The Bucs had major issues along their offensive line in 2014. While some fans wouldn't be upset if the Bucs brought in five new offensive linemen, both Jason Licht and Lovie Smith committed to one big name on their line.
Scout.com NFL Combine Coverage
Despite a $7 million cost against the Bucs cap, it appears as if Logan Mankins is in the Bucs immediate future plans.Speaking at the combine on Wednesday, Lovie Smith and Jason Licht both committed to Mankins for 2015.
“Yeah, we think the world of Logan," Bucs GM Jason Licht said. "He’s part of the solution, wasn’t part of the problem. Having him for another year, the full offseason which he’s already told me he wants to be there for the whole offseason, and having him in the room – I think it’s going to be extremely valuable to this football team moving forward. Yeah, he has a future with us.”
Releasing Mankins would instantly save the Bucs Mankins' full $7 million and leave the team with no dead money. The Buccaneers do not have any major issues with cap room, but the 33 year old Mankins showed his age a bit in 2014, and thus not playing up to his $7 million price tag.
“Logan [brought] everything I hoped he would bring," Lovie Smith said. "I’m talking about a veteran that’s played at a high level, leadership, and then just good play. Logan played well throughout. We need to get others up to pace with him, but everything you want in a player coming in, a veteran player that’s done it a certain way, he was able to do for us. Look forward, going forward, with him.”
I expect Demar Dotson, Logan Mankins, and Evan Dietrich-Smith to be back along the Bucs offensive line in 2015. The Bucs still need another guard and tackle, and have plenty of options in free agency and the draft to improve both areas.
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