Buccaneers, not Patriots, have already won free agency

Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buccaneers have already had the best offseason in the NFL so far.

The New England Patriots have been getting all of the headlines for what they’ve done on the “first day” of NFL free agency. It’s a far cry from what they’ve prided themselves on for the last two decades, which was letting players walk and building through the draft. It’s pretty easy to do that when you have the greatest player to walk the Earth at quarterback. Now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can say that they have him.

While the Patriots have been touted by some as winning the mythical “offseason Super Bowl”, similar to the 2011 “Dream Team” Philadelphia Eagles, or pretty much any Washington team during the 2000s by overpaying for quasi-stars, the Buccaneers have had the most impressive offseason so far when it comes to signing contracts. The Bucs haven’t even brought in anybody new to the locker room, yet. Tom Brady did his usual shtick by sticking to his salary-reducing contract restructuring motif, thus allowing his championship teams to stick together. It’s one of the plethora of reasons Brady is the greatest of all time.

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With the newfound cap space thanks to their passing poobah reworking his deal, the Buccaneers were able to bring back the four most important players on their championship team set to be free agents, the four pieces of Exodia for any Yugi-OH! fans out there if you will. Chris Godwin was

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

franchise tagged at the deadline, with a Lavonte David extension coming shortly after. Then, while the NFL world was in a frenzy over the Patriots throwing dollar bills around, the Buccaneers went and resigned Shaq Barrett, the prize of the free agency pool going into the day, and Brady’s best friend Rob Gronkowski like thieves in the night.

The incredible thing is, General Manager Jason Licht and company were able to resign everyone at generally team-friendly deals while only cracking the bank, instead of outright breaking it. While other teams are doing the usual overpaying for new players song and dance, the Buccaneers have kept their Super Bowl team intact, something that is almost impossible to do in this salary cap era of the NFL. Without even needing to see what happens the rest of free agency/offseason leading up to the Draft, the Buccaneers have already won.