The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could part ways with a veteran offensive lineman this season, as neither starting left tackle Donald Penn or starting right guard Davin Joseph are safe. It’s unclear which player has the greater chance at leaving, because it’s not a question of skill. There’s no doubt in my mind that Penn is the much better player and plays a more important position, but the Buccaneers are already weak enough at guard with Carl Nicks’s NFL future sadly in doubt. Plus, the Bucs could potentially snag an elite tackle with the seventh overall pick if either Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson is indeed available, whereas the guard market is thin in this year’s draft class. Both players are making too much money, and Penn would be expendable if the Bucs were able to land Robinson or Matthews.
Veteran offensive linemen with hefty contracts are rarely traded, but there’s a chance that Davin Joseph could find himself dealt this offseason. The Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompei reports that “teams believe” the Buccaneers could trade Joseph away this offseason, and it will be interesting to see if anyone actually wants an injury-prone, 30-year-old guard who is a significant liability in pass protection and is also set to make $27.5 million over the next four seasons.
Honestly, if I were Jason Licht and Lovie Smith then I would love to find someone willing to take on Joseph, even if it leaves my team thin at guard. Joseph is a very good run blocker when healthy, but he’s rarely healthy and poor pass pro ensures that his contract will be one of the league’s worst at the position as it continues to run its course. If anyone is willing to deal a pick for Joseph, then I would be a bit surprised.