4 former Tampa Bay Buccaneers we’d like to see return in 2024

There are a few familiar faces hitting free agency things year we'd love to see back in Tampa Bay.
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their work cut out for them this offseason, but the list extends beyond just bringing back three key free agents.

Mike Evans is going to hit the market when the new league year begins on March 13th, and pressure is on the Bucs to make sure the best offensive player in franchise history doesn't put on another uniform. Baker Mayfield also needs to be re-signed as does All-Pro safety Antoine Winfield Jr., but other areas of the roster need to be addressed as well.

With that in mind, the Bucs could cut out a lot of guesswork in bringing in free agents who need to learn the system and find guys who already have an inside track. A handful of former players are hitting the market this year and Tampa Bay would be wise to give a few of them a look.

4 former Tampa Bay Buccaneers we’d like to see return in 2024

Mike Edwards, S

While it didn't seem like it at the time, one of the worst losses the Bucs suffered in free agency last year was Mike Edwards.

He left to go join the Kansas City Chiefs, a move that ended up rewarding him with another Super Bowl ring, but his absence was apparent all season long in Tampa Bay's secondary. Edwards was replaced by Ryan Neal, who ended up becoming the bane of existence for most Bucs fans as the season wore on.

Each time Neal was out of position or gave up a big play, the loss of Edwards became more painful. Rock bottom was when the Chiefs were over in Europe and Edwards made a game-changing play that resulted in a fumble return for a touchdown. Later that same day Neal was playing so poorly that he needed to be subbed out by Todd Bowles in what was the beginning of the end of his time as a starter.

Edwards was a key part of the Buccaneers' Super Bowl defense back in 2020 and he'd return to Tampa Bay a wiser player than when he left. Tampa Bay probably wouldn't have needed to get rid of him if they hadn't been so strapped for cap space, which isn't the case this year. Neal is almost certainly gone but the same depth issues at safety still exist as they did last year.

Imagining Edwards bringing his knowledge from having played on yet another Super Bowl-winning defense and teaching guys like Christian Izien his ways alongside Antoine Winfield Jr. is a pretty sweet way to spend a little cash this offseason.