As NFL Free Agency approaches later this week, expect the Bucs to be active, particularly looking for pass rush help. They were dead last in sacks (22) in the league last year, and apparently, Tampa Bay was trying to get their hands on Rams pass rush specialist Robert Quinn before the Dolphins did last Thursday.
A report from Buccaneers ESPN.com beat writer Jenna Laine Sunday afternoon, says that GM Jason Licht (and others) were in talks with L.A. about trading for Quinn before the deal went down:
Updated: Two sources have told me that the Bucs offered a fourth-round draft pick for Robert Quinn, while the Browns offered a fifth https://t.co/cNkckJrHPA
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 4, 2018
As Laine reported, the Dolphins landed the former Pro Bowler Quinn by sending the Rams both a fourth and sixth round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
While he is about to be 28 before the season begins, and has battled injuries over the course of the last 3-4 seasons, Quinn did register 8.5 sacks a year ago under Wade Phillips new defense, as the Rams won the NFC West.
Meanwhile, there was some initial negative reaction from Bucs fans on the internet and even their Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy, appeared frustrated on social media Thursday:
Welp there goes Robert Quinn. ??♂️??
— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) March 2, 2018
We wrote during the season that Licht and the Bucs front office grossly overestimated what kind of defensive line/pass rush help that they had for McCoy heading into the 2017 season. So much so, that they did not sign or draft a defensive end or “edge” player last off season.
Instead, the Bucs chose to go with veteran Robert Ayers, second year player Noah Spence and were hoping that decent left end rusher Jacquies Smith would recover from a 2016 ACL injury.
Ayers was only adequate last year, Spence re-inured his shoulder and went on injured reserve in October and Smith never produced and was waived by mid-season.
The Buccaneers were left with un-drafted free agents like Will Clarke and Ryan Russell playing significantly, trying to rush on the outside and the results were disastrous.
Will Quinn be a devastating pass rusher for the Dolphins? Maybe. With the like of Pro Bowl DT Ndamukong Suh, former #1 pick Charles Harris, and Pro Bowl DE Cam Wake, he definitely has surrounding talent.
And the argument can be made that he wasn’t worth two draft picks in this year’s draft.
Still, plenty of Bucs fans are wanting to see someone prominent brought in to go after some of the passers in football in Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan within the division. And losing out to Miami in the Quinn trade last week, doesn’t make them feel a lot better, yet.
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