I don't know how I feel about this one.
I think that the Colts address a legitimate need, since Corey Simon looks like he's effectively done for the year. For this year, the trade is a good roll of the dice for the Colts, since McFarland is a solid, if unspectacular, defensive tackle. He should help shore up Indy's run defense.
The Colts gave up a 2nd round draft pick to the Bucs.
The trade is a good one for the Bucs for sure with an eye toward the future. The Bucs have drafted well, and a round 2 pick could help address the age issues on defense. Booger McFarland's cap numbers were also substantial, so GM Bruce Allen obtains some welcome cap room by moving Booger to the Colts.
There's a chance that the Bucs will opt to solidify the defense through free agency next year.
What about this year?
McFarland was no Warren Sapp. Numbers have been known to lie, but not to this extent. McFarland's numbers come nowhere near Sapp's production at the same position. Substitute Ellis Wyms, subbing for McFarland against the Bengals, registered two sacks.
Apparently Wyms is the better pass rusher between the two. If Wyms can hold up against the run without too much of a dropoff from McFarland, then the trade is a good one for this year as well as for the future, provided that Wyms' backup plays nearly as well as Wyms.
Depth, after all, counts for something.
Anthony Bryant, a late-round draft pick from Alabama a couple of years ago, made the Bucs' practice squad at defensive tackle.
Bryant has good size for the DT position--bigger than the prototypical Tampa-2 DT--and he has excellent speed. The rap on Bryant was that he tired quickly and took plays off. Reports out of training camp offered that Bryant did much to shed the bad rap during the offseason. He showed up with better stamina this year and created a bit of a buzz in training camp. Evidently that buzz didn't translate fully into production during the preseason games, because Bryant didn't make the team.
Bryant isn't a lock to make the active roster, however. The Bucs drafted a DT this year, Julian Jenkins (Stanford), who plays well on special teams and has the versatility to play DE. Jenkins' playing time may increase and the Bucs may opt to address another need with the roster space created by the McFarland trade.
Buchanon figures to fill in for the injured Mark Jones returning kicks.
Buchanon was former high-round draft pick who has developed a reputation for being soft on tackling. That's not a good rap to have when trying to win a job at corner in Tampa Bay. It's hard to pin down Buchanon's future with the Bucs after this year. He's due to enter free agency. Maybe the Bucs give him a shot to win a job next year if he signs a cap-friendly contract.
Of note, rookie CB Alan Zemaitis (Penn State) has been as quiet during his first season as was Ronde Barber. The signing of Buchanon may mean that Zemaitis isn't progressing as much as hoped.
Zemaitis was pegged as a perfect fit for Tampa's cover-2 defensive scheme, but appeared to struggle during preseason. Ronde Barber had similar problems during his first season, let's remember, so don't count the kid out just yet.