Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No need to rush on remaining unsigned players

Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Several key pieces of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020 Super Bowl run remain unsigned. Fortunately for the Buccaneers, they don’t have any reason to rush, or stress, about getting these players re-signed.

Coming into the offseason, Head Coach Bruce Arians and General Manager Jason Licht had a plan. They had “five or six players” they were prioritizing in free agency to bring back on board the ship. We had surmised who we thought they would be, but given what’s happened thus far, it’s safe to say who they were. Thanks in part to Tom Brady lending his usual helping hand by restructuring his contract, the Bucs were able to franchise tag wide receiver Chris Godwin while re-signing defensive studs Shaq Barrett, and Lavonte David, former “Mr. Irrelevant” kicker Ryan Succop, and Brady’s best friend tight end Rob Gronkowski. That’s five players right there, which as the Buccaneers brass, and the NFL community as a whole, already deeming this offseason a rousing success for the defending champions. Of course, there have been other “less notable” for lack of a better term, re-signings as well, but those five were the biggies.

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The most notable layovers from the Super Bowl roster that currently remain unsigned are defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Leonard Fournette. Like we said, with each passing day they remain unsigned, the less stress for Tampa as it should ultimately mean fewer bucks the Bucs have to spend.

This is in no way a slight at Playoff Lenny, but in today’s NFL, running backs are a dime a dozen. A, because it’s a passing league, and B, because you just never know how long the wheels will stay on. That being said you do still need to be able to run the ball come playoff time, as the

Buccaneers proved a season ago. In the case of Fournette, interest in him hasn’t been booming, and while Seattle made an offer, they also just re-signed Chris Carson, so that may be out the window. The Buccaneers also have pieces in place to move forward without Lenny, so it isn’t like the cupboard is bare, especially with a deep draft on the horizon.

Brown finds himself in a somewhat similar situation. While he did behave himself in 2020, there are still concerns about him throughout the league. Given the Brady factor, which both improved his behavior as they seem close but also might be the reason that perhaps Tampa is the only city and team he’d be happy in. With this being the case, it may be Bucs or bust for Brown. This means the Buccaneers can simply bide their time and sign AB on the calm should they want him to be their third option. If not, they still have Scotty Miller and the criminally slept on Tyler Johnson.

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

Suh is an interesting case. At 34 years old, the thought of retirement may be creeping in. He has tested the market but hasn’t seemed to like what he found given his age and history of chasing the cash. Now, he’ll have to decide if what the Buccaneers can pay is worth him still playing. Luckily, the Buccaneers have reportedly been working out a deal with Suh, and with each passing day, his price tag should hopefully become cheaper.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding these players, the Buccaneers are still in an absolutely fantastic position since they got the aforementioned big five back into the fold. The defending Super Bowl champs should be favored to repeat, and don’t need to stress or rush when it comes to these remaining unsigned players.

Next. A possible replacement for Playoff Lenny. dark