Are the Buccaneers still a potential destination for Lamar Jackson?
By Josh Hill
Lamar Jackson requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens, which re-ignites a conversation the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may no longer be in.
An offseason full of drama between the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson has once again experienced a plot twist that ropes in teams around the league.
When Jackson first made it clear he would be willing to leave Baltimore in order to get paid what he deserves, it ignited rumors that connected him everywhere from Atlanta to Minnesota. Early on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were very closely connected to the Lamar Jackson rumors, especially in the wake of Tom Brady retiring and there being a sizable hole on the team’s roster at quarterback.
Once again the plot has twisted and thickened.
Jackson continued to wage war on the Ravens through his Twitter account, dropping a bombshell on Monday that he had formally requested a trade. He went as far as to craft a farewell letter to Ravens fans giving them the ‘it’s not your fault’ treatment.
For what it’s worth, John Harbaugh downplayed this and remains confident that Jackson will be in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. The rumor mill is already spinning, though, and logic is never anywhere to be found.
It once again begs the question of whether or not a Lamar Jackson trade is on the table for the Buccaneers — and more importantly if it ever really was?
Buccaneers aren’t being talked about as a Lamar Jackson destination anymore
Ferris Bueller once quipped that life comes at you fast and if you don’t stop you might miss it. The same goes for getting swept up in the Lamar Jackson rumor mill. It wasn’t that long ago that the Bucs were mentioned in every single list of teams that could land Lamar Jackson — and near the top of those lists, for what it’s worth — yet it’s difficult to find any mention of them in the wake of the saga’s biggest plot twist yet.
After news that Lamar had requested a trade broke, PFF tossed out three teams, SB Nation listed six teams, and Sporting News listed seven teams; the Buccaneers were nowhere to be found.
Vegas seems to have lost faith as well, with the odds on Tampa Bay being a possible destination having significantly dropped from where they were at the beginning of the offseason.
CBS listed the Bucs as a potential destination but needed to craft an 11-team hypothetical list to get them on there.
Not a lot has changed in Tampa Bay; the Bucs signed Baker Mayfield but not a single person can say with a straight face they’d pass on a chance to get Jackson because of him. There has been zero chatter about the Bucs looking to trade for a top quarterback in the draft, and the rest of the free agency pool has dried up.
There’s nothing of significance that has obviously changed in Tampa Bay to have taken them out of the conversation, yet that’s what has seemingly happened.
Perhaps they’re closer to reality.
Optically the Bucs made sense but logically it was a bit harder to close the gap. Tampa Bay still has to be careful about the salary cap and would need to free up a huge chunk of money to afford the deal. There are also long-term ramifications that aren’t ideal, such as probably needing to move Mike Evans and Chris Godwin which doesn’t really put Jackson in a situation to succeed.
It’s a great thought, and having Jackson makes the Bucs an instant Super Bowl contender, but it’s a short-sighted move that would need to be perfectly thought out and lined up in order to work.