There’s a lot of talk surrounding Buccaneers receivers, but one isn’t getting talked about enough.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already getting busy this offseason as they get ready to defend their crown. They have signed Lavonte David (and hopefully Shaq Barrett to follow) to a contract extension allowing Buccaneers fans to breathe somewhat easier. The first bombshell though came when it was announced that they would be franchise tagging Chris Godwin.
There was some worry that if Godwin did not return it would cause some need at the wide receiver position, and why not? Godwin is a great player. He and Mike Evans give Tom Brady an incredible one-two punch out wide to take advantage of. Add in Scotty Miller in the slot, a player that resembles some of Brady’s favorite targets in New England, and there’s plenty of reason to stay excited about this offense going forward. With Godwin being back for at least another year, the attention now turns to what happens to Antonio Brown. Obviously, the Buccaneers would love to have Brown back, but there really isn’t much reason to stress too much about it.
The main reason the Buccaneers don’t need to worry? Tyler Johnson.
Now look, this is in no way saying Tyler Johnson is Antonio Brown, like, at all. However, if the Buccaneers were to somehow be unable to resing Brown, there are far worse backup plans to have than Johnson. In his rookie year, Johnson showed some promise. He’s a big receiver. At 6-feet-1-inch and 206 pounds, his above-average frame is a tough matchup for most NFL corners. Players don’t make their money off of measurements though. If they did, then we would all just accept the Combine and have no reason to play the actual game.
What could potentially set Johnson apart from his contemporaries are his hands. Johnson showed in 2020 that he has exceptional hands. During the divisional round against the division rival New Orleans Saints, with the score tied at 20 with just under 14 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Johnson hauled in a Brady pass to convert a 3rd and 11 that left Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in awe. Buck went so far as to say it was “one of the best catches you’ll ever see!”
Johnson may have only had 12 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns in 2020, but with this kind of raw athleticism and body control by someone as young as him, he can only go up skill-wise. Of course, Brady helps too.
Simply put, the sky is the limit for Johnson. While all of the talk is surrounding the receivers ahead of him on the depth chart (rightfully so), Buccaneers fans, and NFL fans at large, need to make sure they remember the name, Tyler Johnson, because he has the potential to be the next breakout star. Just don’t say he came out of nowhere because we warned you.