers to the end zone.

"One of a few things that really stood out is the volume of big plays that they gave up here a year ago," Sheridan said.

The Bucs allowed 30 touchdown passes last season, third most in the league behind the Vikings (34) and Raiders (31). Quarterbacks completed 62.6 percent of their passes and had a 97.2 rating.

There are a lot of reasons for the Bucs giving up a team record 494 points. Tampa Bay's 23 sacks were the fewest in the NFL, and it allowed 49 pass completions of 20 yards or more.

So a priority in free agency is acquiring a defensive back.

The Bucs told Ronde Barber they would welcome him back for a 16th season, but he is still undecided. Aqib Talib is scheduled to go to trial in Texas on March 26 on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, and would likely face an NFL suspended if found guilty.

Potentially needing two starting cornerbacks, the Bucs might have a few of these unrestricted free agents on speed dial.

Brandon Carr, CB, Chiefs

The 6-foot, 207-pound Carr has demonstrated good man-to-man coverage abilities and has 48 starts in four seasons. He had 45 tackles, four interceptions and 15 passes defended last season. At 26, he is just beginning to reach his prime with plenty of size to handle almost any receiver. He allowed less than 50 percent of passes to be completed against him last season. $$$$

Cortland Finnegan, CB, Titans

The feisty Finnegan, 28, gets under the skin of receivers. He's best in zone coverage and solid against the run but had only one interception last season. Finnegan plans to make several visits before making a decision. The fourth leading tackler for the Titans last season, Finnegan wants to be among the highest paid cornerbacks at approximately $10 million. There are reports that he'll try to recruit Chargers WR Vincent Jackson to come with him. $$$$

Carlos Rogers, CB, 49ers

Rogers, 31, led the Niners with six interceptions. He's capable of moving inside and covering the slot on passing downs, which could be enticing should Barber retire. The former Auburn star is not a great tackler and had an ACL tear while with the Redskins, but he's hitting the free agent market at the right time. $$$

Tracy Porter, CB, Saints

The Bucs are familiar with Porter, a solid starter with a Super Bowl ring. Porter turns 26 in August, and it doesn't appear the Saints can keep him since they are only $5 million under the salary cap. Porter had 52 tackles, one interception and two forced fumbles in 14 games last season. Knee and calf injuries the past two seasons could cut his price tag. $$$

Aaron Ross, CB, Giants

Ross, who turns 30 in September , has a background with former Giants defensive coordinator Sheridan. Ross started all but one game for the Super Bowl champions last season, recording 60 tackles and four interceptions. Ross has had bouts of inconsistency and many teams may not see him as a starter. But he was a first-round pick in 2007 and has pedigree to attract some teams. $$

Comments
NFL Week 14: What we learned

NFL Week 14: What we learned

Aaron Rodgers is ready to return, but is he needed in Green Bay? Backup QB Brett Hundley is 2-0 in OT; Rodgers is 1-7. The Pack has its Mr. Clutch, right? Yeah, right. Its 27-21 OT win at Cleveland keeps it alive for a wild-card spot. Mr. Rodgers, yo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA — The Bucs’ unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Gerald McCoy leaves game with shoulder/bicep injury

Gerald McCoy leaves game with shoulder/bicep injury

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy left Sunday's  game against the Lions in the second quarter with an injury to his shoulder/biceps muscle. The team says his return is doubtful.The Bucs were tied 7-7 with the Lions when McCoy was sidelined. He'...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Fennelly: Gerald McCoy’s lost season may be over

Fennelly: Gerald McCoy’s lost season may be over

TAMPA — It was the face of a losing season.Gerald McCoy’s tearful, contorted face.Up there on the video boards at Raymond James Stadium. On your TV screen. Everywhere."I’m not a quitter," McCoy said. "I don’t play to lose."The Bucs lost their ninth g...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs-Lions: Grading Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss to Detroit

Bucs-Lions: Grading Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss to Detroit

TAMPA — It was football weather, cool, crisp, a day for the Bucs and their fans. That explains the crowd. Stow the zinc oxide. Where’s my muff?Oh, and break out the record book.For the 28th time in their 42-year history, the Bucs are losers. They sec...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Buc-Lions: The end could be near for Doug Martin

Buc-Lions: The end could be near for Doug Martin

TAMPA — One costly fumble Sunday did what two seasons with the worst average per carry in the NFL couldn’t do: Put Doug Martin on the bench.Bucs coach Dirk Koetter had stuck with Martin, starting him Sunday even after Peyton Barber rushed for 102 yar...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

TAMPA — Dirk Koetter isn’t going to return as coach of the Bucs next season.That’s not official. No announcement has been made. No press conference is scheduled. It’s not an absolute fact. Not yet.And this isn’t a call for his job.It’s a prediction. ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lions-Buccaneers: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss

Lions-Buccaneers: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to the Lions on Sunday:28Seasons, out of 42, in which the Bucs have lost more games than they’ve won.81.8Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s completion percentage Sunday. He completed 36 of 44 pas...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs-Lions: Social media reaction from Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss

Bucs-Lions: Social media reaction from Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss

Matthew Stafford playing with a bad throwing hand completed 36 of 44 passes. The Bucs committed five turnovers. And yet..... Tampa Bay tied it late in the fourth quarter Sunday before Detroit drove for Matt Prater’s 46-yard field goal and a 24-21 vic...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs-Lions: Instant analysis from the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to Detroit

Bucs-Lions: Instant analysis from the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to Detroit

Too many mistakes on offense, too many long pass plays on defense, and Bucs are 4-9.
Updated: 9 hours ago