Peter King roasts Buccaneers in latest NFL Power Ranking
By Josh Hill
Now that the Tom Brady era is over, experts are once again brushing off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their NFL Power Rankings.
It’s been an objectively great offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, especially against the backdrop of what could have been.
Had another regime other than Jason Licht’s been in power, things could have spiraled out of control in a bad way on the Bucs. Fans have seen this movie before, from Bruce Allen to Mark Dominik, but Licht’s steady hand seems to have landed the plane.
Facing a $55 million salary cap conundrum on the heels of Tom Brady retiring and leaving behind $35 million in dead cap, the Bucs were able to re-sign Jamel Dean and Lavonte David while bringing in free agent pieces like Baker Mayfield to attempt to be competitive this season.
READ: Peter King explains why Bucs passed on Will Levis
That’s pretty impressive, even if the cost of doing business was losing depth players like Mike Edwards, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Keanu Neal. What this offseason was always going to be about was paying the bill for chasing a Super Bowl the last three seasons, something that resulted in a championship returning to Tampa Bay.
The Bucs needed to take their medicine this offseason, something the team did while avoiding a tank job — something almost everyone assumed they’d default to without Brady. In an NFC South that remains wide open and incredibly winnable, the Bucs are entering training camp in a better position than anyone thought they’d be.
Not everyone is impressed, though.
NFL Power Rankings: Peter Kings destroys Buccaneers
In his latest Football Morning in America column, Peter King ranked each NFL team on where they stand now and absolutely knee-capped the Buccaneers.
"Tampa Bay. Well, the Super Bowl was still worth it."
In King’s eyes, the only team worse than the Bucs right now is Arizona.
Maybe it was a late night and Peter got tired by the time he reached the Bucs, but that’s a slap in the face if there ever was one. Actually a slap in the face would have been more effort than King gave assessing the Bucs, which is both an insult to Licht and an indictment of the team’s national standing in the aftermath of the Brady Era.
The NFL schedule is set to be released this week and for the first time in three years the expectation is the Bucs will be lucky to get the minimum number of primetime games a team can receive. We knew that after Brady left the Bucs would return to being an afterthought among pundits but it’s incredibly shortsighted to nail the team down as the second-worst team in the league.
Sure, things went off the rails in other Brady so it’s not hard to see where someone might assume things will be even worse without him. But the Bucs are still a team with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Vita Vea just to make a few. The Bucs also have a healthy offensive line and a chip on their shoulder both from how things went last year and coaches who want to prove they are right for the job.
King’s assessment is understandable from the outside looking in, but it’s also the start of what will clearly be an underdog narrative for Tampa Bay this season.