NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Storylines To Follow Leading Up to Free Agency

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5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Storylines To Follow Leading Up to Free Agency

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2014 NFL Free Agency
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to be one of the most interesting teams in the NFL heading into free agency this year. They have players they want to find new contracts for, players who might not be on the roster much longer and needs on both sides of the ball to fill.

Those needs include a playmaking slot receiver on offense and more pass rush on defense. Slot receivers can be found pretty easily on the open market, but pass rushers are another story. With so many teams locking them up with franchise tags the last few days, it will be tough for Tampa Bay to find a difference maker on the defensive line.

The offense is another story. A unit that was stagnant at times last year, they need to get more athletic and dynamic. They can find someone like that in free agency, but they have to make sure that they find the right guy. Slot receiver used to be an undervalued position in the league, but as so often happens that has shifted and it is now on the verge of being overvalued.

It’s been an odd few years for Tampa Bay. At some points they looked just one step away from being a real contender, and then sometimes they look like one of the worst teams in the league. They’re not either, but they’re somewhere in the middle with a good young core to build around. And they’re looking to free agency this year to augment that core enough to be in the playoff mix next year.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Is Devin Hester Coming To Town?

Devin Hester Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Hopefully not for Tampa Bay fans. Devin Hester used to be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL, but he'll turn 32 next season and hasn't had more than 30 receptions or double-digit receiving touchdowns in two years. The Bucs need an upgrade at slot receiver and kick returner, but they should sign Dexter McCluster for less money instead.

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4. Will Gerald McCoy Get An Extension?

Gerald McCoy Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Gerald McCoy has played his way into being one of the best interior defensive lineman in the league. His contract is up after the 2015 season, and Tampa Bay would love to avoid a prolonged franchise tag/holdout situation with him. He's on a rookie deal from the old CBA, so he already is going to count for big cap dollars next year. Tampa Bay should sign him to an extension now and lock up the game-changing defensive lineman for years to come.

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3. Will They Sign A New Pass Rusher?

Jared Allen Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Bucs need to upgrade the pass rush in free agency this year. Unfortunately, most teams that had elite pass rushers coming onto the market wisely used their franchise tags to keep them around. That means there aren't many good options left. Jared Allen has continued to be productive, but I think he might be the most overrated free agent this offseason. It's tough to find quality young pass rushers on the open market in the NFL, and Tampa Bay might be out of luck this year.

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2. Is Mike Glennon The Quarterback Of The Future?

Mike Glennon Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Tampa Bay is hoping that they stumbled on a franchise quarterback in Mike Glennon. He looked solid last year when Josh Freeman imploded and was shown the door, but there are still questions about whether or not he has the upside to be the guy for a long time. He might just end up being a placeholder for the next couple of years until they can make other arrangements under center, but that could be just enough time for him to prove he's the man for the job.

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1. Will They Release Darrelle Revis?

Darrelle Revis Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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When the Bucs traded for Darrelle Revis I thought maybe it was a good move. But when they immediately signed him to a ridiculous contract I was stunned. He used to be the best corner in the league, but now he's an older player with a surgically repaired knee. The only silver lining is that the contract isn't guaranteed, so there is a good chance Tampa Bay will either make him renegotiate or just let him go to open up cap room to sign better free agents.