Let’s face it, the Buccaneers do not have a roster ready to compete for an NFC South championship in 2019; they must hold their draft assets tight.
I do not know who needs a wake up call, a reality check, and needs to hear this, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in no position to trade away future draft assets to add talent to their roster in 2019. Whether it hurts to hear or not, the Buccaneers are on the brink of a rebuild, and must begin stockpiling picks rather than trade them away.
When a team is looking at cornerstone positions to build a franchise around, the main four roster spots are a quarterback, edge rusher, shutdown cornerback, and offensive tackle. The Bucs currently do not have a solid option at any of these positions on the roster or locked down beyond 2019.
At the quarterback position, it has been rumored by Sports Illustrated’s NFL insider Mike Freeman that the pewter and red are ready to “reset their sights” and that it is likely they move on from quarterback Jameis Winston. If this is the case, then their first rounder in the 2020 draft at the position unless they plan to bridge with a veteran quarterback moving forward into the immediate future.
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While pass rusher Shaquil Barrett has shown flashes of an elite pass rusher, he has now gone two straight games without a sack. This can more than likely be attributed to the lack of a pass rush outside of him, thus teams can direct more attention to Shaq himself. Barrett’s contract is set to expire after this season, and while the Bucs should make it a priority to re-sign him, will they?
As far as the cornerback position, there are no words to describe the depth here, but instead a really nasty facial expression. Right now, second year player Carlton Davis can be classified as the best cornerback on the roster, but he is far from a lockdown corner; former first rounder Vernon Hargreaves will be lucky to be a Buc next year, and the others are too young to tell.
As far as the offensive tackle position for the Bucs, it is in as much shambles as the cornerback position is. This offseason, the Buccaneers signed left tackle Donovan Smith to a three year extension worth $13 million annually; this season, however, Smith has been a turnstile for opposing edge rushers and his best play is a tackle on Marcus Peters in the endzone on an interception return that he was fined for.
Demar Dotson’s time in Tampa is now severely limited as his contract is set to expire after this season. As the longest tenured Buc still wearing the pewter and red, it appears that father time has finally caught up to Dotson as his play has declined significantly in 2019.
As it is evidenced by the lack of cornerstone players at key positions for the Buccaneers, the team is in no position to give up a draft pick in the first three rounds for proven veterans such as Patrick Peterson, who is now 28 years old. Instead, expect the team to ship off their aging proven veterans as they appear to be heading for a rebuild.