NFC Rumors: Bucs, Eagles, Washington

Bruce Carter occupies the fifth-highest cap charge for the Buccaneers this season but could play an unfamiliar position for his new team. The Bucs plan to slot the former Cowboys outside linebacker in the middle of their 4-3 alignment, writes Jenna Laine of

With the weak-side spot spoken for in All-Pro Lavonte David and versatile Danny Lansanah slated to work at the strong-side position, Carter will attempt to earn his money at a spot he’s rarely played. The former Cowboys second-round pick struggled at outside backer last season, grading well below zero on Pro Football Focus’ scale, but arguably Carter’s best campaign came as an inside performer. The 27-year-old North Carolina product rated adequately on PFF (subscription required) during 11 starts inside in what was then a 3-4 look in Dallas in 2012.

Playing all three second-level spots in Tampa last season, the bulkier Lansanah’s best work came on the strong side — PFF doled out an eye-catching 6.1 grade for his Week 13 work against the Bears — and the soon-to-be-30-year-old former United Football League standout will begin his season there.

Here is some other news from Tampa and other NFC locales.

  • Also from Tampa: newly acquired George Johnson will start his Bucs tenure as a left defensive end, but the team views the ex-Lion as more of a rotational part than starter, according to Laine. But that could mean a workload similar to the 531 snaps Johnson logged in Detroit last season, albeit in an off-the-bench capacity. The team also hopes third-year end William Gholston, a nine-game starter last season, can man the top swing spot, playing both inside and outside up front.
  • Recent waiver claim D.J. Swearinger will have a chance to start, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier told Laine. The Bucs’ signing of Chris Conte, who struggled at times last year, doesn’t exactly signify a menacing safety corps that prevents upward mobility.
  • With the additions of Brian Mihalik, a seventh-round selection this year, and 2014 Arena Leaguer Frances Mays — an Eagles camp body last season — the Eagles have two 6-foot-9 talents up front, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Enquirer. Although he doesn’t expect either to make the 53-man roster of a team that didn’t allocate any funds to free agent defensive linemen, they could profile as practice-squad developmental bastions.
  • Both Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir of wonder if Will Compton can supplant Perry Riley as a starting inside backer in Washington. Neither were flashy options last season, per PFF, but the six-year veteran Riley’s started inside for Washington for the past three seasons.
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