The 2017 NFL league year will begin in just over a month, starting with free agency. Could the Buccaneers look to add a young defensive enforcer like Dontari Poe to their roster?
Now with the Super Bowl festivities finally finished, and the Atlanta Falcons still without a ring, the league looks to the new league year. Pre-draft and pre-free agency is in full swing, and NFL teams’ brass are evaluating their rosters and what they need to do for the upcoming season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers brass has had more time than some others due to the fact they did not reach the playoffs (and that is okay).
General Manager Jason Licht and Head Coach Dirk Koetter have been well at work preparing for this team to finally make the next step, and for this franchise to once again reach the post-season.
One issue of need that the team will surely address is the lack of depth and talent across the defensive line. The 2016 season brought along some key contributors to the team which included two very talented defensive ends in Robert Ayers Jr. and Noah Spence, but there is still more to be done.
This off-season, the Bucs could possibly lose defensive end Will Gholston to free agency if the two sides disagree on contract numbers, and that could be a big cog lost. Not to mention sack artist Jacquies Smith is coming off a major knee injury.
So where do they turn?
If you take a look at this year’s free agency crop, there definitely is some talent. One name that sticks out the most is impending free agent Dontari Poe of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Currently the Chiefs have little wiggle room for this off-season which leaves them in a dilemma. Both Eric Berry and Dontari Poe (their two big name players entering free agency) are impending free agents, and it is likely one leaves the franchise.
The likely-hood of the Chiefs letting arguably the best safety in the NFL walk is very small, which leaves the door open for Dontari Poe.
The 26 year old defensive tackle from Memphis was taken in the first round by the Chiefs back in the 2012 draft and has had a stellar career so far for the Chiefs. Poe, who is more known for his big man touchdowns, has been one of the better nose tackles in this league. He even earned two Pro Bowl nods in 2013 and 2014.
Come August, Poe will be 27 years old which is essentially the prime of his career. General Manager Jason Licht preached when he first arrived in Tampa that they would be looking for guys entering the prime on who they would add to the team, and Poe fits that mold.
Poe’s nose tackle presence could help solidify this defensive line group, and essentially free up the defensive ends. Gerald McCoy unfortunately has never had someone lineup next to him with the skill set/abilities such as Poe, and this could also help McCoy reach another level in his game.
The Bucs are loaded with cash this off-season, and if there is one name Bucs’ fans should keep an eye on it is Dontari Poe. Imagine a defensive line group with Ayers, McCoy, Spence, and Poe. The aging defensive tackle group needs to be addressed… is this how?