Mike Edwards, S/Chiefs
Part of the pain in the Bucs taking their salary cap medicine last season was watching free agents walk, even at affordable prices. Mike Edwards was one of those guys, as he left to sign a one-year deal with the Chiefs for $3 million. In any other year it felt like Tampa Bay easily could have matched that and brought back a nice pice of the secondary, but it was simply awful timing.
Perhaps this offseason will present an opportunity to right that wrong.
Edwards is a free agent again, but the Bucs have more wiggle room in the budget to go out and make some moves. Bringing back Edwards is one that makes a lot of sense, as it reunites Bowles with a familiar face and adds important veteran depth to an otherwise young safety room.
Ryan Neal is likely gone, which leaves second-year players like Christian Izien and Kevon Merriweather as depth along with Dee Delaney. Edwards would slot in as a perfect compliment to Izien at strong safety and act as a sort of mentor with him on a number of different levels. He's played in Bowles' defense before, winning a Super Bowl back in 2020, and now brings knowledge from Kansas City and leaving to win a ring elsewhere.
Izien was a stud last year and earned the starting role moving forward, but Edwards has a place in Tampa Bay as a key piece of the safety room. Having him back also potentially helps soothe some of the frustration that Neal caused for fans last season.