Add the [intlink id=”68″ type=”category”]Tampa Bay Buccaneers[/intlink] to the San Diego Chargers as a potential landing spot for Green Bay Packers linebacker [intlink id=”139″ type=”category”]Nick Barnett[/intlink].
Much like the Chargers, the Bucs have some uncertainty in the middle of their defense.
Their starting middle linebacker, Barrett Ruud, will be a free agent — the kind that’s been clamoring for a contract extension for some time. Although Tampa Bay may try to keep him, he may feel disrespected enough to sign elsewhere.
The team drafted linebacker Mason Foster in the third round with the idea that they want him to play quickly, but the length of the lockout and lack of traditional offseason programs has hurt his development.
That scenario has ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas wondering if Barnett might be the answer.
The Bucs are in a youth movement and throwing Foster into the mix wouldn’t be totally out of character. But making a third-round pick the quarterback of your defense without an offseason to prepare could be a little dangerous. The Bucs are very young on the defensive line and could have some other changes at linebacker.
That’s why it could make some sense to bring in Barnett or a guy like him. Barnett was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2007 and had some very good seasons with the Packers. He could provide some instant stability and leadership for a Tampa Bay defense that’s still looking to catch up to its offense.
The main question for the Packers is what other teams might be willing to give up for a guy who’s 30, coming off his second season-ending injury in three years and is scheduled to make more than $4 million in 2011.
Those factors could limit potential trade partners.
Nick B. was a good Packer while he was one. But like John Rambo not going to a party he was invited to, Barnett is expendable. He stirred up the shit storm unnecessarily in Super Bowl week and from a character standpoint he’s not what the Packers are all about. The timing is perfect…Nick gets his ring and heads for the hills and Desmond Bishop is a monster who will only improve.
That being said I think he has some fire in his heart and gas in the tank and will fire for a couple more years.
‘The main question for the Packers is what other teams might be willing to give up for a guy who’s 30, coming off his second season-ending injury in three years and is scheduled to make more than $4 million in 2011.’
I’d bet TT would jump on a fifth round pick.
Yeah, a 5th round pick sounds good. As I have said elsewhere, I respect Nick and think he still has a little NFL left in him, but I find it somewhat comical that the analysis mentioned he was a 2nd team All Pro back in 2007. Yeah, so was Brett Favre.