Green Bay Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith (62) during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. San Francisco won 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Dietrich-Smith signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent frenzy continues today, as the team announced that they have signed Green Bay Packers free agent center Evan Dietrich-Smith to an undisclosed deal. It’s a bit surprising to see that the Buccaneers have added EDS due to their investment in current starting center Jeremy Zuttah, and I wonder if the Bucs will move Zuttah to guard or simply release him after deciding to sign one of the top interior offensive linemen on the market. The Buccaneers already signed Anthony Collins and released veterans Davin Joseph and Donald Penn in cost-cutting moves (Collins essentially replaced Penn at left tackle), and their offensive line overhaul continues.

Dietrich-Smith is a clear upgrade over Zuttah, who clearly wasn’t viewed favorably by the new regime led by Jason Licht and Lovie Smith. Although I view New Orleans Saints free agent center Brian De La Puente as the best available at the position, Dietrich-Smith is a quality starter in his own right and is ranked No. 1 at the center position among FAs by some.

It looks like Zuttah’s time with the Buccaneers is up, as the 27-year-old is set to make $4.5 million next season and $4.25 million in 2015. It will be interesting to see the terms of Dietrich-Smith’s deal, as they have not been disclosed. The center-needy New York Giants also showed interest in EDS, who had a link to offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, and it looks like they could go after De La Puente as David Baas’s (cap casualty) replacement.

Update: The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the deal is a four-year pact worth $14.25 million. Less than Zuttah? Nicely done, Licht.


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Tags: Evan Dietrich-Smith Jeremy Zuttah Tampa Bay Buccaneers Transactions

  • Fred

    Bucs are really hittin’ it in free agency. Yeah, lots of holes, but lots of holes addressed. Sure, cut Revis but use his $16M to get three current starters, two top 10 FAs. Cut Joseph and Penn…previous top-notch guys to get three more starters for the O line. Not all big names, but solid names, proven starters. This team got way better in just 72 hours. Amazing. The Bucs still need to pick up a decent slot receiver but those come cheap as the days go by, and then they can draft the best player on the board in May at 7th overall. Yup, could be a QB. McCown is the bridge, and a good choice to do it. Meanwhile, Saints and Panthers lose good players in free agency just to stay afloat. Saints pick up one good guy in Byrd. Falcons get a C grade. Dietrich-Smith is just the latest GREAT pickup. No doubt the truth. One WR to go, and then it’s on to the draft. Bucs in 2014 baby!

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      The Panthers should honestly receive awful marks in free agency. They came into the offseason with needs at WR, OT, and DB and are worse at all of those positions. I thought the Saints did a very good job considering their cap situations, but the Bucs are clearly the winners in the division. If all goes well (you know, they don’t implode like the Dolphins did last year after big FA signings), then they should have a better record than Carolina next season.

      • Fred

        Joe, I’m tracking completely. Frankly, I think the Panthers’ run last year was a bit of a fluke. Of course I’m partial as a Bucs fan, but I think they indeed will do better than the Panthers this year. In fact, I think lousy coaching is the top reason the Bucs didn’t win at least 3-4 more games last year. Even though it’s all about the cap, I’m still shocked the Panthers let both Lafell and Smith go. Next to Cam Newton, Smith was the face of the franchise, and a big reason for success long before Cam Newton showed up.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          The Panthers were arguably the most well-coached team in the league last season, whereas the Bucs were undoubtedly the worst, thanks to Schiano.

          I’m shocked about everything the Panthers have done this offseason, and they are in for a big letdown next year. I think the Panthers deserved all the success they had last year, but I firmly believe they played above their talent level.

  • Fred

    Hey spin zone…how about updating the Bucs logo. Yes, it’s approved and it’s the rule. Everything else is not official. ESPN can’t seem to get it together either. But you are better than that, right?

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Hey, where are you seeing the old Bucs logo? Thanks.

      • Fred

        Maybe it was on an ad…my bad perhaps…can’t find it now. But the big teller is the old logo has a more tattered skull with black football laces and the new a much meaner skull with white laces. BTW, I like the way you respond to posters. Always good to have that exchange. NFL Spin Zone is the place to be to have the dialog!

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          Thanks, for the kind words, Fred, and it would be a shame if I didn’t interact with you guys. I’ve learned a lot thanks to our site’s readers, because you can gain a lot of valuable insight by talking to others who follow the game closely, especially when it comes to talking about their favorite teams.