The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have seemingly rebuilt there defensive line over the past two drafts with the drafting of defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brain Price in 2010 and most recently with the drafting of defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers. But with the NFL and the NFLPA* locked in labor strife with rumors of the participants emerging from negotiations with a new CBA, that will revert accrued seasons needed to become a free agent back to four seasons. The Bucs will have to make some tough decision on four players, as Barrett Ruud, Quincy Black, Adam Hayward and Nkio Kutviedas would all become unrestricted free agents based on everything that’s been reported.
Looking at what each player means to the Bucs both in the short term and long term will always be a deciding factor, but instead of writing about each player were going to look at what we will call “upside” by taking a players age, games played and production to determine which free agent linebackers have the most upside potential left in there respective careers to determine who the Bucs should keep and who they should pursue in free agency.
Below is the chart used to determine each players upside. One note is that I added Geno Hayes to the list just to show his upside potential. By taking a players total production (tackles, tackles for loss, interceptions, sacks, passes defended, and forced fumbles) and dividing it by the number of games played we get a players production per game.
To calculate a players “upside” with then add his (age, games played & years played) and divide it by his production rate which give us a raw upside number with which to grade a player on based solely on stats. The lower the “Upside Ratio” number the higher the ceiling is for each free agent.