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Bucs Should Go “Gruden” on Mack

Mack Would Make the Bucs Defense Complete

Gene Clemons, FBGP Analyst

From the moment the Oakland Raiders didn’t make perennial defensive All-Pro Khalil Mack the highest paid defensive player in NFL history, the rumors began that this might get ugly. When they made former Bucs and Raiders head man Jon Gruden the highest paid head coach in NFL history, after not coaching for over 10 years, you began to wonder about their ability to sign Mack and the trade rumors began. The idea that the Raiders would trade an asset of the caliber of Mack in his prime, continues the belief that there is something wrong in this organization. Well, one team’s problem is another team’s promise. That promise should once again be given to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs have not made a generational splash move since acquiring Gruden long ago from the Raiders for two first round picks, two second round picks and eight million dollars. Even the Darrelle Revis, six-year 96 million dollar contract, was a low, long-term risk in its structure and didn’t cost the Bucs draft picks. But, the Gruden deal was the last time they gambled, and no matter what anyone thinks about it, the Bucs won their first and only Super Bowl. The time has come to gamble again. This time the acquisition makes more sense. Mack fills a legitimate need, and would be the last piece in what could become one of the most dominant defenses in the league. They should trade two first round picks, two second round picks, Vinny Curry, and 10 million in cash for Khalil Mack.

Gerald McCoy has forever been compared to Warren Sapp. But McCoy has never had what Sapp had, a dominant defensive end to play alongside. While many think Jason Pierre-Paul may be McCoy’s Simeon Rice, there’s no denying that with the addition of Mack, they would have an pair of ends that would rival the Texans JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Now the Vita Vea draft pick makes perfect sense, as he would operate in the middle and suck up two blockers while they turn the other three loose. The pass rush becomes even scarier when you take Vita Vea out and move JPP to the interior with McCoy, and unleash a beefed up Noah Spence off edge.

Detractors would point to cost and tell you the price tag is too high and yes, the price is high. After all, it’s probably going to take QB money or a fully guaranteed contract to get a deal done after you trade for him. But, the Bucs have a discounted quarterback this season and next season in Jameis Winston.  Also, they still hold Winston’s fifth-year option. What better time to use your buying power.

If Mack, a Florida native, gets to come home and helps transform this unit into the ‘Pewter People Eaters’, will anyone care that the Bucs are not active on the first day of the draft?

Some might call it a gamble, some might call it a calculated risk. Bucs fans should call it providence.

Questions? Comments?

Twitter: @geneclemons

Email: gclemons@footballgameplan.com

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