3 Options for Buccaneers to Replace Ryan Jensen After Brutal Injury

Ryan Jensen

Getty Tom Brady converses with Ryan Jensen during a 2021 game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen suffered what appeared to be a significant knee injury on Thursday, July 28, which could create a gaping void along the offensive line.

Jensen, who was one of the first impending free agents to re-sign with the Buccaneers following quarterback Tom Brady’s 40-day retirement, had to be carted off the field after going down in a heap of pain during training camp practice.

The Buccaneers and Jensen are awaiting test results to determine the severity of his injury, but according to multiple reports, the prognosis isn’t encouraging.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the feeling is “it is not looking good,” for Jensen, following the injury.

It’s easy to see why the Buccaneers bringing Jensen back was so important to Brady. In 2021, Jensen only allowed 2.0 sacks, and Pro Football Focus awarded him a 69.9 overall grade, including a 76.1 run-blocking mark.

Robert Hainsey, the team’s third-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft, is the only other center currently on the Buccaneers roster. According to Over The Cap, the Buccaneers currently have just $9.42 million in cap space to shop for a potential replacement for Jensen.

If Jensen is set to miss significant time, perhaps the entire season, the Buccaneers could look to the free agent market to sign his replacement.

Here are three possible free agent options for the Buccaneers to replace Ryan Jensen:

Matt Paradis

It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see the Buccaneers turn to a familiar foe to replace Jensen, if necessary.

Paradis spent the past three seasons with the Carolina Panthers, after winning a Super Bowl ring with the Denver Broncos, back in the 2016 Super Bowl.

Arguably the premier free agent still available at the position, Paradis only allowed 2.0 sacks in 2021, en route to garnering a 66.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

Paradis could offer the unique combination of experience, leadership, and ability, to be able to step in to replace Jensen without the line skipping a beat.

Luke Juriga

Juriga, originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL draft, appeared in 13 games that season and could offer plenty of upside along the Buccaneers’ line.

Although his experience is limited, appearing in only 14 snaps, Juriga only allowed a single quarterback pressure over that span, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Buccaneers got an up-close look at Juriga this spring, when the Western Michigan alum took part in a tryout during the team’s rookie minicamp. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if Juriga is on the Buccaneers’ emergency list, in the event of an injury such as Jensen’s.

Jon Halapio

Halapio, 31, was one of the most respected leadership voices inside the New York Giants‘ locker room during his four-year tenure in East Rutherford.

After being released by the Giants in September 2020, Halapio signed to the Broncos’ practice squad that November, prior to being released in January 2021.

Though he hasn’t appeared in a game since rupturing his Achilles tendon in Week 17 of the 2019 campaign, Halapio only allowed 2.0 sacks that season. He could be a strong culture fit, and provide some much-needed stability as a pass-protector, in Jensen’s absence.

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