The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could lure a veteran out of retirement.
According to Alex Kay of Bleacher Report, recently retired center JC Tretter is the perfect fit for the Buccaneers. Kay attributes Tampa Bay’s struggles on offense combined with the injury-plagued offensive line as reasons for why the 31-year-old center could come out of retirement for the Buccaneers.
“The Buccaneers offense is struggling right now (averaging a mere 317 yards per game), and an injury-ravaged offensive line is certainly not helping remedy the issue,” says Kay. “Tampa Bay was already down two starters from last season after Ali Marpet retired and Alex Cappa departed in free agency. When stalwart center Ryan Jensen suffered a knee injury that could keep him out for the year, the Bucs were forced to move 2021 third-round pick Robert Hainsey to center to plug the hole.”
Buccaneers’ Offensive Line Considered a Weak Point
It’s no secret that the offensive line — once a strength of Tampa Bay — is suddenly a major weakness of the offensive unit due to the major turnover. According to Pro Football Focus, the Buccaneers’ offensive line has produced a 63.7 pass-blocking grade, ranking 19th in the league.
Kay suggests that by signing Tretter — who should sign at a low asking price — would only strengthen Tampa Bay’s depth along the offensive line.
By signing Tretter, the Bucs would be able to kick Hainsey back outside and shore up the offensive trenches.
“Given Tretter’s admittedly low salary demands—he revealed to Prewitt that his asking price is below market value for his skillset—the cash-strapped Bucs should swallow their pride and come to terms with the center,” explains Kay.
Tretter spent the first four seasons of his career with the Green Bay Packers (2013-2016) before spending his last five seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Although Tretter never garnered a Pro Bowl or All-Pro selection during his career, he consistently ranked as one of the top centers in the league.
According to PFF, Tretter posted a 78.7 offensive grade during the 2021 season, ranking seventh among all centers. During the 2020 season, Tretter posted a similar 77.1 offensive grade, ranking fifth among all players at his position. Outside of the 2014 season, Tretter posted at least a 69.1 offensive grade every season of his career.
Tretter’s Role as the NFLPA President May Have Forced Retirement
As Kay notes, Tretter clearly still has the desire to play. Back in August, Tretter mentioned that he still had received no calls from NFL teams despite a potential need for a veteran center for franchises.
“There are teams right now that I would say are desperate for a center based off how camp’s going,” said Tretter. “Still, no calls.”
Prewitt mentions how Tretter believes his role as an NFLPA President is a likely reason for why teams didn’t sign him despite his long consistency at one of the game’s most important positions.
“Guys would be like, ‘Oh, like how are your knees doing?’” Tretter recalls. “And I always said, ‘My NFLPA job is gonna end my career well before my knees end my career.’”
With the Buccaneers clearly needing more consistency along the offensive line to potentially threaten for another Super Bowl during Tom Brady’s potential last season, signing Tretter would make a major difference.