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Buccaneers banking on Bowers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an awful lot of faith in Da’Quan Bowers. To stay healthy, to stay out of prison, and to play well as a starting defensive end.

That became clear when the Bucs decided to let defensive end Michael Bennett leave as a free agent, and it becomes even more clear when reading what Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times writes about the Bucs’ opinion of Bowers: The coaches in Tampa see Bowers as a player with a higher upside than Bennett, and they’re banking on Bowers to develop into a difference maker on the defensive line.

There are big questions about Bowers, however, starting with whether he can stay healthy. That was the biggest question about Bowers coming out of Clemson, where he led the NCAA in sacks in 2010 and was viewed by some as a potential first overall pick. Some teams reportedly took him off their draft boards because of questions about his knee, and he plummeted all the way to No. 51 overall in the 2011 NFL draft. Bowers’ knee has held up so far, but last year he missed the start of the season with a torn Achilles tendon.

The other question is whether Bowers will be available this season even if he’s healthy. Bowers is currently facing a charge in New York of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a felony that can result in up to 3.5 years in prison. It’s the same charge that resulted in Plaxico Burress spending two years in a New York prison. That would seem to be a significant concern, but according to Holder, the Bucs have “an understanding he won’t be jailed” and “don’t anticipate league discipline.” They may turn out to be right about that, but that’s putting a lot of faith in a player who is charged with a felony.

In any event, there’s little doubt that Plan A for the Bucs was always to let Bennett walk and put all their eggs in Bowers’ basket. If it turns out that Bowers isn’t available, the Bucs may be scrambling for a Plan B.

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9 Responses to “Buccaneers banking on Bowers”
  1. westampa says: Mar 15, 2013 12:33 PM

    Horrible move by Mark Dominick letting Michael Bennet walk. Bowers has been a bust, along with Benn. Thank god for our 2012 draft.

  2. bucrightoff says: Mar 15, 2013 12:41 PM

    Yeah, horrible move letting career high 9 sack Michael Bennett go. The Buc fans overreacting to this need to calm down. Good player, not elite, and no one else thought so either cause no one gave him the deal he thought he was worth.

  3. leighmanmarcus says: Mar 15, 2013 1:00 PM

    I think its pretty obvious the Bucs will be spending a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick on a DE now.

  4. justbust says: Mar 15, 2013 1:20 PM

    Figured they woulda signed a vet de by now. He might goto jail , I can understand the logic of letting Bennett go. They showed faith in bowers by this move. Signing osi or Abraham short term would give bowers enough time to goto jail( if he is convicted) then by the time the vet pass rusher’s production dips bowers will be outta jail and bowers will b rdy to pick up where he left off. :)

  5. bucngator says: Mar 15, 2013 1:21 PM

    It’s not like Dominick to rely so heavily on plan “A”, without another viable option at DE…. While it’s true that his plans in the defensive backfield have been a bit puzzling, they’ve always had decent options on the D-line. This just seems to me, like too much of a gamble for a GM that is still on somewhat of a hot seat.

    Leigh, I hope you’re right about the draft…. It’s the only thing that makes sense at this point, if they’re not gonna address it any further in free agency….

    ……let’s hope he also has a plan for 2 starting caliber corners

  6. westampa says: Mar 15, 2013 1:44 PM

    Mark Dominick doesn’t care about a plan “B” he traded Aquib away knowing Wright would be suspended. He pretty much mailed in the year for the Bucs at that point.

  7. blspears says: Mar 15, 2013 2:12 PM

    NY gun laws are stupid. Dude gets arrested for doing what the bill of rights says “shall not be infringed” They should lock up the legislators who made the NY gun laws.

  8. bouchez9393 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    Too much panic here, the Bucs are fine at DE. Bennett is a good player, but he had a career year and cashed in as he should. Clayborn is coming back, and as long as he’s healthy, Bowers only has to play at half speed because Adrian is a BEAST! Dominik will wait and sign an older veteran, (hopefully Usi) for a cheaper price than Bennett once the market slows down, and than everyone will be praising him for his so called “plan B”.

  9. bouchez9393 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    sorry Osi, not Usi!

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