Jason Licht and Bruce Arians both said they wanted to keep the main pieces of this team together to make another Super Bowl run in 2021.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took another step to keeping the team together by extending tackle Donavan Smith for two years and re-signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a one-year contract.
The deal with Smith is a two-year 31 million dollar extension through the 2023 season.
Thirty million dollars of that extension is guaranteed.
Smith had his best season in Tampa along the offensive line and was a critical piece in protecting Tom Brady and helping the Bucs running game, especially in the playoffs.
Smith had one year remaining on his contract. The majority of his salary will be paid as a bonus. The salary cap hit for Smith for the 2021 season will 3.6 million.
The Bucs are also finalizing a one-year deal nine million dollar deal with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The deal is expected to be signed next week.
With the signing of Suh, that means that every member of the Buccaneers starting defense from the Super Bowl will be back in 2021 for another run.
Suh had 44 tackles, six sacks, and 19 quarterback back hits last season. Suh also played a significant role in the Bucs Super Bowl win, applying constant pressure to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and collecting 1.5 sacks.
The Bucs have only lost one player from the defense, safety Andrew Adams who signed with Philadelphia.
With the defense back together, the Bucs can now turn their attention to the upcoming NFL draft.
Running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Antonio Brown have yet to be signed by the Bucs, but the closer we get to the draft, it looks as if the Bucs may go in another direction.
Running back James White is off the market as he re-signed with New England. A one-year 2.5 million dollar deal.
It looks like the Bucs may be leaning towards drafting a running back in the first round of the draft. Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughan are the only backs on the depth chart under contract.
The top three running backs in the draft are Travis Etienne of Clemson, Najee Harris of Alabama, and Javonte Williams of North Carolina. One of those backs should be available when the Bucs pick at number 32.