It’s already been an objectively interesting offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the work is hardly over.
Jason Licht and the front office have been able to keep the team competitive, keeping Jamel Dean and Lavonte David against incredible odds and adding free agents like Baker Mayfield and Chase Edmonds. The Bucs also managed to put together a sneaky draft class that could emerge as not only one of the best of the year but may have added key future contributors.
Of course, without Brady the Bucs aren’t the same team and face an uphill battle but it’s foolish to consider the team as it stands now one that is among the worst in the league. That’s how the Bucs are viewed by most experts, though, which puts a nice little chip on the shoulder of everyone in Tampa Bay.
Not everyone on the roster now will be a part of a potential revenge tour, though.
As the Bucs enter the thick of the summer the time has arrived to truly assess the roster against new additions and how old piece fit the future. Rookies will be battling for roster spots and starting roles, which means some veterans might find themselves either lower on the depth chart or out of a job entirely.
Buccaneers vet could be in danger of losing job to a rookie this offseason
In a piece listing veterans who could lose their jobs to rookies this offseason, BucsWire editor River Wells listed Shaquil Barrett as the Buccaneers candidate.
“The Bucs drafted two edge rushers in YaYa Diaby and Jose Ramirez in the 2023 NFL draft, and they also have strong depth at the position with guys like Anthony Nelson,” Wells writes. ”If Barrett doesn’t heal properly from his Achilles injury this late in his career, he could quickly find himself out of a starting job in Tampa Bay.”
Diaby is a true sleeper among the Bucs recent draft class, as he could be a guy who develops into not only a replacement for Barrett but a successor to Devin White as one of the team’s top linebackers. White might not be around longer than this upcoming season, so the timing is perfect even though they play in different positions in the secondary.
That being said, a healthy Barrett is an absolute force in the Bucs defense rotation. He was key in helping the team win a Super Bowl three years ago and was clearly a massive missing piece last season when things started to go sideways.
An ideal situation would be Barrett coming back healthy and Diaby learning from him this season before potentially taking over down the road. If the Bucs are going to be competitive this year, which is very much on the table, having Barrett in the mix seems like a good thing.