Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers was arrested at LaGuardia airport in New York and charged with two counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon. According to police, a loaded .40 caliber handgun was found in his luggage.
It is the same charge that landed Plaxico Burress in prison for two years when the firearm he was illegally carrying in a night club discharged and wounded him in the leg. He spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons there.
That’s about all the information on the case so far – just the bare bones. Speculation as to how or why he had it there is just that.
Bowers had just finished up his second year in Tampa Bay after having been injured for most of those two seasons. As I recall, he was talked about as being the #1 overall pick in Cam Newton’s class early on before the extent of his knee issues at Clemson University had been and he fell off all the way into the second round, where the Bucs took a flyer on him.
There was talk of him being what’s commonly referred to as a “one-contract player” – someone whom you might get 4 or 5 good years from but had the upside to take a chance on. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, he stayed on a first-name basis with the medical staff there as at Clemson.
Da’Quan has only appeared in a handful of games and defensive end remains a primary need for the team and his arrest could be enough to send him packing from Tampa Bay for good. He was never a force at all with the Bucs and it shouldn’t affect their draft plans much other than to perhaps move the position up a notch on their needs list simply from a depth standpoint. It emphasizes the fact that they have none.
As it is, the Buccaneers start one average NFL defensive end with injury issues in Michael Bennett. The other end is third year journeyman Daniel Te’o-Nesheim.
The Bucs have the 13th overall selection in a draft deep in talent on both the offensive and defensive lines and, like the Panthers at 14th, are probably hoping to trade down for an extra pick or two and still grab a good lineman on the defensive side.
Tampa Bay also needs help at cornerback to improve upon a bottom-dwelling unit against the pass last season.