Buccaneers: Cap space is much tighter in Tampa than it appears

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers are already tight on money for 2021.

Using conservative estimates on overthecap.com, the Buccaneers have just over 13 million dollars in cap space going into next season. The cap space could end up being slightly higher than 180 million, but it seems unlikely that it would increase by more than one or two million.

Thirteen million dollars will not go very far with the current free agents. Shaquil Barrett alone will command more than that by himself, and that still leaves out coveted free agents like Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, and Leonard Fournette.

The next few months will be a bloodbath in Tampa, and the Bucs have almost no shot of keeping the entire roster together. 

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Tampa Bay could restructure contracts and cut expensive players all day, but they won’t be able to free up the 40 or 50 million dollars necessary to keep their key free agents. In addition to free agency, the Bucs still need to keep money for their upcoming draft class and depth free agents.

Restructured contracts only go so far, and the optimism following the Super Bowl is starting to wear off with the realization that the roster will look very different next season. Even if the Bucs can use players wanting to stay in Tampa on a Super Bowl team to their advantage, their entire group of departing free agents could make as much as 70 or 80 million dollars in 2021.

The Buccaneers aren’t in the worst position in the league

While the Bucs don’t have the same problems as a team like the Saints, this cap space issue could prove challenging to overcome this offseason. Tampa Bay has no choice but to pass on some of their best players, and difficult decisions are needed to overcome several significant departures.

For the time being, Barrett is the main focus in free agency, but the Buccaneers have to ask themselves if they can even afford him.

Buccaneers: 4 potential replacements for Chris Godwin if he departs. light. Trending

Tampa Bay has a great front office that has shown prowess in this process in the past, but even this will still be a difficult mountain for the franchise to overcome.

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