Grading each announced jersey number for new Buccaneers signings

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Logan Ryan – Wearing number 26 for the Buccaneers

Last, but certainly not least, we have Logan Ryan. We’ve mentioned in other articles on this site that a lot of what the Bucs have done this offseason was catered towards making Tom Brady happy, and the signing of his old teammate with the New England Patriots was certainly one such move.

Ryan switched to number 23 for what was surely his two tons of fun seasons with the New York Giants in 2020 and 2021, from 26 which he wore during his three seasons with the Tennesse Titans, and four in New England where he started his career.

Ryan also won two Super Bowls in New England with Brady, while wearing the number 26, and now has a great chance of winning another with the same quarterback in the same jersey number. It’s hard to beat that.

As far as past Buccaneers players to wear 26, there’s much to be desired apart from Sean Murphy-Bunting’s rookie year. Of course, there is also Dwight Smith. Smith was always underrated, perhaps for being a smaller part of a legendary defense, or because he’s pretty much only known for having two pick-sixes in Super Bowl XXXVII. If both didn’t come when the game was already essentially over, Smith may have been the game’s MVP over Dexter Jackson. However, Smith shouldn’t cast as much of a shadow on the number as Martin should with 22.

Speaking of pick-sixes, Ryan also had one in the final pass Brady ever threw as a New England Patriot during the 2019 AFC Wild Card, which is certainly a notch on the old belt.

With all this being said, Ryan wearing 26 with the Bucs is a tape-measure home run. It also helps that Ryan, like Neal and Gage, won’t be doing the college thing and wearing single digits, depending of course on who you ask. This grade is easy.