However the offseason plays out in 2020, the Buccaneers will have to give up in some areas in order to improve in the others.
Here we are on February 2, 2020. Still no word on Jameis Winston. Free agency is just a mere two months away, with the NFL draft coming just a month later. It’s been almost a full month since head coach, Bruce Arians, stated that we’ll know more about Jameis’ future “in a couple weeks”.
Four weeks later and not even a hint of a clue has been uttered from One Buc Place (now named the Advent Health training facility). Speculation has come in all forms, from local media with close sources to national media personalities giving their input. Still, nothing official.
However the Winston situation plays, here’s what we know will happen no matter what. If the Buccaneers choose to extend Jameis (or even slap him with the transition tag), the defense that played a huge part in the seven games Tampa Bay won last year, will undoubtedly be broken up.
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Defensive pieces will be lost that will need to be filled by unproven free agents or hit or miss draft prospects, but don’t get on your high horse just yet. Shaquil Barretts come around only once in a blue moon.
With that being said, there is another option. Well, maybe the Buccaneers’ only other option. Let Jameis go.
Here’s the pros of that scenario. Tens of millions of cap space saved. Potential cap casualties such as Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul will return in 2020 to keep the Buccaneers’ stifling defense together. With the added cap savings, Tampa Bay can continue to bolster the defense, starting with the secondary, and eventually rounding out the offensive line.
The rest is now up to Team Glazer and the Bucs’ brass. Is it Winston that will be their main priority? Or will they continue to build on an emerging defense?
Either way it goes, something will have to give. But if it’s any consolation on what to do, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, is playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow after destroying the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. Garraopolo threw eight passes the entire game. Yes, eight total throws. Defense wins championships, folks.