Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trade Deadline Preview

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gotten off to a blistering 6-1 start. They currently hold a 1.5-game lead on the NFC South. Tom Brady is playing at an MVP level, and the offense has been stellar. Defensively, Tampa Bay is beginning to turn their season around, but the Bucs could be in the market to add new pieces on the defense with injuries ravaging the secondary.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Trade Deadline Previews.

The Buccaneers’ Current Status

Current Record: 6-1

Division Standings: First in the NFC South

In the Playoff Picture: Yes

Buyers or Sellers: Buyers

Current NFL Draft Slot: 27th Overall

Potential Trade #1: 2022 second-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Xavien Howard

It’s not often that a reigning All-Pro gets dealt. However, the 1-6 Dolphins are not in a great position for the rest of the season. They do not have their first-round pick in 2022. In its place, they could use a Howard trade to recoup assets. Howard does not seem to want to be in Miami anymore, requesting a trade earlier in the offseason. Howard is on a long-term deal, but he is looking for more short-term money, and Miami has been reluctant to add more money to Howard’s deal.

For Tampa Bay, secondary injuries have put the Bucs behind the eight-ball. They came into the season with one of the better secondaries in the NFL, but they are now having to start replacement-level players. Richard Sherman, Ross Cockrell, and Pierre Desir are having to play major snaps for a Super Bowl contender. By adding Howard, Tampa Bay adds a premier defensive playmaker to the depleted secondary.

Potential Trade #2: 2022 fifth-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for Marlon Mack

Heading into the season, the Buccaneers had a three-headed monster at the running back position. Now, Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard have vacuumed up most of the touches, leaving Ronald Jones on the outside. Jones has more fumbles than touchdowns this season, and Tampa Bay seems reluctant to use him. Mack would be a fairly cheap rental that could provide depth to the Tampa Bay running back room. It would also make Jones expendable to a team that needs a running back. It is clear that the Buccaneers and Jones are not on the same page, so it might be time to bring in a different piece.

For Indianapolis, they fall into much of the same situation that the Buccaneers do with Jones. Mack and Indianapolis seem to be at odds as Mack requested a trade earlier in the season. Indianapolis has yet to deal Mack, but they could with the right compensation. The Colts appear to have their workhorse back in Jonathan Taylor, and Nyheim Hines fills in as a receiving threat. Mack is left as the distant third option in a heavily used backfield. A divorce that sends Mack to a team like Tampa Bay would give Mack a larger role and a chance at a Super Bowl.

Potential Trade #3: 2022 fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Michael Brockers

Brockers signed a three-year deal with the Lions in the offseason after the Rams dealt him to Detroit. However, nothing seems to match up. Brockers is having the worst season of his career by a wide margin. It can be difficult to question how hard a player is trying, but Brockers will turn 31 in December. Brockers is not the kind of player that needs to be in Detroit. Detroit is the worst team in the NFL, so they have no use for a win-now player. Brockers is also blocking two of Detroit’s high 2021 picks in Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike. There seems to be no motivation on Brockers’ end, and the Lions have little reason to play Brockers.

Tampa Bay does have a loaded defensive front. However, they can never have enough chess pieces to rotate in and out. Tampa has five different interior players that average at least 15 snaps per game. However, Brockers would not just be a 2021 solution; he could be a short-term solution for Ndamukong Suh. Suh has a PFF grade in the 40s. It seems that age is beginning to catch up to the former All-Pro. If Brockers comes into the fold, Tampa could deploy Suh in specific spots rather than forcing him to play almost 40 snaps per game. Tampa could be concerned by Brockers’ poor play in 2021, but they should buy low on him. Playing for a championship contender would likely be extra motivation if Brockers had been lacking any.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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