Bucs get a D+ As their free agency grade
How do you improve your 5-11 team when you’re broke in football money? You have no money to spend on the shiny new free agent toys that other teams seem to be purchasing every five minutes.
The Bucs could not afford to shop at Nordstrom or Saks on Fifth Avenue. Instead, Jason Licht and his boys were forced to stalk the discount aisle at Walmart in hopes prices would drop and they would be able to find something salvageable that would help them fix their team.
The Bucs lost three starters from the last years team. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was traded to the Eagles, linebacker Kwon Alexander spurned the Bucs offer to sign with San Francisco, and wide receiver Adam Humphries signed with Tennessee.
Backup linebacker Adarius Taylor signed a two year deal with Cleveland, and the Bucs cut defensive lineman Mitch Unrein who failed his physical and also cut ties with punter Bryan Anger.
The Bucs signed oft-injured wide receiver Breshad Perriman who decided against re-signing with Cleveland after the trade for Odell Beckham Jr. In Perriman, the Bucs get that burner to replace DeSean Jackson.
Perriman misssed his entire rookie year with a knee injury, and when healthy has been plagued by consistency issues. This will be a homecoming of sorts for perriman as he played his college ball at Central Florida.
Last year in Cleveland Perriman Had 16 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Perriman signs a one year deal for four million dollars and will be the number three receiver behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Jackson for Perriman is an even swap. Hopefully we can count on Perriman to be ready on game day and not be a disruption in the locker room as Jackson was prone to be.
The Bucs signed linebacker Deonne Bucannon to a one year deal. Bucannan will take the spot of Kwon Alexander. Bucannon is very small for a linebacker measuring 6-1 and weighing 211 pounds. There are punters and kickers that are bigger than Bucannon.
The Bucs need to look hard at linebacker Devin White from LSU with the number five pick as Bucannon will probably play more in pass coverage as his coverage skills are decent for a linebacker. Right now the Bucs defense which was one of the worst in the league last season is worse than they were just a week ago with the Bucannon for Alexander swap.
Punter Bradley Pinion signs a four year deal to replace Bryan Anger. The scouting report on Pinion is a very strong leg, very good kickoff man and a very good directional punter.
The Bucs are counting on Pinion to have a major impact on special teams this upcoming season.
The Bucs are not any better after this first initial wave of free agency and the defense is in worse shape because of the loss of Kwon Alexander.
Here is a list of some other transactions from the Buccaneers off-season courtesy of Buccaneers.com
Re-signed LB Kevin Minter to a one-year contract
Re-signed RB Peyton Barber to a one-year contract.
Re-signed K Cairo Santos to a one-year contract
Re-signed QB Ryan Griffin to a two-year contract.
Tendered exclusive rights player OL Mike Liedtke.
Tendered exclusive rights player S Isaiah Johnson.
Exercised the 2019 contract option T Demar Dotson.
Re-signed LB Devante Bond to a one-year contract.
Re-signed T Donovan Smith to a three-year contract.
There are still some free agents out there that could help this Buccaneer team on both sides of the ball. But with the Bucs being right up against the cap don’t look for any marquee signings.
Bruce Arians and his coaching staff are going to have to work a lot of miracles to get this team to .500. There is just too much mediocre talent on this team right now to be an impact team in the NFC South.