The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off another brilliant trade in the Mark Dominik era when the team acquired offensive lineman Gabe Carimi from the Chicago Bears on Sunday night. But now that his minicamp issues are settled — as he won’t be attending it with the Bears– the question now is how will he fit in with the Buccaneers.
Judging from the way things are stacking up for the Buccaneers up front, it looks like Carimi will compete on the right side of the Buccaneers line and try to earn the starting gig over Demar Dotson who has virtually no one behind him at right tackle. Carimi’s issue with the Bears was that they had brought in new competition to force him out, yet this is exactly his role with the Bucs now.
But the guy he’s forcing out may not be who you think. While Mike Florio predicts Carimi competing for time on the right side of the line, Greg Schiano has likely brought Carimi in to try and either motivate or force out left tackle Donald Penn, who has been a pillow for the Bucs on the left side of the line for years now. It’s not that he’s a terrible tackle, it’s just he’s not as elite as he’s being paid.
There’s also conflicting reports about Penn’s weight as Mark Cook claims Penn showed up overweight to Bucs camp and Penn himself saying he didn’t. But the fact of the matter remains Penn is a bit overpaid on the left side of the line and Carimi could slide in there and usurp him in training camp. Schiano has been into bringing in guys to compete with incumbents as nothing was more blatant than drafting quarterback Mike Glennon in the third round of this year’s draft.
For now Carimi seems to be competing with Dotson but don’t count out a move to left tackle and competition with Penn for the starting gig on Josh Freeman’s left side.