Tampa Bay Buccaneers Could Release Jeff Faine, Focus on Carl Nicks

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IMarch 12, 2012

Jeff Faine could be on his way out.
Jeff Faine could be on his way out.J. Meric/Getty Images

Yes, there are rumblings out there, and if you connect the dots, this one could make some real sense.

Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times has been tweeting early and often and it seems he's hearing the Bucs may be on the verge of handing oft-injured center Jeff Faine his walking papers.

It makes a world of sense if the Buccaneers are zeroed in on All-Pro guard Carl Nicks from the New Orleans Saints. If not Nicks, then it could be Ben Grubbs from Baltimore.

With Faine due to make close to $6 million this year, that would free up a wonderful amount of money to set in front of Nicks.

Connect the dots to Jeremy Zuttah, who played for Greg Schiano at Rutgers, and connect the dots to the good job Zuttah did during the 10-6 run two seasons ago and it should come as no surprise that Zuttah could likely become the starting center and the Bucs could sign Nicks.

Schiano wants a physical game up front and with Nicks and Davin Joseph as the two starting guards; you get the feeling that this team could run the football.

One thing that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense is the projected $14 million per year it would take to sign wide receiver Vincent Jackson. That would eat up more than a third of the Bucs available salary cap space.

If the Bucs were one player away from being a Super Bowl contender and Jackson was that one player, then it would be something to consider. But what makes more sense is to spread the money. Pierre Garcon would make $5 to $6 million.

This team has so many needs, $14 or $15 million doesn't seem the smartest move.

The Bucs desperately need linebacking help.

Which would you rather have:

Carl Nicks and Curtis Lofton or Vincent Jackson?

That one's a no-brainer.