The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are working hard to hammer out a deal with Vincent Jackson on Day 1 of NFL free agency as the two sides worked into the early evening. It was becoming apparent that it is the Bucs who will become the new home for the former San Diego wide receiver.
That should come as great news to Josh Freeman, who will have some new weapons by the time free agency and the April draft are finished.
Meanwhile, New Orleans guard Carl Nicks has scheduled a trip to Tampa to visit with the coaching staff and GM Mark Dominik. It now appears that the Bucs could be the front-runner to sign Nicks as well. The Philadelphia Eagles were reported to be making a push for Nicks, but as of Tuesday evening, he was only scheduled to visit Tampa.
If the Buccaneers were to sign both Jackson and Nicks, it would fit with the scenario that new head coach Greg Schiano laid out when he was hired. He wants to be physical up front, run the football and be able to go downfield. Jackson will help solve the downfield issue, and should Nicks come aboard, he would make the Bucs that much more physically impressive on their front line.
If Nicks were to sign, it would signal the end of Jeff Faine's time in Tampa and would move Jeremy Zuttah into the starting center position.
As free agency heated up, the Bucs were also one of the teams interested in cornerback Eric Wright from the Lions and running back Mike Tolbert from San Diego.
Jackson became more attractive to the Buccaneers when the NFL took salary cap room away from the Washington Redskins, thus avoiding a bidding war. The Redskins did manage to sign Pierre Garcon from Indianapolis on Day 1.
With the Bucs honing in on Jackson as well as Nicks, they look every bit prepared to spend some serious free-agency dollars.