Buccaneers make a tough decision on Joe Tryon-Shoyinka's future in Tampa Bay

The writing was already on the wall, but now the pressure is on for Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to finally do something.
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Heading into the NFL Draft last weekend it seemed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in a good spot to trade out of the first round with a team looking to sneak back in for a quarterback.

The reason a team would want to do that is the all-important fifth-year option on a rookie's contract, something that's only available to first round picks. It's why quarterbacks sometimes tend to get overdrafted since it's such an expensive position that teams can get an extra year at a discounted price.

Every player that gets picked in the first round has a fifth-year option on his rookie deal, not just quarterbacks, something that can sometimes be valuable given how successful the player has been. Teams had a decision to make on Tuesday night about players drafted back in 2021, but for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers it was an easy one when it came to how to handle Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.

Buccaneers officially decline fifth-year option on Joe Tyron-Shoyinka

It wasn't a shocking move by any means, but the formality of the Buccaneers declining the fifth-year option on Tryon-Shoyinka was made official on Tuesday night ahead of the deadline.

This means that JTS will become a free agent at the end of the season, something that could motivate him to finally click the way Tampa Bay has been waiting for him to do since 2021.

Tryon-Shoyinka was the first player the Bucs added in the first round after winning the Super Bowl, and there were high hopes that he'd be able to help become part of the next generation on that side of the ball.

That hasn't happened yet, and now he'll enter the fourth year of his career without a contract for a fifth.

It doesn't mean he won't get one, though, as the ball is in his court in terms of finally putting all the pieces together and showing why he was taken in the first round. There have been flashes from Tryon-Shoyinka, but nothing consistent enough for him to establish his place as a key piece of the future.

Calijah Kancey, Yaya Diaby, and rookie Chris Braswell all seem poised to develop in ways the Bucs hoped JTS would, and had he done so there would be no question of his place as the leader of that group.

He played all 17 games last year for the Bucs, managing five sacks and seven tackles for loss but he's not been the edge rushing menace Tampa Bay needed. Through three seasons he has just 13 sacks in 34 games played, granted that draft class hasn't produced much defensive end talent.

This isn't the end of the road for Tryon-Shoyinka, but it is a prove-it year. If he fails to put together a solid season again, he'll undoubtedly be looking for work elsewhere next offseason, but there's still time for him to turn things around before it's too late.

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