NFL Rumors: Bruce Carter Leaving Tampa Bay Buccaneers For New York Jets

NFL rumors are swirling around Bruce Carter. The 28-year-old linebacker, who was recently released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is searching for a new home in the National Football League. The New York Jets are looking to add depth at the linebacker position. According to NBC Sports, Carter and the Jets could be signing a contract in the near future. Jets head coach Todd Bowles likes to run his linebackers hard, so depth at the position is a must.

Things were looking great for Bruce Carter last season. He signed a four-year deal worth $15 million back in March of 2015. At the time, the former North Carolina Tar Heels star felt that he had found his home in the NFL for the next several years. With the arrival of new head coach Dirk Koetter, Carter was deemed unnecessary, especially since he lost his starting middle linebacker job to rookie Kwon Alexander, so he was handed his release after the season ended.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander
Kwon Alexander [Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images]
One of the reasons why the New York Jets are looking for depth at the linebacker position is because they lost Demario Davis in free agency. He was one of the few NFL players who decided that it was a good idea to sign with the Cleveland Browns. Rather than being backed up against the wall when the upcoming NFL Draft rolls around, the Jets decided to add a veteran linebacker, which means that they don’t need to find one coming out of college.

If there’s one good thing about Bruce Carter, it’s his versatility. When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the former Dallas Cowboys star, they penciled him in to start at middle linebacker. Those plans were foiled when rookie Kwon Alexander developed into a beast. The Buccaneers then allowed Carter to play at strong side linebacker, in addition to providing backup minutes at middle linebacker.

New York Jets coach Todd Bowles
Todd Bowles [Photo by Tom Sczcerbowski/Getty Images]
While Todd Bowles could opt to use him at multiple spots on his defense, Bruce Carter is expected to get the majority of his reps at inside linebacker. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carter played in a 4-3 defense. The New York Jets utilize a 3-4 defensive front. However, Carter shouldn’t have that much of an adjustment to make because inside linebackers in a 3-4 defense do a lot of the same things that a 4-3 strong side linebacker does.

When Bruce Carter was playing really well for the Dallas Cowboys, it was when they were utilizing a 3-4 defense. His play started deteriorating a little bit when then Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin converted the team to his Tampa 2 defense, which uses a 4-3 front.

New York Jets linebacker David Harris
David Harris [Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]
In regard to what Bruce Carter brings to the field for the New York Jets, Todd Bowles will more than likely use him in pass coverage. He’s very skilled at that. Carter isn’t much of a pass rusher, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue because inside linebackers in a 3-4 defense don’t spend a lot of time rushing the quarterback. Bruce will more than likely take on tight ends on passing plays, which will free up the outside linebackers to attack the quarterback.

At one point in time, Bruce Carter was playing so well in the NFL that people started comparing him to Derrick Brooks, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers who is now in the hall of fame. Those days are long gone now, but Carter can still be a serviceable player in the National Football League. The New York Jets are really hoping that he can provide some minutes and be of some help on passing situation. If Carter can do that, then the contract will have been worth it for the Jets.

[Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images]

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