Former Buccaneers starter boldly predicted to sign with Patriots

It's not Tom Brady, sorry.
New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

Any time someone mentions the Bucs and the Patriots in the same sentence, it's worth writing about. And maybe 'worth' is doing some heavy lifting there, but whatever, it's mid-May. What else is there to do if not aggregate?

ESPN knows this, which is why they were kind enough to release their 10,000th longform post-draft listicle. The latests is called "Post-NFL draft trades, signings that should happen: 10 deals," which is not actually a sentence, but you get the picture. In the piece, ESPN's NFL writer Bill Barnwell hits a bit on what the Patriots should do with their offensive line, and focuses in on a former Bucs starter who could fit the mold. Here's what he says:

Former Buccaneers starter boldly predicted to sign with Patriots

Patriots sign: OT Donovan Smith

"Speaking of the Pats, let's do the logical thing and get Drake Maye the plug-and-play left tackle the rookie quarterback needs. The drive-to-drive performance from Smith is never going to be pretty, given his propensity for taking holding penalties, but the Kansas City offense was notably better when Smith returned from injury last season and took over for rookie third-rounder Wanya Morris, who struggled. And although Smith had five holding penalties before his neck injury, he came back and had only one during the Chiefs' postseason run to the Super Bowl."

"Signing Smith would afford New England the flexibility to work out Wallace on the left side before committing to him as its left tackle on the future. Wallace could start his career at guard, where he would compete with Sidy Sow for starting work, or battle Okorafor for the swing tackle spot in the lineup. The Pats have to play their young players, and Smith might not be up for the task of spending the season with a team that isn't expected to compete. After they failed to give Mac Jones what he needed to thrive, though, they shouldn't hold back if they can land Smith for 2024."

I mean, honestly? Fine. If you're still looking for your left tackle in mid-May, these are the type of mental gymnastics you need to put yourself through. Smith would make some sense while the Patriots figure out their long term plan, so I'm all for it. Charles Leno's always out there if it doesn't work out.