The Buccaneers have already started making some moves that will impact the roster in 2019 and these moves are just the start of what could be a huge turnover of personnel on this Bucs roster.
After one seson in Tampa defensive end Vinny Curry was released. Curry was signed a year ago to a three year deal worth north of twenty two million dollars. Curry was paid eight million for the 2018 season and recorded 2.5 sacks and 21 tackles.
This week the Bucs signed RB Andre Ellington to a one year contract. Ellington most recently played with the Tennessee Titans in 2017 and was out of football last season.
Ellington began his career with Bruce ArIans in Arizona in 2013 and in his career Ellington has 1750 rushing yards with ten touchdowns. Ellington is also a pass catching threat out of the backfield as he has 145 catches in his career for 1296 yards and three touchdowns.
With Jacquizz Rodgers a free agent it looks as if the Bucs will move on from Rodgers and make Ellington the third down back.
The Bucs after letting Curry go are about eighteen million under the salary cap with a lot of big decisions on key players yet to come.
They made one of those decisions this week as it appears that DT Gerald Mccoy will be back for his eleventh season in Tampa. McCoy will be paid thirteen million this season unless both sides agree to a re-negotiation of the contract
McCoy led the Bucs with twenty one quarterback pressures in 2018 and may be used at end when the defense plays a 3-4, and then switch back to tackle when the Bucs go with a 4-3 defense.
McCoy is fourth among defensive tackles with 54.5 career sacks.
In a radio interview this week on 95.3, linebacker Kwon Alexander said that he is excited to be working with Arians and would like to stay in Tampa.
Alexander is rehabbing from a torn ACL and is about four month away from being able to play football. Alexander said that he is hopeful to start light jogging this week.
Alexander who is one of the best linebackers in the league is a free agent and is in line for a four to five year contract in the ten million dollar a year range.
Wide receiver Adam Humphries is another player that the Bucs will need to make a decision on. Humphries one of Winston’s favorite targets is due to get a contract in the eight million dollar a year range.
The Bucs may look elsewhere and try to get someone a bit cheaper. John Brown and Tavon Austin are two possibilities.
The Bucs also still need to make a decision on DeSean Jackson who is due ten million dollars this season. The Bucs are saying all the right things regarding wanting Jackson to be a Buccaneer, but I still think Jackson will not be part of the team in 2019.
It does not look like Ryan Fitzpatrick will be back. The Bucs i are going to give Ryan Griffin a shot at the number two quarterback spot.
Arians has said he has complete confidence in Winston and this is his team and dosen’t want Winston to be looking over his shoulder worrying about making a mistake and the possibility of getting pulled for Fitzpatrick.
The Bucs are also going to try and negoiate a new contract with tackle Donavan Smith. If that falls through look for the Bucs to slap the franchise tag on Smith for the 2019 season. The one year deal would be in the ten to twelve million dollar range.
The Bucs coaches and front office staff will be at the combine this week in Indianapolis and we should get a better feel of who the Bucs may be targeting and and if they can find a trade partner and get fair market value for DeSean Jackson.