- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Since taking over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht have made a lot of noise about wanting to win now.
They backed that up with the most aggressive free-agent period in team history. No expense was spared as the Bucs brought in what could be as many as eight starters.
But it’s time to get a ninth starter. It’s time for the Bucs to trade with the San Francisco 49ers for guard Alex Boone. He’s in a contract holdout, and it doesn’t look like the cap-strapped 49ers are willing to give Boone a raise.
The Bucs easily could afford Boone. They have $13.71 million in salary-cap room and could sign Boone to a bigger contract than he already has. The price tag for such a trade likely would be a mid-round draft pick.
That’s not too steep a price to pay for a guy who could straighten out the offensive line. And the offensive line certainly needs some help. That became very apparent during Friday night’s preseason opener with Jacksonville.
The Bucs are looking at four guards (Oniel Cousins, Jamon Meredith, Patrick Omameh and Kadeem Edwards) to fill two starting spots. Smith has said it’s not time to panic about the guard situation, but it might be time to do something.
Boone would be an upgrade over any of the guards currently on the roster. He could handle one starting spot. Then, the other four guards could compete for one starting job instead of two.
9hEric D. Williams