Is Bucs trading Shaq Mason a sign that another move is coming?

After popping up in trade rumors over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded starting offensive guard Shaq Mason — but what happens next? 

Over the last few days, perceptions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offseason plans have completely changed. What started out as fans bracing themselves for a bleak free agency has turned into the team making moves that not only set up the future but help them remain competitive in the interim.

The most notable move was the team re-signing star cornerback Jamel Dean. It was a move that nobody saw coming, but signaled that the front office wasn’t going to coast into the post-Tom Brady era.

Another move was made on Tuesday, one that we did see coming but could be setting up another potential move in the near future.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Mason will be heading to the Houston Texans.

It’s not terribly shocking news, as Mason was tossed onto the trade block recently and it appeared that it was a matter of when he would be gone rather than if it would happen. Had the Bucs not been able to find a trade partner for him, the team was expected to simply cut him loose in a money saving move.

Tampa Bay saves roughly $5 million by moving on from Mason, who was a good player last season even though his play was overshadowed by how mad things went for the Bucs offensively. He’ll be a solid veteran addition for the Texans as they begin to rebuild around a top rookie quarterback.

What’s becoming clear is that Tampa Bay is reloading rather than rebuilding. Trading Mason not only frees up $5 million, but it could be a sign that the team is trying to find money to make another surprising move — bringing back Lavonte David .

It was expected that both David and Dean would leave in free agency, given the Bucs prickly salary cap situation. But with Dean back on a $52 million deal, the likelihood that Tampa Bay is trying to do what it can to keep its defensive core together for a bit longer has gone way up.

Adding another $5 million to offseason efforts sure makes it seem like there’s another move up the Bucs sleeve.