After being given almost no chance to do much more than win a few games and be among the worst teams in the league, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers season came to an end two games shy of the Super Bowl.
Not bad for a team that was supposed to tank.
It was a season of unexpected success and one that has seemingly laid the foundation for a bright future. There are a handful of major questions that need to be answered, first and foremost is whether the team can re-sign Baker Mayfield and keep building on all of the success.
Antoine Winfield Jr also needs a new contract, as does Mike Evans, but the expectation is that they'll be taken care of one way or another. Not everyone will be back, though, as a few guys either played their way out of roles in Tampa Bay or will be edged out as the team tries to find ways to build an even better roster to contend for a Super Bowl next season.
7 Buccaneers players who won't be back in 2024
Greg Gaines, DT
Another one of the Bucs low-cost offseason signings was Greg Gaines, who came over from the Los Angeles Rams and was meant to add some depth on the defensive line. He ended up getting played out of a meaningful role on defense and was eclipsed by players like Calijah Kancey and Yaya Diaby as run stuffers to complement Vita Vea.
That complimentary role was supposed to be Gaines, but he never really made much of an impact and didn't do much to make a case for coming back next year. He was on a one-year deal, so it won't cost the Bucs anything to move off him and look elsewhere for depth up front.
Gaines could be another casualty of the Bucs ability to actually spend money this offseason. They had such a massive bill to pay that it took away any sort of wiggle room, but Gaines was still a decent gamble to take. Tampa Bay won't be in that same position this offseason and can dig a little deeper into the checkbook to try and find the help they need.