3 free agents who would make the Buccaneers instant Super Bowl contenders

The Bucs still have the chance to sign a star-studded free agents that could end up having championship ramifications.
Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages
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Just over three months ago, the start of the new NFL year kicked off, signaling the first time teams were able to sign free agents. As of mid-June roughly 894 different players signed contracts worth $4.7 billion in free agency, as well as 257 prospects were selected in the NFL draft, capping off an offseason with plenty of player movement across the league.

This offseason, the Bucs were one of many teams that used the offseason to their advantage. In free agency, Tampa Bay spent most of their money to bring back its own players, getting deals for key guys like Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans. Tampa Bay also cooked up a pretty decent draft class as well, which featured a handful of undrafted rookies.

That said, the Buccaneers are still in the midst the offseason, and have several months to add another key player (or two) in free agency. Even three months after free agency officially opened up, these three star players remain unsigned and could lead the Bucs to a deep playoff run, potentially even to Super Bowl LIX.

Justin Simmons, FS

At the start of free agency on March 14, Simmons was touted as one of the top available free agents after Denver chose to not re-sign the star free safety before the offseason. Over three months later, the 30-year old Simmons remains unsigned even after an impressive first eight seasons in the league.

Simmons, the No. 98 pick in the 2016 draft, has spent his first eight NFL seasons in Denver, and quickly emerged as one of the league's top safeties. Starting in 108 of 118 game appearances, Simmons has posted 604 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 64 pass breakups, 30 interceptions, five forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

Following the 2018 season, Simmons made the position switch from strong safety to free safety, and was even better in the following campaigns. In the five seasons at free safety, Simmons totaled 80+ tackles in three campaigns, while adding 51 pass breakups and 23 interceptions, including a league-leading six interceptions in 2022. In addition, Simmons was named to the All-Pro Second Team in four of those five seasons, while also earning two Pro Bowl selections.

This past season, Simmons started in 15 games for the Broncos, recording 70 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, eight pass breakups, and three interceptions. Even so, Simmons earned an underwhelming 67.9 PFF grade, the 42nd-highest mark of all safeties last season, and his lowest mark since his third season in 2018. Coupled with missing seven games over the past two seasons due to lingering injuries, and Denver decided it was time to move on from the 30 year old.

Entering 2024, the Buccaneers arguably have the strongest safety duo in the league with All-Pro First Team selection Antoine Winfield Jr. and strong safety Jordan Whitehead. If Tampa Bay is truly adamant about making a deep playoff run for Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans, then the addition of Simmons would boost the Bucs' defense exponentially, with the ability to slide next to Winfield Jr. and move Whitehead to cornerback.