Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Free Agents for Bucs Fans to Watch

Five players to keep an eye on when free agency begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.


1. DE Olivier Vernon
With Mario Williams agreeing to terms with the Dolphins on Friday morning, Vernon is the best pass-rusher available. According to NFL.com's free agent rankings, Vernon, who played his first three years in Miami, was the second-best player available at any position. He has started all 16 games over the past two years, picking up 14 sacks along the way.

](http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-1/Roundtable-2016-Free-Agency-Possibilities/94768b18-dd0b-48a7-b667-18d4512de48c)2. RB Doug Martin
Martin is set to hit the open market, but that does not mean he will not be a Buccaneer in 2016. Martin has expressed his interest in remaining in Tampa, and the Buccaneers' coaches and front office members have echoed a similar sentiment. Martin was the NFL's second-leading rusher in 2015, and, unlike many other free agents, the Bucs know exactly how he fits in their offense.


A preview of a few CBs who are expected to hit free agency next week.

  1. CB Sean Smith**
    When the clock hits 4 o'clock, Janoris Jenkins is expected to sign with the Giants. Jenkins had previously been considered the top free agent cornerback on the market. With him gone, that designation falls to Smith. The seven-year veteran has spent the past three seasons in Miami after being drafted by the Chiefs in 2009. Over the course of his career, he has 10 interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

4. G Alex Boone
General Manager Jason Licht spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine about how the Bucs wouldn't look to find Logan Mankins' replacement, should he retire, in the draft because teams must build three years in advance though the draft. Mankins did retire and Boone, the top available guard, could step in and fill that void. Boone has spent his entire six-year career with the 49ers. Update: As of noon, reports suggest that Boone could be signing with the Vikings.

5. S George Iloka
Eric Weddle is considered one of the best available free agents and the top safety on the market. But, at 31, Weddle is on the tail end of his career. Reggie Nelson, NFL.com's No. 2 free agent safety, is 32. Iloka won't command the type of salary the aforementioned players will and, at 25, could be a welcome addition to an already young Buccaneers team. Iloka has started 44 games in his four years with the Bengals. Update: As of noon, reports suggest that Iloka could be staying with the Bengals.

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