Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers return to prominence?

Shaquil Barrett and Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Shaquil Barrett and Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

There’s no reason to believe that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can’t get back to the NFL Playoffs this year, but it all starts with a successful offseason.

The last time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the playoffs, Pro Bowl Bucs’ LB Shaq Barrett was 15 years old.

The Buccaneers have missed out on 12-straight playoffs and, in many cases, haven’t even been competitive in those seasons. They’ve posted a winning record just two times (2010, 2016) and haven’t been able to return to the prominence of what Buccaneers fans experienced in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

As we head into the 2020 season, though, things seem a little different.

For the first time in quite a while, there’s a sense of hopefulness surrounding the organization that has clearly taken steps in the right direction.

There’s promising youth and there are reasons to be optimistic.

When you look at the scope of the NFC South, there’s an opening across the division.

The Panthers have a questionable QB situation with the uncertain health of Cam Newton and Carolina will have to replace LB Luke Kuechly, the star of that defense for the past few seasons. The Saints are stuck in limbo land with their QB situation and things don’t look quite as ‘automatic’ as they have in the past for that organization with Drew Brees likely out the door. The Atlanta Falcons have a great offense, but some defensive struggles that are causes for concern.

The point is this: Every team in the division has flaws. There is no guarantee. The Buccaneers could’ve made the playoffs last season with a better start and they’ll come into this season with that promising youth a year older.

Related Story. Why a playoff push is a real possibility in 2020. light

This Tampa Bay team is coming together and has the opportunity to return to prominence and compete in 2020. It will all begin with a successful 2020 offseason, which includes free agency and the draft, but there is real reason for optimism as the Bucs look to put an end to that long playoff drought.