Tampa Bay Buccaneers Should Put Carl Nicks in Red and Pewter

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IMarch 5, 2012

Carl Nicks is the best lineman in free agency.
Carl Nicks is the best lineman in free agency.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This one would really, really be too good to be true.

Have two words for you:

Carl Nicks.

The stars have aligned for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because the New Orleans Saints and their head coach, Dog The Bounty Hunter, have been forced to use their franchise tag on quarterback Drew Brees.

What that means for your Buccaneers and anyone else who might be interested is that there is a 26-year-old beast of an All-Pro offensive lineman available.

How often does a 6'5", 345-pound All-Pro with plenty of great years left in the tank come to the open market? You know the answer to that question.

Look at it this way, shouldn't the team that paid mountains of cash to Kellen Winslow Jr. and Jeff Faine want to redeem itself after looking at those two the past couple of years? at the feet of Winslow and Faine.  Nicks is expected to bring at least $8 million a year. That's nothing for a team that laid mounts of cash

With the re-signing of Jeremy Zuttah, it would make a world pf sense to move him to center, sign Nicks and show Faine the door.

This one's a no-brainer, and wouldn't it be the most marvelous start to the free-agent signing period?

Signing Nicks would show the fan base that this ownership group is serious about wanting to regroup and put a winning product on the field.

Signing Nicks would be just what the doctor ordered for new coach Greg Schiano, who says he wants to run the football. AND, if it truly is "All About 5" then here's a guy who can protect Josh Freeman as well.

The Saints have helped set this table nicely will all the chaos they've created now that everyone knows about "bounty central." There may be lengthy suspensions as a result of that and it could include head coach Sean Payton.

Nice time for Nicks to head to Tampa Bay, isn't it?

We'll know more after today about the free-agent market overall. The deadline for franchise tags is 4 p.m., and the Bucs may use theirs on kicker Connor Barth. After that, the opportunity to get better in a hurry starts in eight days.

That's when the Bucs should do their darnedest to put Nicks in red and pewter.