This is shaping to be an interesting off-season in Tampa as Bruce Arians and Jason Licht have their work cut out for them to improve this roster.
It started yesterday with the release of Vinny Curry. Curry made eight million dollars last season for 2.5 sacks and 21 tackles. That avenges out to $380,000 a tackle, not bad work if you can get it.
That is money that could be used to help sign Adam Humphries, or Kwon Alexander.
Before going on the market and looking at any free agents the Bucs need to lock up some of the guys that have been part of this team, established roots in the Tampa Bay market, and want to be a Buccaneer. Signing Humphries and Alexander to long term contracts would be a great place to start.
The defensive backfield is in the worst shape of any position on this team. There is some talent there but it is young and very inexperienced and we saw how that played out last year.
All of those young guys like Whitehead, Stewart, and Davis have talent and can be impact players in this league at some point but the lack of veteran leadership and being forced to play so much in some ways stunted their development.
It also didn’t help that Mike Smith really seemed to not have a clue as to how to coach these guys.
Brent Grimes will not be back. Austin Adams and Javien Elliott are restricted free agents, so the Bucs will need to bring in some players to shore up this position.
Tyrann Mathieu is one name that comes to mind. He has a relationship with Arians and played well in Arizona before the ACL injury. Mathieu has also stayed healthy the last two season as he has started every game.
Matthieu is just 27 years old and was just average in Houston, but playing again for coach Arians could be what Mathieu needs to get his career kick started again.
The Bucs would also be wise to look at Ronald Darby. Darby is one of the top 10 corners in the league and is just 25 years old, but the Bucs may not be willing to pay Darby what he wants.
The offensive line while not the worst in the league will definitely need an influx of fresh blood. The Bucs will have a difficult choice to make with Donovan Smith. Franchise hIm for $12-$14 million for the year, or sign him to a contract extension.
DeMar Dotson and Caleb Bennonech will probably not be back so the Bucs will need to sign a guard and a tackle and could take an offensive lineman with their first pick in the draft.
With the Bucs letting DeSean Jackson walk and the possibility of not re-signing Adam Humphries, This team will need to bring in a veteran or to to stabilize the position.
John Brown of the Ravens would be a great fit. Brown had 42 catches for 715 yards and 5 TD‘S. Brown would be a great third option behind Evans and Godwin.
Tavon Austin, Cole Beasley and Deonte Thompson are some other receivers the Bucs could target.
Defensive back, wide receiver and offensive line are the top three positions that the Bucs will need to upgrade to begin that climb out of the basement of the NFC south.
There are also needs at defensive line and running back.
With Curry being cut yesterday, can Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein be far behind? Will Noah Spence ever be the player the Bucs thought he would be?
How about Peyton Barber? Will he become the every down that the Bucs have so desperately needed?
By late July all these questions will begin to be answered as Bruce Arians rebuilds this team to win quickly in 2019.