It's a tough offseason to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.
Ever since last season mercifully ended, the Bucs have become canon fodder for NFL experts attempting to survey the field. Tom Brady retiring in February set off a chain reaction that resulted in the team being trolled for signing Baker Mayfield and ultimatley ending up as the second-worst team in NFL power rankings.
It's a trend that has been a common thread throughout the offseason, one that has only gotten easier for folks to harp on with each new grainy practice video that surfaces of Mayfield or Kyle Trask missing a throw.
Simply put, watching the Bucs get dragged has ben exhausting. We're only at the end of June but the doubters continue to line up and throw stones.
Buccaneers listed as 'losers' of NFL offseason
NFL writer Mike Jones listed some winners and losers from the offseason, and take a wild guess as to which category the Buccaneers fell into.
"Tom Brady’s retirement very well could send the Bucs back into a long wilderness period. Prior to the GOAT’s arrival, the Bucs endured a 12-year playoff drought and largely had a revolving door at quarterback," Jones wrote. "Todd Bowles, meanwhile, has even more pressure on his shoulders after last year’s struggles and early playoff exit."
He also mentioned that Baker Mayfield is in a prime position to revive his career and become more like the version we saw in Los Angeles and not the one who flamed out in Carolina. So, while it was overwhelmingly negative, there was some positivity tucked into the blurb.
What this confirms is that there's a consensus opinion of the Bucs solidified in the minds of national experts. Tampa Bay is nothing more than a footnote not worth diving into deeper than: 1) Tom Brady is gone, and 2) Todd Bowles is on the hot seat.
No matter where you look, it's impossible to see the Buccaneers talked about without either of those two things being the bulk of what is mentioned. A close third is mentioning something about Baker Mayfield, which this blurb did in hitting a trifecta of Bucs talking points.
To be fair, the Buccaneers need to earn their way back into the national spotlight. We've been spoiled by having Brady and the attention he brings in Tampa Bay for the last three season, and it's time the team shows it can stand on its own.
While Brady is gone, there's still talent all over the roster. Tristan Wirfs, Antonie Winfield Jr., Vita Vea, Lavonte David, Devin White, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin are all Pro Bowlers and are all still in Tampa Bay. No team with those guys on it is a bottom team in the league, nor is one with this kind of talent and the sizable chip the Bucs have on their shoulder.
It's a chip that only continues to grow with each new flick of an expert gives the team.