After visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday, Emmanuel Sanders is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday as the 2014 NFL free agency signing period rolls on. After signing quarterback Josh McCown, new Bucs coach Lovie Smith clearly wants to add weapons for his signal-caller and Sanders would give Tampa Bay a third solid receiving option, which would make the team’s offense that much more dynamic.
The Bucs already have a great running game with Doug Martin as the bell cow and their current starting receivers are definitely above-average. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams have been a nice combination in South Florida over the past two seasons, but the Bucs seem to be leaning toward a more pass-oriented offense or a new starter opposite Jackson. Either way, Sanders is a good fit.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver showed flashes of brilliance in his first four pro seasons, although he was somewhat inconsistent at times. With an increased role in 2013, he recorded career-highs in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. He became a legitimate deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger after Mike Wallace departed via free agency and with the right system, Sanders could be a star.
Now the Bucs are going to have to figure out very quickly that McCown is not their answer at quarterback. Once they do that and put Mike Glennon back under center, then he can begin to create a good rapport with Jackson, Williams and Sanders as a dynamic three-headed receiving monster with tons of potential. Add in the fact Martin will keep the offense balanced and opposing defenses honest and Sanders in Tampa Bay — with the right quarterback — could be lethal.
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