It has been a busy off-season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs spent most of March and April working to sign their free agents to bring back every single starter from the Super Bowl-winning team.
Going into free agency, the Bucs had very little money to spend, but General Manager Jason Licht worked his magic, and the Bucs were able to sign their free agents that they wanted back in 2021.
Currently, the Bucs have a little less than $4 million of free cap space. The majority of that money will be used to sign this year’s draft class. They also need to make official the signing of wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Brown had off-season knee surgery and needs to pass his physical before he can sign his contract.
The Bucs welcomed their 2021 draft class and free agents to minicamp earlier this month, and Bruce Arians was very impressed with the second-round draft pick quarterback Kyle Trask.
“I think he’s great. I thought he was fantastic. He’s got three guys coaching the shit out of him on every play, so they need to calm down and let him go. I’m really pleased with where he’s at right now.”
Those were Arian’s comments in an exclusive interview with the Pewter Report. In addition, Arians talked about the running back situation and backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Speaking of Gabbert, Arians said, “I’ll be honest with you, I’d be excited to take Blaine Gabbert and go to war because I love Blaine Gabbert. I think he’s the most underrated player in the NFL.”
Wow. That is some high praise for a guy with 48 touchdown passes and 50 interceptions in his career. I don’t know what the coach thinks is spectacular about Gabbert, but I’ll take his word for it and form my own opinion.
Arians talked about the running back situation and feels that position may be where the most competition will occur in training camp between Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette.
“Of all the positions, it’s probably the one where those two guys will compete. They’re so talented, and they both bring so much to the table. Hopefully, if they’re both healthy, they are splitting time. Rojo is one of the best runners I’ve been around. Lenny had that great run in the playoffs. So we’re blessed to have this group of backs, with Ke’Shawn and Gio. It’s a hell of a group.”
This week, the Bucs start their off-season OTA’s which will culminate with a mandatory minicamp in June. This will be our first look at the entire 2021 roster.
Don’t look for the starters to get a lot of work, though, until the mandatory minicamp. ” I don’t necessarily want our veterans here, our starters here until minicamp. But we need the bottom half of our roster working.” Arians said.
Tom Brady, who is recovering from off-season knee surgery, has been told to take it easy. “I told him, ‘Just take it easy,'” Arians said. “He wants to get his arm in shape, but he’s got to take time on that leg. You throw with your legs as much as your arm. So just take your time and make sure you’re right.”
There are just a handful of rookies and free agents that have a chance to make the Bucs roster in 2021.
Linebacker Joe Tryon will make this team as the fourth linebacker. Quarterback Kyle Trask, wide receiver Jaelon Darden, linebacker K.J. Britt, and offensive linemen Ron Hainsey should all make the team.
I don’t see any other rookie making a big enough splash to make this roster. But, if they catch the coaches’ attention, it may be more for their special team play.
The Bucs currently have 89 players on the roster after the signing of cornerback Antonio Hamilton to a one-year deal.
Here is the rest of the off-season schedule for the Buccaneers.
- OTAs 1-3: May 25-27
- OTAs 4-6: June 1-3
- Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9
- OTAs 7-9: June 15-17
Training camp will begin sometime in late July.