The Buccaneers are looking into one of Bruce Arians‘ former players for offensive line depth. They are hosting longtime Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley on a visit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The team has moved fast, having agreed to terms with the veteran center, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
Shipley played for three of the Cards’ Arians-led teams, landing in Arizona in 2015 and remaining on the team during Steve Wilks‘ season and Kliff Kingsbury‘s first at the helm. This marks the first piece of offseason news regarding the veteran lineman.
This will be Shipley’s age-34 season. While the former seventh-round pick made his regular-season debut in 2012, he entered the NFL as a 2009 draftee. He has started 70 career games, including 16 last season.
Shipley’s best seasons came under Arians, with Pro Football Focus grading him as one of the game’s top centers during the Cards’ 13-3 season in 2015. Last season, however, PFF assigned him the 29th overall grade among snappers. The former Steelers draftee was, however, coming off an ACL tear — one that sidelined him throughout the 2018 campaign. Arians was with Pittsburgh when the franchise drafted Shipley 11 years ago.
Still, Tampa Bay did not previously possess much in the way of interior-line depth, featuring a host of UDFAs behind its starters. Ryan Jensen is set to enter his third season as the Bucs’ starting center.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.