Bucs hit the ground running as free agency opens

The Buccaneers took another step toward getting back to the Super Bowl this week by resigning linebacker Shaq Barrett and tight end Rob Gronkowski.

In February, celebrating the Super Bowl win at the boat parade, Bucs coach Bruce Arians looked at Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, and Shaq Barrett and said, “Your ass ain’t going nowhere.”

Bruce was right, as the Bucs have now signed four of their top free agents.

Barrett’s contract is a four-year deal worth 72 million dollars. Thirty-four million of that is guaranteed—Barrett’s salary will count 5.6 million against the cap in 2021. The four-year deal averages out to 17 million dollars a season.

Barrett led the league in quarterback pressures the last two seasons with 111. He was also second in sacks in the NFL the previous two seasons with 27.5. Buccaneer fans everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief that he will be back in Tampa for the next four years.

The Bucs also will welcome back tight end Rob Gronkowski for the 2021 season. Gronkowski signed a one-year ten-million-dollar deal, the same deal that he played under in 2020.

Gronkowski will count 4.8 million against the cap this upcoming season.

Gronkowski had 45 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns last season. But he saved his best performance for the Super Bowl with six catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns.

These two signings would not have been possible if Tom Brady had not restructured his contract freeing up 19 million dollars in cap space for 2021. Brady added an extra year to his contract and will now be a Buccaneer through the 2022 season.

The Bucs also resigned linebacker Lavonte David to a two-year 25 million dollar contract, and the Bucs put the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin for 2021.

This keeps the NFL’s best-receiving duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin intact for another season. Godwin will earn 15.8 million dollars in 2021. The Bucs have until July 15th to try to negotiate a new contract with Godwin.

The Bucs brought back one of their most underrated free agents in kicker Ryan Succop. Kickers do not get a lot of love around the league, but Succop played a vital part in the Bucs success in 2020.

After struggling to see Matt Gay and Roberto Aguayo make a 20-yard field goal, it was nice to have a kicker that was as automatic as you could get in those situations.

Succop hit on over 90 percent of his field goal and extra-point attempts. Succop signs a three-year deal for 12 million dollars.

The Bucs are also in negotiations with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh and the Bucs are in the talking stages right now trying to work out a new contract.

Running back Leonard Fournette is evaluating offers from the Bucs and the Seahawks. The Bucs have also reached out to running back James White to see if there is some interest in White reuniting with Brady.

The Bucs had 24 unrestricted free agents going into the free agency period. The Bucs have signed six of those free agents, leaving 18 free agents in limbo as the free agency period is in full swing.

The Bucs have also signed offensive linemen Aaron Stinnie to a one-year contract. Steenie started in place of Alex Cappa during the Buccaneer playoff run and played very well. Stinnie was part of that offensive line that allowed one sack in the three playoff games he played in a while, helping the running game average 116 yards per game.

With the signings of Succop and Stinnie, The Bucs are real close to the salary cap limit of 182.5 million dollars.

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