Buccaneers Free Agency Q&A

Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get Asante Samuel? Would Saints DT Brian Young be a good fit for the Bucs' defense? Just how competitive will free agency be this offseason? Matthew Postins posed these questions and more to Scout.com's Senior NFL Reporter, Adam Caplan, in this Buccaneers Free Agency Q&A.

MATTHEW POSTINS: Javon Walker's situation has gotten some publicity down Tampa way because the Bucs are in need of wide receivers. What are the chances that Walker will be traded before his March 4 bonus payment? If he's not traded, what are the chances the Broncos will release Walker to avoid the financial hit, and are the teams in need of receivers better off waiting the situation out?

ADAM CAPLAN: Walker will not play in Denver again, I'm told, and there's a better chance that he's released than traded because of his injury history. Any team that wants to sign him has to be concerned about the knee, which had the torn ACL from a few years ago.

MATTHEW POSTINS: Asante Samuel's agent told Tampa news outlets that the Buccaneers were on his client's short list for free agency. In your opinion, what are the chances that the Bucs could land Samuel? And, what kind of contract will it take for any team to land him?

ADAM CAPLAN: I can't see Tampa Bay signing him for the fact that they usually don't spend a lot of cap space in free agency. The deal he gets will likely be about 10 percent higher in guaranteed money ($23 million) than Nate Clements got from the 49ers.

MATTHEW POSTINS: Saints DT Brian Young appears headed for free agency. He's a player the Buccaneers have professed respect for in the past. Do you think he's a good fit for the Bucs' defensive scheme?

ADAM CAPLAN: He's a high energy but undersized defensive tackle. He could play in their scheme. I'll be talking to his agent at the start of free agency on Friday.

MATTHEW POSTINS: You wrote on Monday that several teams would be interested in Bengals DE Justin Smith, but the Bucs were not among them. The Bucs could stand to get younger on the left side, where they have Greg Spires and Kevin Carter, and Smith does play the run well. Is there a chance the Bucs could get involved in this derby?

ADAM CAPLAN: Problem is, again, they likely won't spend the money to be able to sign Smith. I think the Buccaneers will look for a lesser name to sign for depth purposes and also draft an end to develop.

MATTHEW POSTINS: Everyone in Tampa Bay will focus on whether the Bucs sign the big ticket items or not, but they've done a solid job the past few years of signing good players for less money. If the Bucs whiff on the big boys, give me an under-the-radar pick at these three crucial positions — wide receiver, defensive tackle and cornerback.

ADAM CAPLAN: Defensive end — Tyler Brayton of Oakland. He's a former first round pick who is a good fit for what the Buccaneers do on defense. He was moved from defensive end/outside linebacker to defensive tackle last season and was lost. He's looking for a short-term deal to revive his career.

Wide receiver — Bryant Johnson of Arizona. He's a good fit for the West Coast offense and he's good running after the catch. He also has good size.

Cornerback — Jacques Reeves of Dallas. He went from playing in their dime defense to having to start and actually played fairly well last season. He could handle the nickel role or better.

MATTHEW POSTINS: The Bucs are $35 million under the cap and profess to want to add offensive playmakers. In your opinion, how active do you think the Bucs will be in free agency this year?

ADAM CAPLAN: Bruce Allen would have to change his philosophy so I think they will look for mid-level free agents, then sign their younger players to extensions.

MATTHEW POSTINS: Also, how much difficult does it make the free agency process when most of the teams in the NFL have at least some money to be competitive in player acquisition?

ADAM CAPLAN: It's interesting in that for the first time in many years, most teams have a lot of cash to spend yet there isn't going to be a lot of talent available to sign. That's why we could see some more trading going on than usual.


Adam Caplan is Scout.com's Senior NFL Reporter.


Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.


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