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Bucs Target Cowboys Safety J.J. Wilcox

Roy Cummings



(Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)

 TAMPA – You’re not likely to find J.J. Wilcox name near the top of anyone’s list of the top safeties available in free agency but he’s definitely drawn a bit of interest from the Buccaneers.

 Sources tell FloridaFootballInsiders that the safety-needy Bucs have been kicking the tires on Wilcox, a former Georgia High School standout who is coming off a four-year run with the Cowboys.

 A third-round draft pick out of Georgia Southern, Wilcox was the Cowboys primary starter at free safety during the 2014 and 2015 seasons but he started just four games there in the middle of the season last year.

 Many thought the Bucs would be among the teams making a play for former Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson arguably the top safety in free agency, but it seems the Bucs have decided to pass, at least for now.

 The Bucs haven’t ruled out re-signing either of their primary starters from last year, Bradley McDougald and Chris Conte, but it appears both will be allowed to hit free agency as the Bucs are looking for upgrades.

 Wilcox might fit the bill, He was very raw when he first came into the league and might fit better as a special teams regular but he’s tough enough and athletic enough to play either safety spot.

 The Bucs haven’t made a commitment to him yet but they appear willing to hand the starting free-safety spot over the Keith Tandy after he jumped off the tape for them down the stretch last year.

 A starting tandem of Tandy and Wilcox seems like a bit of a stretch at this point but with Jefferson seemingly off their board and Barry Church heading to the Jaguars, it cannot be ruled out.


Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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