It's already been an interesting offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the work is far from over. OTAs are wrapping up, which means the team is one step closer to figuring out what the roster will look like as the Bucs attempt to navigate the post-Tom Brady future ahead.
That's a tall order, but one that is far more hopeful than some might want you to think.
It's fun to laugh at the anti-Buccaneers agenda that seems to be circulating at the national level, but all that matters to Bucs fans is what's going on in Tampa Bay. Panning away from the weird vitriol being spewed at the team, the Bucs roster actually looks pretty good and there be some intersting decisions to make in putting together the 53-man roster this summer.
Let's take an early stab at what that might look like.
- Baker Mayfield
- Kyle Trask
- John Wolford
Last year the Buccaneers carried three quarterback on the 53 man roster, even though only two of them actually ever dressed. Outside of the final game of the season against the Atlanta Falcons, Kyle Trask was a healthy scratch and wasn't active on Sundays.
That will change one way or another this season.
Trask will either dress as the starting quarterback or as Baker Mayfield's backup. He's still on a cheap rookie contract so it's unlikely that he'll be released if he loses the training camp battle with Baker, but there is a world in which Trask is outplayed by John Wolford and once again finds himself third on the depth chart.
If that happens, the Bucs will know all they need to about him and can plan the future accordingly. To assume that will be the case is wildly unfair to Trask, and feels highly unlikely. The way this all probably plays out is Baker wins the starting role, Trask is his backup, and Wolford is the adult in the room as the inactive third quarterback That's the Bucs quarterback room this upcoming season, which leaves a lot to be desired but could end up being perfectly fine despite the gloom-and-doom from national experts.
Running Back (4)
- Rachaad White
- Chase Edmonds
- Ke’Shawn Vaughn
- Ronnie Brown
Despite all of the rumors about still linking the Buccaneers with Ezekiel Elliott, it feels like the running back room will be filled with guys already on the roster. Rachaad White is taking over as RB1 after Leonard Fournette walked in free agency, which puts him in a position to breakout in his second year in the league.
White will have three major factors helping his development that weren't present last season. New offensive coordinator Dave Canales comes from a Seattle system where the Seahawks collected running backs like they were rare coins and deployed them with great success. Skip Peete came over from the Cowboys to be the Bucs new running backs coach, bringing with him the hope he can do in Tampa Bay what he did for Elliott and Tony Pollard in Dallas.
There should be a consistently healthy offensive line in front of White this year, which wasn't the case last season.
Those two coaches working with White as their lead back, along with an improved line, should result in a massive uptick in productivity and a total turnaround from what was one of the league's worst rushing attacks last season.
As for the rest of the depth chart, Chase Edmonds was signed in March and has effectively blocked Elliott or any remaining free agent running back from being considered as an option. Ke'Shawn Vaughn seems to be entering a make-or-break season where he'll remain the third back but could get worked into the mix more than we've seen in the past. Ronnie Brown wins a coin toss for the fourth slot, one that should be on the depth chart since the Bucs carried four running backs into last season.