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Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade for Patriots G Shaq Mason

Tampa Bay fills a need with trade for Patriots veteran Shaq Mason.

The Bucs were clearly in need of shaping up the middle of their offensive line with the retirement of Ali Marpet and losing Alex Cappa in free agency to the Cincinnati Bengals. While many thought Tampa Bay would address this issue in the 2022 NFL draft, the organization decided to stay aggressive and solve the problem before ever reaching that point of the offseason.

As reported by Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Bucs made a trade with the New England Patriots to acquire veteran guard Shaq Mason. Tampa Bay only gave up their fifth-round draft pick in this year's draft and will take on Mason's final two years of his contract, a total of $16 million. With Tom Brady coming out of retirement, he is reunited with Mason; the two spent time together from 2015-19 with the Patriots.

READ MORE: Bruce Arians' first reaction to Tom Brady returning to Buccaneers

Greg Auman of The Athletic gave some pretty interesting facts when it comes to the impact Mason will have with the team.

Per Pro Football Focus, Mason was the No. 4 overall rated guard last season. This places Mason 3 spots ahead of recently retired Ali Marpet and 14 spots higher than recently departed Alex Cappa. This sure seems like an upgrade no matter which of the two positions Mason comes in and fields and ultimately appears that it saves the Bucs money when it comes to cap room.

Another interesting thing presented by Auman is the amount of career starts the Bucs will now have starting on the offensive line. Shaq Mason, Donovan Smith and Ryan Jensen have combined for a total of 299 career starts. This is a pretty amazing feat and if healthy, these guys will be the anchor of the line along with touted young gun Tristan Wirfs.

READ MORE: Bucs' teammates react to Tom Brady's return to Tampa Bay

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