There is a split decision at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters.
One Joe is good letting soon-to-be free agent Jamel Dean walk because teams don’t have two cornerbacks paid No. 1 corner money, and keeping Dean would mean the Bucs are spending too much on their secondary after they give safety Antonie Winfield a new contract.
The other Joe doesn’t believe the Bucs are that loaded to let good young players walk (especially a corner) and let’s cross the Winfield bridge when the Bucs get there.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com typed a column yesterday on one move each NFC team must pull off this offseason. And for Rosenthal, the Bucs must keep Dean.
The Buccaneers are at a crossroads, and I expect their roster to look very different next season. They could consider trading big names like Mike Evans or Shaq Barrett. Lavonte David is a free agent. Longtime left tackle Donovan Smith figures to be cut. And the Bucs don’t have a quarterback.
One of their first decisions will come at cornerback. After retaining Carlton Davis on a surprisingly reasonable deal last offseason (three years for $45 million), will the Bucs spend similarly to keep Dean, one of the better cornerbacks hitting the market? If not, Tampa is rather thin in the secondary with Mike Edwards and Sean Murphy-Bunting also free agents.
First, Rosenthal, a smart guy, must be working his tail off in Phoenix covering the Super Bowl. Surely he knows there isn’t a sober general manager in the NFL that’s going to take on an expensive salary of a 30-year-old edge rusher coming off a blown Achilles.
This Joe has already stated that if it came down to 33-year old Lavonte David or 26-year old Dean, Joe would take Dean, who is one of the better corners in the league.
Joe thought it was interesting that Rosenthal mentioned moving on from Donovan Smith to save cash. Yeah, if it came down to Dean or Smith, that’s another call for this Joe to keep Dean.
Unless the Bucs can find someone who can play near Dean’s level, don’t let him go while he’s in his prime.
This Joe just thinks Sean Murphy-Bunting, a cheaper option than Dean, is too inconsistent to bank on him as a full-time starting corner. Maybe a nickel corner.
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