The Buccaneers have a big few weeks ahead of them where they can seriously improve their roster. They have some space to work with and even a little more with the releasing of Doug Martin and Chris Baker. After the Bucs moved on from those two, they have about $70 million in cap space to work with. The Buccaneers have some clear holes to fill but they have to be smart. They need to save as much money as possible for extensions for their own players in the upcoming seasons. However, Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter are working for their jobs this year so some splashes may be expected.
The primary need on defense is pass rush. DeMarcus Lawrence was the best available but was recently franchise tagged by the Cowboys. Then Ezekiel Ansah is the next best but is also likely retained by the Lions. Their best bet for pass rush may be to look at the draft.
Their next biggest need is cornerback. There are some quality players on the market this year. Malcolm Butler, EJ Gaines, Rashaan Melvin, and Trumaine Johnson round off the top tier of the corners. While Butler is likely to have the most suitors I’m not interested in anyone the Patriots move on from, it hasn’t worked out for most players. I like EJ Gaines because he’s still young and productive when on the field. His issue is that he hasn’t been on the field a lot lately. This could work out for the Bucs because it should lower his price tag. The Buccaneers need to pursue something because Brent Grimes is not a guarantee to return or be around for longer than a year. If the Bucs could sign EJ Gaines for around $9 million per year they should. Kyle Fuller or Vontae Davis could be another option as well.
The next move should be to upgrade the safety position. Chris Conte is meh, Keith Tandy is likely gone, and Justin Evans is the lone rookie who developed nicely. Another Ram who could be on the move is Lamarcus Joyner and Morgan Burnett are the top options on the market. Both could command $10 million. If the Bucs can scoop up Joyner for $10 million they should.
Finally, if by some magical miracle, LeVeon Bell doesn’t get the franchise tag the Buccaneers should give him a blank check. He’s 26 years old and the best running back in the league. The Buccaneers offense would become elite with the instant improvement from lower tier rushing attack to immediately in the upper echelon of the league. You give LeVeon what he wants because he’s only proven it on the field. I’m slightly biased but you gotta pay him no matter what team he goes to.