With training camp right around the corner and some free agents still looking for work, which former Buccaneers players could return to Tampa Bay?
After the Tom Brady era officially came to an end this offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in transition mode. A new era is about to dawn, and the exciting part about that is no one really knows what it will look like.
Despite an uncertain future, the Bucs are planning on competing this season the same as they have the previous three. Things look different, but there are enough pieces in place for the Bucs to at least make a run at an NFC South title, if not a Wild Card spot.
Part of getting to that point will involve proper roster construction, which could mean bringing back some players who were purged earlier in the offseason. Tampa Bay was $55 million over the cap at the start of the new league year but managed to navigate that by making some tough decisions on expendable veterans.
With training camp around the corner and a handful of former Bucs players still looking for work, could a reunion be in store?
Keep in mind that this is all hypothetical and potentially not logical given the current state of the Bucs books. According to OverTheCap, Tampa Bay has less than $1 million in cap space, which is dead last in the NFL.
Minnesota is the next closest team with $1.1 million in cap space, and even they are finding it hard to make moves. So if the Bucs are going to bring anyone back — which is a good idea in certain situations — corresponding moves will need to be made.
Let’s pick at that thread for a moment and look at a world where the Bucs do free up some space; which former players make sense for a reunion in Tampa Bay?
Former Buccaneers who could still return to Tampa Bay this offseason
Buccaneers Depth Chart – DT:
- Vita Vea
- Greg Gaines
- Logan Hall
- Deadrin Senat
- Mike Greene
- Willington Previlon
Another former defensive depth piece that could come back at the right price is Akiem Hicks. He was injured for most of last season, which sort of soured his tenure with the team trying to chase a ring and robbed the Bucs of a guy who proved to be a game-changer with the Chicago Bears.
The idea of having Hicks and Vita Vea on the same defensive line is a good one, and it was noticeable when they played together. Hicks was another one of the Bucs cap casualties this offseason but wasn’t on an incredibly expensive contract, to begin with. That both works for him — he’s a cheap addition — and against him — the Bucs are that strapped for cash.
Hicks can also play defensive end, which is a spot on the depth chart where the Bucs could use some help. Right now rookie Calijah Kancey is listed as the starter with Patrick O’Conner behind him. There are other swing defenders like Willington Prevlion who have been listed at defensive end before, but there isn’t much behind Kancey and the Bucs could use some depth.