Tampa Bay Buccaneers: What to expect from Noah Spence in 2019

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Defensive end Noah Spence #57 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with middle linebacker Kwon Alexander #58 after breaking up a pass by quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of an NFL game on December 11, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Defensive end Noah Spence #57 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with middle linebacker Kwon Alexander #58 after breaking up a pass by quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of an NFL game on December 11, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 01: Noah Spence #57 and Lavonte David #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate after a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter of the game at Raymond James Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Panthers 17-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 01: Noah Spence #57 and Lavonte David #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate after a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter of the game at Raymond James Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Panthers 17-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Can Spence shake the bust label?

Entering 2019, Spence’s contract year, he has a new defensive coordinator in Todd Bowles, and should have plenty of opportunity to make an impact on the field. Spence enters a make-or-break year, because if he does not perform well, he may not even see a second contract coming his way and could be out of the league.

Due to the injury of Jason Pierre-Paul, the team’s leader in sacks, Spence will see plenty of playing time if he can win over the trust of Bowles, something he was unable to do under Smith. The only other healthy edge rushers on the Buccaneers’ roster includes Carl Nassib, free agent addition Shaquil Barrett, and fourth-round pick Anthony Nelson.

At the very minimum, Spence will see himself play a rotational role, with the potential to start opposite of Barrett for Bowles’ 3-4 defense. Given the injury of Pierre-Paul, Spence’s roster spot is looking a bit safer but he still has a long way to go.

Bucs: Redraft of historically bad 2016 NFL Draft. dark. Next

The city of Tampa Bay is tired of hearing about how in shape Spence is and instead would love to see some production on the field. Entering the last year of his rookie deal, Spence will need to finally take the next step to prove that he belongs in the National Football League.