The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished with the worst record in the NFL despite having playoff expectations, and they figure to draft a potential franchise quarterback (Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota) with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
However, this team has a lot of holes to fill other than quarterback, and they’ll look to free agency to fill them. Here are some players Tampa needs to avoid if they want to improve:
WR Michael Crabtree
Crabtree hasn’t lived up to his status as the elite receiver over the past two season, but he has proven he could be a reliable weapon. He doesn’t come with any off-field issues, but his poor attitude and lack of leadership would make him just as toxic to the locker room - problems that are compounded when you have a rookie quarterback. There are plenty of other options for the Bucs in free agency and in the draft that would fit better with the team.
RB Ryan Mathews
Tampa Bay needs to find a reliable running back, and Mathews has shown he isn't that because he can't stay healthy. Mathews has been productive, but he was limited to just six games last season. There aren’t a lot of good running backs on the open market, so the Bucs would be better off taking a back in the draft as opposed to trying to find a bargain in free agency.
LB Rey Maualuga
The Bucs need to upgrade the middle of their linebacking core, but Maualuga wouldn't be a good fit for them. He finished the season with just 35 tackles and one interception in 12 games in a backup role in Cincinnati, but the biggest knock on him is his lack of versatility. Maualuga is solid against the run, but is absolutely terrible in coverage - a key factor in a division with Pro Bowl quarterbacks Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton. Tampa Bay would be smart to find a coverage linebacker instead and leave Maualuga alone.
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