NFL free agency rumors: Derek Cox draws Buccaneers interest

Sam Greenwood

The Bucs need a cornerback (or two ... or three) and appear close to signing Cox when free agency begins.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are pursuing free agent cornerback Derek Cox, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.

Cummings tweeted the Bucs could sign Cox "out of the chute" when free agency begins Tuesday.

Cox, 26, has spent his entire four-year NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's been a starter the entire time, recording 12 interceptions and 203 total tackles in 47 career games. Cox's best season was his rookie campaign when he intercepted four passes and recorded 72 total tackles in 16 starts.

While Cox has shown flashes of strong play, he has missed a lot of time due to injuries. He has missed 17 games over the last three years.

The Buccaneers would like to add Cox to try to sure up its secondary. After trading Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots in the middle of the 2012 season, the Bucs might also release cornerback Eric Wright. The Bucs are also trying to get Ronde Barber back for a 17th NFL season.

Despite injury concerns, Sander Philipse of Bucs Nation said there would be "a lot of upside" to bringing Cox to Tampa Bay:

With his injury concerns there'd be some risk to this signing, but also a lot of upside if the injuries prove to not be structural. Those injuries are likely to depress his price as well. Given previous reports that the Buccaneers are looking for multiple starters in free agency this should not be taken as a sign that the Bucs are done looking for cornerbacks if they sign Cox. Whether signing Cox would be a wise investment, though, would depend on the price.

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