Buccaneers draft still leaves room for obvious free agent signing

Julio Jones, free agent option for the Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Julio Jones, free agent option for the Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

While it looked like the Buccaneers would target a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, they have left the door open to make an even better signing on the free agent market.

The Buccaneers not taking a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft comes as a surprise after the end of the 2021 season.

The wide receiver room does not have the depth that everyone thought it did going into the playoffs, and while no one expects any of the current Bucs to jumping-jack their way off the field during a game this season, the unit obviously needs a few more bodies to properly compete in 2022.

While a draft pick would’ve been nice, the Bucs were able to save themselves some money with their picks and now have a chunk of change to spend on a free agent or two. This amount of money also goes up if you factor in a changeup on special teams with some much cheaper options on the way.

The free money and need on the team lead to an obvious name on the free agent wide receiver market to pursue; Julio Jones.

Jones is already one of the best wide receivers of all time. What he has done over a career with a less-than-talented Falcons team is nothing short of spectacular. The individual accolades are there, but Jones needs a ring.

While Jones should have his pick of the market based on the ability to perform at a high level when healthy, the Bucs are a good fit as a team that has money, space, and the greatest quarterback of all time to catch passes from.

Few people can pass up the recruiting pitch when it comes from the GOAT. Does it really seem like Jones is going to be able to stand strong when he could carve out a decent role with the Bucs as he proves he still has some gas left in the tank?

Some fans may point to Russell Gage as the WR3 for Tampa, but Jones doesn’t hurt in that shared third/fourth role. To further the idea, Chris Godwin usually spends one or two games out with an injury, and the rest of the unit isn’t bullet-proof either. There is a role there.

Julio Jones would be an excellent insurance piece that keeps up with the arms race that is going on in the AFC, and the Buccaneers need to make an offer immediately.

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