APRIL 20: After the Bolts passed on the final season of Feiler’s three-year contract, the Bucs added the veteran O-lineman at a low rate. Feiler will be tied to a one-year deal worth $2.5MM, Greg Auman of Fox Sports tweets. Incentives can bump the value to $3.25MM, and Auman notes the Bucs added four void years for cap purposes. That continues a recent Tampa Bay trend.
APRIL 13: The Chargers made Matt Feiler a cap casualty early in free agency. A month later, the veteran offensive lineman found a new team. The Buccaneers and Feiler agreed to terms Thursday, Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager reports (on Twitter).
Feiler will join the Bucs on a one-year deal. The former Steelers guard and tackle spent the past two seasons with the Chargers; he has been a regular starter for the past five seasons.
This contract will certainly be worth far less than Feiler’s Bolts deal, a three-year pact worth $21MM, but the Bucs are in need at guard after trading Shaq Mason to the Texans last month. Tampa Bay, which also released longtime left tackle Donovan Smith, struggled up front last season. Injuries affected the team during Tom Brady‘s finale. Feiler, who is going into his age-31 season, should have an opportunity to fill in at one of Tampa Bay’s guard spots.
Feiler started 33 of a possible 34 regular-season games during his two-season Chargers run, providing some stability for an offensive front that encountered injury issues at other spots. The Bolts saved more than $6MM by releasing Feiler. The Bucs will swoop in and provide another chance for the former UDFA. Pro Football Focus graded Feiler just outside the top 60 at guard last season but viewed the experienced blocker as far better in 2021, slotting him 12th overall at the position in his Chargers debut.
The Bucs re-signed Aaron Stinnie, a former swingman who filled in for an injured Alex Cappa in the 2020 playoffs, but the veteran guard missed all of last season with an ACL tear. The team still rosters swingman Robert Hainsey, who saw Ryan Jensen‘s MCL and PCL tears move him into a starting role, and Nick Leverett. Luke Goedeke, a 2022 second-round pick, is going into his second NFL season. But the team’s Shaq Mason trade removed the top guard from the equation. The Bucs traded for Mason in the wake of Ali Marpet‘s retirement and Cappa’s free agency defection to Cincinnati, but he will reunite with ex-Patriots exec Nick Caserio in Houston. A constant on an O-line constantly in flux, Mason started all 18 Bucs games last season.
The Steelers used Feiler at both tackle and guard, but he has settled in as an interior blocker in recent years. The Bucs have a need at left tackle — unless Tristan Wirfs moves over to fill it — but Feiler makes more sense as inside help. Feiler started 39 games for the Steelers from 2018-20, parlaying that run into the Chargers deal. He will attempt to provide another team with guard stability soon.