Buccaneers battle plan for a future without Jameis Winston

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Free Agents to acquire

DT Jordan Phillips. 4 years, $30 million ($7.5 mil per year)

Jordan had himself a Shaq Barrett type year with the Buffalo Bills. He is only 27 years old and is coming from a very aggressive Sean McDermott system… and it just so happens both Bowles and McDermott are part of the Andy Reid coaching tree.

I’m sure McDermott has nothing but rave reviews from his late bloomer who went from 0 sacks in 2018 to 9.5 in 2019. Phillips has secured himself a nice enough pay day and is a great fit next to Vita Vea to maintain a stout middle of the front 4. A 4 year deal with the first 2 fully guaranteed could be enough to get Phillips in pewter and red.

Because of his one year out of nowhere, it may be harder for him to secure a long-term deal. If Phillips was able to sign elsewhere for more money, I expect the Bucs to bring back Suh on a one year $7.5-8 million dollar deal. Phillips is the younger, higher risk/reward option whereas Suh at this point is more what you see is what you get.

OT Bryan Bulaga. 2 years, $18 million ($9 mil per year)
BA has let it be known that he does not believe in drafting offensive linemen early as you draft them for the next coaching staff. Bulaga is nearing the end but is solid enough to get the job done for another year or two. Him and Dot would be the veterans battling for the right tackle spot in camp. Bulaga should win the job and can also play left tackle in a pinch should anything happen to Donovan Smith.

OG Xavier Su’a-Filo. 1 year, $1.5 million
Personal favorite of veteran depth to come in and push Cappa for the starting right guard job. Did a solid job playing for the Cowboys when given the opportunity to do so. With a new regime likely coming in Dallas and their focus on signing Dak Prescott long term, it’s easy to see Su’a-Filo on the way out. Nice bargain 1 year deal to battle a young guard and provide depth at the position.

LB Josh Bynes. 1 year, $1 million
Not much to say except for that he played under BA for one year in Arizona. The type of guy who can play effectively in a pinch if needed and can play special teams.

TE Darren Fells, 1 year $1.5 million
Older, but big bodied tight end that does the dirty works and can work over the middle. He’s nothing special but a solid veteran signing that can be very effective as the #2 tight end.

RB David Johnson. 1 year, $5.5 million
The first and only “splash” offensive move in Free Agency is to reunite Johnson with the coach who drafted him.

All signs point to Johnson being released by the Cardinals. Given Johnson’s salary, there is no way he is in Arizona in 2020 with the Cardinals wanting to resign Kenyan Drake and the market being slim for a trade, the Cardinals are best off just releasing Johnson to move forward in their direction established at the end of the season with Drake.

This allows Bruce Arians to sign Johnson to a modest one year deal so that he can earn himself one more big payday while also providing Rojo with some stiff competition (sorry Peyton Barber). Johnson can also serve as not only a spell back, but the primary third down back until Rojo makes the necessary improvements.

CB Logan Ryan, 3 years $33 million ($11 mil per year)
As my second big defensive improvement, I turn to the swiss army knife Logan Ryan. He’s getting up there in age as he will be turning 29 in February. He can play the slot, outside, and most importantly is a 2-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots.

Ryan can even play some safety as well. He will be able to push the young guys but also provide solid, veteran depth for the DB’s. Most Bucs fans would love Patrick Peterson, but he’s one year older, more expensive, and provides only 1 year of control.

Logan is the perfect player and price that our defense needs to solidify the cornerback position. A cheaper option could be someone like Bashaud Breeland for a 1-2 year contract. The decision here comes down to how much the coaching staff wants to lean on the 2nd and 3rd year corners? If the staff chooses Breeland resources could be used to bring in a veteran safety (preferably free safety) to round out and solidify the DB group. If they choose Ryan, Bowles can play matchups with all the corners against Bucaneer opponents.

Estimated Salary Cap Remaining: $16.55 million