An offseason of tremendous change is officially upon the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Tom Brady announcing his retirement from the NFL, the team now needs to start making decisions about what the future looks like and who is going to be a part of it.
The upside is that there’s clarity on what path the team will walk. There was hope that Brady would return for a fourth season in Tampa Bay, but how the Bucs approached this offseason largely hinged on what Brady would end up doing.
Now that he’s retired, the team at least has direction in how it should chart its offseason course.
The first order of business is figuring out how to deal with the salary situation. Tampa Bay enters the offseason $55 million over the cap, which meant even if Brady was returning the team would need to make some serious cuts and big time decisions.
With Brady out of the picture, those decisions will still be difficult but could make them easier for the front office to stomach.
This is likely the first Brady-centric move that gets made. Julio Jones is a free agent this offseason, but there’s absolutely zero incentive for Tampa Bay to bring him back if Brady isn’t going to be here in 2023. The whole reason Julio came to Tampa was to team up with the GOAT in an effort to win a Super Bowl.
Jones didn’t get a ring out of his stint with the Bucs, but he might have bought himself another few years in the league playing that mercenary role. He struggled to stay healthy, but when he was in the lineup he was an effective part of an otherwise bad offense. Teams like the Cowboys or Chiefs could bring him in for receiver depth. Kansas City specifically, a team that started to run out of bodies in the AFC Championship Game and likely could have used a guy like Julio who probably would have made some sort of clutch catch that reminded us all why he was such a beloved player in his prime.
Not for nothing, but Jerry Jones loves his veteran receivers and has always had a soft spot for Julio. Doing what he tried to do in Tampa but with Dak in Dallas might be in the future.
Potential Landing Spots: Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs