Three defensive free agents the Buccaneers could target in free agency

What defensive support may Tampa Bay expect?
NFL free agency is quickly approaching, raising worries about the Buccaneers’ future plans. With slightly more than 43 million dollars in cap space available, the Bucs can be flexible in free agency.

While they have a number of key players to bring back, they can still be active and may need to use their cap room to locate some defensive components.

Defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw

The Bucs should be seeking to add additional firepower to their pass rush and defensive line this offseason, so why not sign someone from the NFC champions? Kinlaw was the 14th overall pick in the 2020 draft, which coincided with Tampa Bay’s pick before they traded up one position to choose Tristan Wirfs.

Three defensive free agents the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could target in NFL free  agency - Bucs Nation

Kinlaw has battled injuries and inconsistent play throughout his career. He has struggled to earn consistent playing time on such a talented San Francisco front, which Tampa Bay might take advantage of. Kinlaw is undoubtedly talented, but he has yet to put it all together and stay on the field. Tampa Bay might combine Kinlaw, Calijah Kancey, and Vita Vea to form

An impressive pass rush along the interior.
The 49ers’ quest for another last-second miracle merits a thorough rewind.
Kinlaw could be one of the greatest value free agents on the market, and the Bucs should investigate whether he would be a good fit in Tampa Bay.

Three defensive free agents the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could target in NFL free  agency - Bucs Nation

Outside linebacker, Josh Uche
Like Kinlaw, Uche has struggled with consistency throughout his career, but he is another player who could be a steal for someone willing to take a risk. It appears that the Bucs

are likely to move on from Shaq Barrett this offseason leaving them with a gaping hole at edge rusher. A pass rusher is likely already going to be a top priority for Tampa Bay to address this offseason so if they were to move on from Barrett, bringing in a guy through free agency could make sense.
After having 11.5 sacks in 2022, Uche’s total in 2023 dropped all the way down to 3.5 sacks. Spotrac has his market value at just over eight million a year, which could work for a team like the Bucs on a one or two year deal. It could be worth the risk to give the 25 year old a shot and see if he can replicate the success he had in 2022.

The Bucs pass rush needs to be better and more consistent in 2024 and in order to do that, they may have to take some swings and Uche could definitely be worth a look if he hits the open market.

Safety, Jordan Whitehead

A reunion! Jordan Whitehead left the Bucs for the New York Jets in the 2022 offseason, and it was simply due to Tampa Bay’s inability to keep everyone they had the previous summer. Unfortunately, sacrifices had to be made, and Whitehead was one of them. The former fourth-round pick was successful in two seasons with the Jets. Now Tampa Bay has the potential to return him to where he was chosen and pair him with Antoine Winfield Jr in the secondary.

Whitehead is clearly familiar with Todd Bowles’ defense and was an excellent match for it. The Bucs

could use his fiery demeanor, as well as his ability to give great run support and blitz the quarterback from the strong safety position.

I expect the Jets to try to keep Whitehead, but if he does hit the open market, the Bucs would be wise to assess his interest in returning to Tampa Bay to fill a significant need on their defense.

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