Another offseason has come for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with another unfortunate end to the season. Here’s how Tampa can flip the script before next season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an extremely important offseason and draft before them. The coming months can very well dictate whether the team will be competing for a playoff spot next December or fighting for the number one overall pick in the 2021 draft.
While Jason Licht has ben questionable in similar situations, Bucs fans should take heart in the fact that Bruce Arians is confident, in control, and certainly has a good head for the decisions that need to be made.
The Buccaneers have a very good chance of “winning” this offseason if they can accomplish three important tasks.
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1. Franchise Tag Winston
Jameis Winston is the best quarterback for the Buccaneers in 2020. A draft pick will come in and face the exact same problems and the fans will struggle with a bridge quarterback for a rookie that will likely lack the potential that Jameis still has.
The franchise tag is the important point of this re-signing because the Bucs need to be smart with how they handle Jameis’ future. As of now, Winston is the best quarterback for 2020, but that is certainly subject to change for 2021 with the inconsistencies being what they are.
The Bucs cannot afford to overpay Winston and get stuck but can also not afford to fully burn the bridge by using the tag. This move needs to be handled carefully and show Jameis that he is still valued in Tampa, but one more year under Arians is necessary to make a final decision on the future.
2. Replace expensive free agents
If the Buccaneers want to bring back Ndamukong Suh and Breshad Perriman it will likely cost them just shy of 20 million dollars a year. This fee for a defensive tackle who underperformed by all metrics other than luck and a WR3 would be absolutely unacceptable.
The fanbase loved Suh despite his inability to play at an elite level while also falsely attributing the Buccaneers’ success against the run to Suh rather than Vita Vea and William Gholston. The Bucs can find far cheaper and potentially better in the draft while also preserving some much-needed cap space.
Breshad Perriman was electric for the final five weeks of the season but will be far too expensive to keep. The Bucs have too many positions of need to spend so much on one player with a small role when they already have young depth to develop.
3. Draft offensive linemen
If the Buccaneers are truly planning on keeping Winston, they need to pencil themselves in for a first or second round pick on an offensive lineman. If the Buccaneers do replace Suh through the draft, this is the only acceptable reason to wait for round two to bring in a new offensive tackle.
Regardless of where, the Bucs have to invest their resources in protecting their quarterback. The Buccaneer offensive line left something to be desired in 2019 and that needs to be addressed by replacing some veterans with younger and potentially cheaper options.
The Class of 2020 is filled with talented offensive linemen from top to bottom and the Buccaneers have to make sure that they address one of the biggest positions of need on their team this offseason.