With 2019 in the books its that time of year when everyone starts going through their roster with a fine tooth comb.
Who are they going to bring back? Who will they target in free agency? Who will they pick up in the draft?
This is a very important time of year when a lot of decisions will be made and those decisions will impact the on field success of the team in the 2020 season.
The Buccaneers are no different and they have a lot of decisions to make regarding their roster.
The Bucs will have between 92-94 million to spend to sign their own free agents, spend on other unrestricted free agents, and the Bucs need to set aside about ten million dollars of that to sign their 2020 draft picks.
1. Quarterback. The Bucs have to make a decision on Jameis Winston first and foremost. After the Bucs make that decision it will become easier to allocate the cap money and upgrade the glaring needs on this Bucs team.
2. Right tackle, and solid depth along the offensive line is the other major need on this team with Earl Watford, Josh Wells, Demar Dotson, and Jerald Hawkins all free agents.
With 34 year old Demar Dotson being an unrestricted free agent, the Bucs will probably look to bring in someone that is younger and can help solidify the line for a few years.
Andrew Thomas of Georgia, Mekhi Becton of Louisville, Jedrick Willis of Alabama, and Tristan Wirfs of Iowa could all be available in the draft at number 14 when the Bucs will make their first round pick.
If the Bucs decide to go the free agency route Bryan Bulga of Green Bay, Jack Conklin of Tennessee, and Kelvin Beachum of the Jets could be targeted by the Bucs.
The Bucs had one of the worst offensive lines when it came to run blocking and the inability of the line to open holes for Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones hurt the offense and the running game.
3. A running back that can run the ball with authority. Peyton Barber is an unrestricted free agent and will probably not be re-signed by the Bucs.
The jury remains out on Ronald Jones, but in His first year of starting flashed some potential averaging just over four yards a carry and leading the team in rushing with 724 yards.
Jones also had 40 catches for 309 yards bringing his all purpose yard totals to 1,033.
The Bucs need to bring in a back in free agency that has proven that they can run the ball with authority and get those tough yards on third and one and third and two to keep those drives going.
David Johnson of Arizona has been talked about as someone the Bucs may take a look at. Johnson played for Arians in Arizona so you have the familiarity factor.
Johnson averaged 3.7 yards a carry with 345 yards rushing and two touchdowns in 13 games for the cardinals Johnson is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield as he had 36 catches for 370 yards and four touchdowns.
Another back that will be a good fit for the Bucs is Kenyon Drake who played for both Miami and Arizona last year.
Drake who is 26 years of age, ran the ball for 817 yards averaging 4.8 yards a carry last season and had 50 catches for 345 yards. Drake had eight touchdowns running the ball.
Carlos Hyde of Houston is another back the Bucs could target. Hyde 29 years old averaged 4.4 yards a carry while running for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns.
4. Defensive line/edge rusher. It seems as if all of the Bucs defensive linemen and edge rushers are free agents.
Shaq Barrett, Carl Nassib, Jason Pierre Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and Beau Allen are all free agents.
The odds are pretty good that the Bucs will re-sign Shaq Barrett. You can’t let someone with that kind of talent just walk away, but the Bucs will need to pay Barrett around 16 million a season to re-sign him.
Although he will be 33 next season, Jason Pierre Paul was a huge factor in the turnaround of the Bucs defense last season.
The Bucs defense was really scuffling when Pierre-Paul returned from his neck injury in October, and he proved to be an outstanding mentor and leader in the locker room while producing 8.5 sacks on the field.
Should the Bucs not re-sign Suh or Allen, There are some quality defensive linemen that will be available providing they don’t re-sign with their current team.
Chris Jones, DJ Reader, Javon Hargreave, Leonard Williams, and Shelby Harris could all be available.
Now if the Bucs can only find a bit more cap money!