TAMPA, Fla. -- When the NFL free agency period opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to bolster their offensive and defensive lines, two weak spots in 2017.
Barring any hiccups, they are expected to sign former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen, who would be an upgrade over recently cut defensive tackle Chris Baker. At 6-foot-3 and 327 pounds, Allen excelled as a run-stopper on first and second downs. He doesn't offer as much as a pass-rusher, but would serve as a nice complement to six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, whose forte is getting into the backfield.
Baltimore Ravens center Ryan Jensen will also be flying in tonight to visit with the Bucs before heading to Indianapolis for a second visit, sources told ESPN. Pro Football Focus graded Jensen as the ninth-best center in the league in 2017.
Former second-round pick Ali Marpet spent last season at center, but the Bucs might move him back to guard after they averaged just 2.9 yards per carry in the run game for the second consecutive season. Signing Jensen would give them the flexibility to do so, especially with Evan Smith and Kevin Pamphile becoming unrestricted free agents.
Another name to keep an eye on here is Ravens center John Sullivan.
The Bucs are also one of three teams in consideration to land Washington Redskins outside linebacker Trent Murphy, a source told ESPN. He had 9.0 sacks in 2016 but missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL and MCL. Murphy was mostly a rotational player in Washington, but could crack the starting lineup in Tampa and help them utilize more 3-4 looks, something they unveiled in 2017 because of injuries along their defensive line but didn't really have the personnel to execute.
The Bucs had 22 sacks last season, with Robert Ayers registering 2.0 sacks in 12 games and William Gholston getting zero in 14. Noah Spence, a second-round draft pick in 2016, was put on injured reserve after six games because of a shoulder injury that required his second surgery in two years.
The New England Patriots are also among the finalists from the original 10 teams that had expressed interest in Murphy.
The Bucs have already re-signed several key pieces of their own roster -- backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, wide receiver Mike Evans, tight end Cameron Brate, cornerback Brent Grimes, linebacker Adarius Glanton and running back Peyton Barber. They also placed a second-round tender on wide receiver Adam Humphries. They now have roughly $49 million in salary-cap space.