Buccaneers: All 22 starters returning make them instant favorites

Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

As if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t already favorited to repeat, they went out and re-signed Leonard Fournette on a one-year deal worth $3.25 million according to Josina Anderson and confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. With the Fournette signing, all 22 starters of the Buccaneers 2020 Super Bowl championship roster will be returning to run it back, 24 if you include kicker Ryan Succop and punter Bradley Pinion.

This is absolutely unheard of in today’s NFL and salary cap/free agency era. Coming into the offseason, the Buccaneers had a “big eight” of players they needed to re-sign, with Bruce Arians and Jason Licht narrowing in on “five or six” of them. With Fournette jumping back on board the ship, only Antonio Brown remains in free agency, but due to his reported lack of demand, the Bucs should have no problem bringing him back into the fold in due time. There’s no need to rush anything.

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What Licht and the Tampa Bay front office have achieved is nothing short of remarkable. One can already make the case that this has been the greatest free agency period we’ve ever seen, and possibly even the greatest offseason period. The scary thing? We’re still about a month away from the Draft. That should absolutely terrify the rest of the NFL.

What also should terrify the rest of the NFL, is that these 22 starters are all back, and it makes the Bucs OVERWHELMING favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions. With Drew Brees retiring, the only obstacle really standing in their way in the NFC is Aaron Rodgers, and he proved to be nothing more than a speed bump in last season’s playoff run, as did Brees for that matter.

The Buccaneers were already favorites to repeat. Now? It’s almost a foregone conclusion. The entire starting lineup is back, and there’s little reason to doubt them, especially when a little old ballplayer named Tom Brady is captaining the ship.

Next. The rest of the NFL is famished with envy. dark