TAMPA, Fla. -- As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head into their offseason business, one thing they don’t have to worry much about is their own free agents.
The Bucs have 11 potential unrestricted free agents, and the good news is that none of them are prominent players. Here is a look at Tampa Bay’s potential free agents:
Defensive lineman Da'Quan Bowers: He never has developed into the player the Bucs hoped for, but Bowers did find a role as a rotational player at defensive tackle after spending the first three years of his career at defensive end. The Bucs might be interested in keeping Bowers as a backup at a low salary. But he might want to go elsewhere and get a fresh start.
Defensive end Adrian Clayborn: Even before his season-ending injury, the Bucs elected not to pick up the fifth-year option on Clayborn’s contract. Clayborn’s career has been marred by injuries. He has some talent, but the Bucs are likely to look elsewhere for help at defensive end.
Offensive tackle Oniel Cousins: He wound up starting late in the season on a very bad offensive line. Cousins isn’t even a quality backup. The Bucs need to use the offseason to improve the depth on their offensive line.
Defensive end Larry English: He played a little as a backup, but it’s unlikely the Bucs will offer him more than the minimum salary to stick around.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: He was the backup middle linebacker, and got a fair amount of playing time. But Fletcher has limited ability in pass coverage. He could stay around as a backup.
Linebacker Mason Foster: He’s the biggest name on this list. Foster has been the starting middle linebacker since his rookie season. He missed a lot of times with injuries this season. There have been indications that the coaching staff isn’t sold on Foster, and he already has taken to Twitter to thank the fans for their support. It looks like Foster is planning on being elsewhere next season.
Cornerback Mike Jenkins: He missed the season with a pectoral injury. Prior to the injury, Jenkins was ahead of Johnthan Banks on the depth chart. But Banks blossomed this season, and that might make Jenkins expendable.
Defensive end Lawrence Sidbury: He was a late-season pickup who barely played. It’s unlikely the team has any big plans for him.
Linebacker Jason Williams: He was an in-season pickup and saw some action on special teams.
Safety Major Wright: He moved into a starting role after the trade of Mark Barron, but eventually was replaced by Bradley McDougald, who has become a favorite of the coaching staff. But Wright has history with coach Lovie Smith, and that could help keep him around as a backup.