Buccaneers: Grading the 2016 Free Agent Class
By Bailey Adams
With the 2017 NFL free agency period ramping up soon, the Buccaneers will surely be very busy. How they will do remains to be seen, but for now, we’ll take a look back on how things went in year one for the 2016 free agency class.
Every offseason, teams have to address needs and roster gaps through free agency and the draft. In the last couple of years, it seems like general manager Jason Licht and his Buccaneers front office are still looking for a healthy split between both of them.
We all remember the 2014 free agency class. It turned out to be a heavy disaster, with Josh McCown, Anthony Collins, Michael Johnson, Alterraun Verner all gone. Only Verner and Clinton McDonald lasted more than one season with the Bucs. 2015 wasn’t much better, with the main signings being Chris Conte, Henry Melton, Sterling Moore and Bruce Carter. It seemed like, for two years, head coach Lovie Smith had a heavy say in Licht’s decision-making. Once Smith was fired, Licht had his first shot at running the team completely his way.
The team’s 2016 free agency class turned out to be a pretty good one. We’re here to evaluate each of the “major” signings, with a grading scale from A to F. We’ll start with the players that the team already had before the period, then move on to those who were new to Tampa Bay in 2016.