Legal woes continue in the Buccaneers’ defensive backfield. Aqib Talib is already facing potential discipline from the commissioner even though his felony assault with a deadly weapon charges were dropped. Now, their other cornerback, free agent acquisition Eric Wright, is facing league discipline after being arrested for DUI last week. Behind those two, their depth is questionable at best, ghastly at worst, as both EJ Biggers and Myron Lewis have been terrible whenever they’ve been counted on in the past.
Given that, the Buccaneers could move Ronde Barber back to cornerback for a few games if one or both is suspended to start the season. Barber, who has spent 15 years at cornerback and may be heading for Canton someday, is transitioning to safety this offseason to fill a hole in the starting lineup and to mask the fact that the 37 year old has, understandably, lost a step.
However, Barber may still play cornerback in base packages on the slot, which, again shows how much they lack depth at cornerback, and could start there if needed. That would leave Cody Grimm, who struggled last year, to start opposite rookie Mark Barron. Barber, meanwhile, was torched at cornerback last year, allowing 46 completions on 71 attempts (64.8%) for 583 yards (8.2 YPA), 3 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 4 deflections, and 5 penalties. He also missed 22 tackles, 2nd most in the league to former teammate Tanard Jackson, who was cut this offseason. Barber ranked 2nd to last among cornerbacks on ProFootballFocus, part of why he is changing positions.
Things look bleak for the Buccaneers in the secondary once again this year, no matter what. Even Wright himself struggled mightily last year, ranking 6th to last on ProFootballFocus among cornerbacks, allowing 75 completions on 120 attempts (62.5%) for 842 yards (7.0 YPA), 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 10 deflections, and 8 penalties. He was not worth the 5 year, 38 million dollar deal he got this offseason. With Barber, Wright, and Biggers, the Buccaneers have 3 of ProFootballFocus’ 6 worst cornerbacks from last season. This will once again be a passing defense to attack in fantasy again.