Best case for Buccaneers to sign Hall of Fame free agent

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) /

Without Rob Gronkowski for the full season and Chris Godwin for the start of the year, the Buccaneers are going to want to get busy in free agency.

Rob Gronkowski has officially retired for the second time. Could he come back again to help the Buccaneers when they need it most? Seems likely. But expecting this all to be a ploy to get out of training camp and the preseason is silly.

To make matters worse for Tampa’s pass-catching group, it is still unknown as to when Chris Godwin will return.

Not having Gronk or Godwin for the first few games is going to make the start of the season extremely difficult for the Bucs. Yes, they have Russell Gage and could sign another veteran tight end, but expecting any of these players to stem the bleeding from what the Bucs are losing is silly.

The Bucs aren’t dead in the water without Gronk, but his absence will make it all the more important for the Buccaneers to be confident in their pass-catching depth. They won’t need a receiver to replace Gronkowski on the roster, but that fourth wide receiver spot just became all the more important.

To fill this role, many fans are looking at Hall of Fame talent like Julio Jones to step in. Jones was a bit too pricey and not a great option a few weeks ago, but the Gronkowski news and the uncertainty surrounding Godwin have changed that narrative a bit.

The Buccaneers simply can’t rely on their wide receiver depth as it stands. The top three are good, but the next five guys in camp vary dramatically on a game-to-game basis. The Bucs can’t afford to deal with this.

Without Gronk and Godwin on the field to start the season, Tampa needs to ensure that its top four is beyond solid at wide receiver, and it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen unless they get busy on the free agent market.

It may seem hard to believe, but Julio Jones looks like one of the best fits on the market and getting him to come to Tampa isn’t out of the question.

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