The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still could use some help in the secondary. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes the Bucs could be a team interested in Asante Samuel when the Philadelphia Eagles start shopping him. While Samuel does have the pedigree to warrant consideration, several factors are working against the idea.
Asante Samuel is scheduled to earn $9.5 million in 2012, a figure which puts him out of reach for the Buccaneers. The Eagles would have to eat a decent chunk of the contract to make a trade possible. Still, how much would the Bucs be willing to pay for a 31 year old corner who will only be a short term solution? The Bucs mantra has been to “build” through the draft while supplementing in free agency. A trade would mean the Bucs would have to give up a draft pick and take on a decent sized salary. Two things which go against the vision for the team. Still, fans and media are considering the possibility. Samuel is a nice thought, but one best passed on. Then again, the organization has been stealthy in their interests this off-season, so anything is possible.
Another point brought up in the article is the thinking of many teams that there are fewer NFL ready safeties coming out of college. To compensate, teams are considering moving big framed corner back’s to the position. This brings up a very interesting question for the Buccaneers.
There has been talk of moving Ronde Barber to the strong safety position in order to fill the Bucs own need. However, one player who could fit the bill is Myron Lewis. The Vanderbilt product is entering his third year with the Bucs and at 6’3 with a 200+ pound frame, the transition would make sense. The Bucs are planning to be a team which uses the short safety in an aggressive manner and Lewis has great potential. He has just been slow to fully develop it. If coaches Ron Cooper and Greg Schiano can get Lewis up to speed, they could have a hidden gem. Even if Ahmad Black starts playing at a high level, Lewis would bring depth to the position while splitting time at corner. The move would opens up personnel options while creating competition. It would also possibly save the Bucs from needing to sign a free agent or drafting a safety this year. Presuming the Bucs do select a corner at some point in the draft, the Myron Lewis experiment could have potential.