Why the Buccaneers have no choice but to tank in 2022
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers have a very grim outlook into the 2022 season. As hard as it may sound, their best bet may be to win less games than more.
Now, before you lose your minds, read all of this through before you pitch a fit. No Bucs fan on the planet wants to see the Buccaneers suck again, but days of underperformance are coming again one way or another. Wouldn’t it be best to minimize the years at or below mediocrity?
No league in professional sports has more parity than the NFL. The format of the draft and a strict salary cap allows NFL teams to go from zero to hero in one year.
Teams like the Bengals, 49ers, and Cardinals have shown just how much a team can turn their success around almost overnight, and the Bucs need to take notice.
This offseason is going to be a tough one for Jason Licht and company. There are a lot of big names that are leaving the Bucs (see Ali Marpet), and the free agent window isn’t going to make any big changes.
Just look at what the Bucs are dealing with right now:
While some of these guys will be coming back, it is important to realize that the Buccaneers will be a shade of what they were for the past two years in 2022, especially if Blaine Gabbert is the quarterback.
With all of these issues, this team is not competing for a Super Bowl. The Bucs can obviously make some noise in a weak NFC South, but winning that division is similar to a participation trophy; yeah you won, but all that trophy does is over-inflate your opinion of yourself.
If the Bucs aren’t going to be great, settling for mediocre is worse that being outright bad.
With a new interior offensive line, quarterback, running back room, and questions at wide receiver, Tampa needs to make the most of Kyle Trask and put the team in contention for one of the stud quarterbacks in the class of 2023.
Treading water with Gabbert is how teams like the Vikings and Eagles get stuck in Purgatory. No one wants to end up in those spots.
As hard as it may sound, the Buccaneers would be far better off to struggle more in 2022 to be ready for 2023 rather than trying to make the most of what is quickly becoming a bad situation for the next five or six seasons.
Losses are coming. The Bucs might as well use them to their advantage.
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