With the off-season here, all teams are reflecting on what they could have done differently to make an impact in the won loss column.
Every single player is being evaluated and a determination is being made on wether or not that player should be brought back for the 2020 season and what impact they will have on the team.
It is no different in Tampa. The Buccaneers front office and coaching staff are pouring over every snap from every game evaluating every play in trying to get this team to the next level with the right group of players.
Although some improvements were made this season on the defensive side of the ball, there is still a lot of work to be done to get this team back to contending for a playoff spot every year.
The Bucs have the longest playoff drought in the NFC. It has been 12 years since they last played meaningful football in January and Bruce Arians is determined to change that in 2020.
The Bucs will have approximately $90 million to spend to improve the team and there are three players on the Bucs right now who will be unrestricted free agents that the Bucs need to resign to be a part of this team going forward.
Linebacker Shaq Barrett needs to be priority number one. The Bucs need to just pay the man. All Barrett did was become the all-time leader for sacks in a season with 19.5 and Barrett also led the NFL in sacks.
Barrett also tied for the league lead in quarterback hits with 37, and was third with six forced fumbles.
Barrett signed a one year deal last spring for four million dollars and is a free agent. Barrett has said on numerous occasions that he likes Tampa, likes the team, and would like to stay here.
According to Spotrac, Barrett will be in line for a four year deal worth approximately $63 million dollars or right around $16 million a year.
Linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul brings so much more to the Bucs than just his on field production. He is a leader in the clubhouse and brings his energy level to the practice field every day.
Pierre-Paul finished the season with eight sacks missing the first six games of the season recovering from a fractured vertebrae suffered in an auto accident in May.
Pierre-Paul was paid three million dollars on a one year deal in 2019, but the Bucs saw itS defense improve tremendously when he returned to the lineup in mid-October.
You have to think that Pierre-Paul will command a contract in the range of seven to eight million dollars a year. For what he brings to the team and this defense, the Bucs need to bring him back for 2020.
Wide receiver Breshad Perriman. Perriman got off to a very slow start. Full disclosure here, I was one of the folks thinking that maybe the Bucs should part ways with Perriman at the midpoint of the season.
At the halfway point of the season, Perriman had seven catches for 58 yards and one touchdown. The last eight games of the season Perriman had 29 catches for 587 yards and five touchdowns.
Where would the Bucs offense have been without Perriman after Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both went down with season ending knee injuries?
Perriman also had three consecutive 100 yard receiving games to close out the 2019 season.
Perriman was playing on a one year four million dollar contract and it will take at least seven to eight million a year to re-sign him.
Imagine your top three receivers being Evans, Godwin, and Perriman? The Bucs receiving group has been dismissed and disrespected for so long, this productive trio could finally garner the Bucs a little much needed respect.
Of the $90 million that the Bucs will have to spend, $16 million goes to Barrett, Eight million to Pierre-Paul, and eight million to Perriman.
Thats $32 million accounted for and does not include the $25-30 million needed to bring back Jameis Winston if the Bucs decide to go that route.
There also some other needs on this team like running back, backup quarterback, improving the offensive line. It seems the needs are endless.
That $90 million dollars will go quickly, but re-signing Barrett, Pierre-Paul, and Perriman are a must for the Bucs If they want to continue to improve on that seven win total from last season in 2020.