The answer is no.
The best defensive backs in the league still reside as members of the Seattle Seahawks, and it’s not even close.
The Buccaneers signed free safety Dashon Goldson from the San Francisco 49ers earlier this offseason. While the 28-year-old is a great player, he’s not as good as Earl Thomas in my opinion. Goldson is not at the age where the quality of his play is going to continue to improve while Thomas is still a pup, turning 24-years of age only days ago.
Whereas Goldson has now gotten his financial security, Thomas is still working towards his big payday. Advantage Seahawks.
At strong safety, the Buccaneers have 2012 first-round draft pick Mark Barron while the Seahawks counter with 2011 Pro Bowler Kam Chancellor. Chancellor was hobbled in both ankles this past season, and that has more to do with him not making a repeat appearance in Hawaii this past season as anything. Meanwhile, Barron enjoyed a solid rookie season.
This is a situation where both teams have a very good strong safety, and there is no advantage to either team.
A hot topic this off-season has been between who the best cornerback in the NFL is between Richard Sherman and Revis. While Revis is a great player, only one of those two players is guaranteed to be healthy heading into 2013. I’ll take the healthy great 25-year-old any day of the week over the one who will enter next season at 28 years of age. Advantage Seahawks.
Although the additions of Goldson and Revis will significantly improve the Buccaneers’ secondary this upcoming season, the fact of the matter is that they had the worst passing defense in the NFL this past season. This means they must get better and probably will, although it’s hard to imagine two (albeit great) players alleviating their secondary from worst to first.
The Buccaneers recently lost an aging Rhonde Barber to retirement, and they cannot match the depth the Seahawks have in their defensive backfield either after the last starting cornerback position clearly goes to the Seahawks, with 2011 Pro Bowler in Brandon Browner beating out Eric Wright. The overpaid Wright took a steep pay cut last month just to remain with the team.
The Seahawks boast depth in their secondary with players such as a now-healthy Walter Thurmond III. Thurmond would easily be starting in Tampa Bay and most teams in the league, and is another reason the Buccaneers’ much-improved secondary still can’t come close to matching what is in the Pacific Northwest.