Three Veteran Free Agents for the Buccaneers to Target

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By: Carter Brantley Bucs Report – Special to Sports Talk Florida

Hey Buccaneers fans, it’s the dead time of the offseason.

The draft has come and gone. The schedule releases have been over-analyzed. 

And yet, there are still some quality free agents available that could either compete for a starting spot on this Bucs roster, or provide some much-needed depth across a multitude of areas. 

I’ll try to focus on a different position for each free agent, because the Bucs still have a plethora of positions that could use an infusion of talent, but we’ll start with the most obvious one…

Safety: Eddie Jackson

Jackson spent the entirety of his first 6 seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, having some productive years in Chi-Town with a career total of 15 picks. 

He’s had some controversial moments where he might have crossed the line between playing hard and playing dirty, but the vet made an All-Pro team and a couple Pro Bowl teams to boost his resume. 

At this point it’s questionable at best if the former Alabama man can overtake Jordan Whitehead’s assured spot next to newly-extended AWJ, but Jackson would be an excellent replacement for AWJ if the worst happens and the Bucs’ best defensive player has to miss some time, or he can even allow for AWJ to move around the defense and do what he does best, make plays. 

Running Back: Marlon Mack

There are some more well-known, less-used names near the top of the list, but Mack has the pedigree of a 1k yard rusher, and he went to USF (Go Bulls). That’s good enough for me. 

He’s bounced around quite a bit after his excellent season with the Colts in 2019, and while he’s coming into his age-28 season with a solid amount of wear and tear on his wheels, that all means he’ll be cheap and eager to prove himself. 

With the Bucs’ drafting of Bucky Irving and re-signing of Chase Edmunds, they might not deem this a position that needs more looking at, but Mack could still be brought in for some competition to push either Edmunds or Irving, or a practice squad guy to fill in when the Bucs need an extra back. 

Wide Receiver: Sterling Shepard

Can he stay healthy? Who knows. Is his age a huge concern? You bet. 

Shepard isn’t worth more than the league minimum, but the good news is he won’t get it anywhere. What the Buccaneers can offer him is a chance to make a roster as a depth guy with a potential starting spot if he can outshine Trey Palmer or the rookie out of Washington Jalen McMillan.

I think that’s enticing enough for the former Sooner, and he had to deal with some tough QB play with the Giants last year. Maybe he’s earned a chance to try to shine with another former Oklahoma man. 

Follow @ctbrantley12 on Twitter and listen to him on the RBLR Bucs Podcast

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