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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free Agent Spotlight: CB Morris Claiborne

The Buccaneers have been undesirable on defense for yrs. Whichever the entrance place of work has tried to do to resolve that side of the ball in new yrs hasn’t labored out in most conditions, leaving the staff in a position where by it demands to make far more moves this offseason.

Tampa Bay has holes all above the defense, but in today’s no cost agent spotlight, we’re on the lookout at a person who could be a welcomed presence in the secondary: veteran cornerback Morris Claiborne.

There is familiarity amongst Claiborne and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, as the two had been with each other with the Jets in the course of the past two seasons. Could Claiborne be pursuing his former mentor to Tampa this offseason? Let’s just take a glimpse at the probability.

Claiborne expended 2009-2011 at LSU, starting up 26 games above the last two seasons. He was named a unanimous All-American in addition to winning the Jim Thorpe Award and SEC Defensive Participant of the Year in his last yr with the Tigers. That led to a ton of buzz for the 5-foot-11 corner. The Cowboys traded up and selected him sixth total in the 2012 NFL Draft. Dallas scouts experienced only one defensive again at any time rank bigger than Claiborne on their draft board: Deion Sanders. Individuals expectations are ridiculously large.

Regretably for both sides, Claiborne never lived up to those expectations in Dallas. In five seasons, he performed 47 games. He totaled 151 tackles (126 solo), three tackles for loss, 27 passes defended, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Participating in in 47 out of 80 games in five yrs is undoubtedly disappointing for a leading-10 decide, so it is protected to say the Cowboys’ comparison amongst Claiborne and Sanders didn’t stop well.

After disappointing in Dallas, Claiborne signed a one-yr deal with the Jets. When with New York, he knowledgeable a bit of a revival as considerably as overall health and overall performance go. In 2017, he racked up 43 tackles (34 solo), one interception and eight passes defended though starting up 15 games. From there, he signed a one-yr extension with the Jets for the 2018 year. Final yr was a occupation yr for the former All-American. He totaled occupation-highs in tackles (57, 44 solo), interceptions (two) and passes defended (14). In his two yrs with New York, Claiborne experienced 100 tackles (78 solo), three interceptions and 22 passes defended, all though starting up 30 of a achievable 32 games.

Why The Buccaneers Need Him

It is no solution that Tampa Bay demands support in the secondary. Much more especially, the staff could use some veteran support. With no getting into the youth at the protection situation, you can just notify from the existing cornerbacks on the roster that there isn’t a ton of practical experience there. With Brent Grimes heading for no cost company (or retirement?), the Bucs presumably have Carlton Davis and Vernon Hargreaves III set at the two corner places suitable now. Davis is heading into yr two, though Hargreaves is going into yr four after missing 15 games with an injury in 2018.

Simply just set, the secondary demands support. Claiborne should really be a acceptable choice for Tampa Bay. The 29-yr-previous isn’t one of the leading names on the sector, but he’s far more than serviceable. He would give the secondary a nice veteran presence though Davis carries on to create and the staff figures out what it wants to do with fellow 2018 draftee M.J. Stewart.

What Will Claiborne Cost?

Considering that his first four-yr rookie contract, Claiborne has only been signed to one-yr deals. He signed a one-yr, $3 million contract with the Cowboys in 2016 in advance of inking a one-yr deal worth $5 million with the Jets in 2017. After proving he could continue to be wholesome for a excellent 15 games, he got a one-yr, $7 million contract with New York in 2018. Looking at he was wholesome for 15 games past yr, he could be on the lookout for some thing in that range and likely a tiny bigger in 2019. Nevertheless, with his injury historical past, he in all probability won’t be getting a extended-time period contract at the age of 29. He could get a multi-yr deal, but nearly anything far more than two yrs would likely be dangerous.

Projecting Claiborne’s sector worth is hard. What he can get likely depends on how the rest of the sector shakes out. Professional Soccer Concentrate has him ranked as the No. 9 corner in no cost company, though Bleacher Report has him at No. 7. If the leading corners are getting large deals, Claiborne may be in a position to just take edge of it. But if the sector moves gradual, he could be a steal.

Will It Take place?

Whether this signing is practical or not truly depends on how the sector performs out. The Bucs really don’t have a ton of cap house to perform with, so if teams are willing to overpay for Claiborne, they aren’t in a excellent situation to compete with that. But if Claiborne comes at a acceptable price tag tag, Tampa Bay should really be fascinated. Even if the staff wants to draft another young corner in April, getting Claiborne close to would support them create the youth they have somewhat than throw the young fellas straight into the fireplace. The veteran’s familiarity with Bowles will support as well. All round, Claiborne is a man to hold your eye on this spring.

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