3 potential trade packages Buccaneers should offer ahead of 2024 season

The Bucs could realistically make some low-risk trades that pay off big in helping the team run things back.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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For the most part, all of the notable moves of the offseason have already happened. Through the first and second waves of free agency and the draft, the majority of free agents and draft prospects have found homes for the 2024 season.

That said, there are still several key difference makers available in free agency. From the likes of big-name players like quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Dalvin Cook, and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. In addition, players like running back Rashaad Penny, offensive guard Dalton Risner, and middle linebacker Zach Cunningham remain unsigned and could be impactful under-the-radar signings.

With most of the offseason spent on coming to terms on extensions with Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, Lavonte David, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Chase McLaughlin, the Buccaneers have just $6.3 million left in cap space. That means Tampa Bay probably won't be signing Tannehill, Cook, Ngakoue, or the other free agents listed.

Still, general manager Jason Licht will find a way to continue to add talent to the Bucs' roster. One obvious outlet is the trade market, which could offer ways for Tampa Bay to send future draft capital for players with an instant impact this season.

Tyquan Lewis, DE/Indianapolis Colts

Tyquan Lewis

With the return of superstar defensive tackle Vita Vea, the Bucs' defensive line projects to be one of the teams' top strengths this season. Led by Vea and defensive ends Calijah Kancey and Logan Hall, Tampa Bay's defensive line totaled 91 tackles for loss and 48 sacks, the sixth and seventh marks in the league, respectively.

Through the offseason, Tampa Bay still upgraded their unit, re-signing defensive tackle Greg Gaines and defensive end Will Gholston, while inking Randy Gregory to a one-year deal. In the draft, Tampa Bay added Alabama pass rusher Chris Braswell in the second round, solidifying a solid front seven.

That shouldn't stop Licht from adding one more piece to the defensive line ahead of the season. While the likes of Jerry Hughes, Yannick Ngakoue, and Emmanuel Ogbah still remain un-signed in free agency, Lewis is a more intriguing option the Bucs can add through a trade with the Colts.

At first glance, Lewis wasn't too impressive in terms of his basic stats, recording 25 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, four sacks, and three pass breakups in 17 starts. Even so, Lewis was one of the more underrated defensive ends in the entire league last season.

Among defensive ends who played at least 200 pass rushing snaps, Lewis' 17.1 percent pass rush win rate ranked 15th in the NFL and was led all Colts pass rushers, per Pro Football Focus. In addition, Lewis also had the third-most total pressures (44) on the team despite playing the fifth-most pass-rushing snaps on the team.

Because of that, Lewis signed a two-year, $12 million contract extension with Indianapolis in free agency, keeping the six-year veteran under team control through the 2025 season. That move did come before the Colts drafted UCLA edge-rusher Laiatu Latu with the No. 15 pick, joining a deep rotation along with Kwity Paye, Samson Ebukam, Lewis, and Dayo Odeyingbo.

With a team-friendly contract and entering his age-29 season, Lewis is the likeliest candidate to be moved by Indianapolis this offseason to give more playing time to Latu, Kwity Paye, and others. Lewis wouldn't be a game-changing addition for Tampa Bay, but would be valuable depth with consistent production opposite of Diaby and Braswell.