The NFL calendar officially flips to 2014 with the start of free agency this month. A three-day negotiating period begins Saturday, allowing teams and prospective free agents to begin the matchmaking process. On March 11, contracts can be signed.
With $20 million available under the $133 million salary cap, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to use free agency to address a number of needs as the first-year tandem of head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht shape the roster.
For seven straight days, The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com will feature one position each day. We’ll provide analysis of the position and list the players to consider: Bucs under contract for 2014 and notable players scheduled to become free agents. So, here’s your chance, Bucs fans — you be the GM. Go to TBO.com/Bucs and tell us what you would do.
Mike Glennon and Mike Kafka are the only quarterbacks on the roster and both are in the developmental stages of their careers. Glennon, a third-round draft pick in 2013, started and sometimes played well during the final 13 games last season, but Kafka hasn’t played in two years because of injury. There is a need for improved depth, in particular a veteran with playing experience who can push or possibly even replace Glennon as the starter. Bucs coach Lovie Smith wants to take at least four quarterbacks to training camp and regularly kept three during the regular season when he coached the Bears.
Bucs under contract for 2014
Mike Glennon – Posted best statistics of any rookie QB during 2013 season.
Mike Kafka – Realistically, hoping to make the team as its third QB.
Bucs potential free agents
Dan Orlovsky – Team likely is looking for an upgrade on two-year backup.
NFL potential free agents
Michael Vick, Eagles – The most experienced and successful veteran available.
Josh McCown, Bears – Was 3-2 in impressive five-game run as starter last year.
Josh Freeman, Vikings – Still has the most upside of any free-agent QB.
Matt Flynn, Packers – Has yet to prove he’s a viable starting candidate.
Rex Grossman, Redskins – Took Bears to Super Bowl XLI with Smith as coach.
Thursday: Running back
Friday: Offensive line
Saturday: Defensive line
Sunday: Wide receiver/tight end
Monday: Defensive back