Ideal free agency for Bucs

With the NFL free agency period just three days away, there is already a bunch of speculation as to who will go sign with a new team, and who will stay with their current team. The Tampa Bay Bucs appear to be ready to make a giant leap and sign a couple of top-flight free agents this offseason. The Bucs have already been linked to Cortland Finnegan, Vincent Jackson, and Carl Nicks. Signing all three of those players would be the ideal free agency for the Bucs, and here’s why:

1. Cortland Finnegan, CB — Finnegan is easily the best corner available. He is often seen as one of the more physical corners in the league, which is definitely something that Greg Schiano would like. The Bucs still don’t know what Ronde Barber’s decision will be, though they have stated that they would like him back, and Aqib Talib has a mountain of legal problems, so there’s uncertainty there. It doesn’t matter if Finnegan is paired with Barber or Talib, the coverage would be fantastic.

Projected contract: Finnegan is probably looking for something around the 4yr/$38-42 million range.

2. Vincent Jackson, WR — Unlike Mario Manningham, Jackson has a real good shot at joining the Bucs. Manningham is definitely possible, however, it doesn’t seem like he would fit the new “Buccaneer way.” Vincent Jackson would. He’s 6’5″ and a real physical receiver. If he is paired with Mike Williams, look out. Williams would be more of a deep threat, and Jackson would handle the short, physical game. Moreover, the Bucs have Preston Parker and Arrelious Benn, which would make for a scary receiving corps.

Projected contract: He is looking for the big money, and will get it if he can stay healthy. Probably a 3-5yr/$32-54 million deal.

3. Carl Nicks, G — Nicks is only 26 years old and has made the Pro Bowl twice. He’s started 57 out of the 60 games that he’s played in, and is one of the top guards in the NFL. The Bucs already have a solid offensive line with Davin Joseph, Donald Penn, Jeremy Zuttah, and Jeff Faine. But Faine is aging and Jeremy Trueblood has regressed. Bolstering the O-line would be a smart move because Josh Freeman will be protected, and if the Buccaneers draft Trent Richardson, he’ll have bigger holes to plow through.

Projected contract: Nicks is probably a top 5 guard, so this contract should be massive, somewhere in the 6yr/$34-40 million range.

Follow me on Twitter: @MaxLuckan


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