Prediction 1: Three former Bucs return home
This is a big one and potentially the wildest. It’s probably a longshot, but it’s still possible. I’m talking about the Bucs bringing back Michael Bennett, Aqib Talib and Mike Glennon. Rumors about potential releases are currently surrounding all three. Should they become available, the Bucs will be suitors for all three. Star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has openly said that he wants Bennett and Talib back in Tampa and even said he did some recruiting at the Pro Bowl back in January.
Bennett helps fill the team’s need for a pass-rushers, while Talib fills a need in the secondary. The Bucs missed out on the best of their careers. Now, it’s time for them to come home and give Tampa Bay whatever they have left, which still feels like a good amount. Glennon signed a big deal with the Bears last offseason, but lost his starting spot and could very well be on the market again soon. The Bucs love him and he could return as a solid backup to Jameis Winston and a potential fill-in should a suspension come out of the Uber investigation.
Prediction 2: Tampa Bay adds to the backfield
Tampa Bay will find part of Doug Martin’s replacement in free agency. That might be an odd way to phrase it, but it makes sense for the team to go to a rotational backfield. That would include Peyton Barber plus additions from both the draft and free agency.
The biggest name out there, should the Steelers let him go, is Le’Veon Bell. If Tampa Bay was willing to give him a big payday, the rotational backfield idea obviously goes out the window. But if they want to go with a rotation, there are guys out there like Dion Lewis, Jerick McKinnon, Isaiah Crowell, Carlos Hyde and more. It’s hard to say which one the Bucs would like most, but they will add one.
Prediction 3: The Bucs rebuild their offensive line
The Bucs have issues on both sides of the trenches heading into free agency. Prediction three sees them addressing the offensive line. There aren’t tons of options out there, but guys like Josh Sitton and Ryan Jensen could be potential targets. The bottom line is, Jameis Winston is the franchise. The Bucs need to protect him better than they have been.
Picture this: Tampa Bay signs Jensen to play center, slides Ali Marpet back to guard and finds a way to come out of the draft with Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. Add in Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson at the tackle positions and you’re looking at a much better offensive line. Some might not agree with moving Marpet back to guard, but if that scenario presents itself, making that move makes too much sense. One way or another, though, the Bucs need to find some help in the trenches.