The Bucs continue to make off-season moves that strengthen their position to win another Super Bowl.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown has re-signed with the Bucs, ensuring that the receiving corp from the winning Super Bowl team will be back together in 2021.
Brown signed a one-year $3.1 million contract that will make the contract worth $5.1 million with incentives earned.
The Bucs receiving group should be stronger next season, as tight end, OJ Howard will be back after missing most of last season with an injury.
The Bucs also picked up the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Vita Vea, which will keep him in Tampa through the 2022 season.
Vea’s return from the ankle injury during last year’s playoff run was an essential piece to the Bucs winning the Super Bowl. Vea was a big factor in getting pressure on Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship game and Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl.
Jason Licht talked about what Vita Vea brings to the Bucs defense.
“He plays a very pivotal role in our defense. When he’s in there, a lot of things happen for not just him but everybody else around him. The day that we found out that he was going to come back and play. It was a very big day for all of us. It was a very exciting day. Coaches, scouts, players, owners, everybody. We were all very excited.”
The fifth-year option is for $7.64 million.
The Bucs also announced that they have restructured the contract of tight end Cameron Brate.
Brate will get a $2.425M signing bonus, and his salary is now $1.075M in 2021, with a team option for the final two years of his contract.
With the contract restructuring, the Bucs will free up $4.69 million in cap space and ensures that the Bucs will have enough room under the salary cap to sign their 2021 draft class.
—The NFL draft is tonight, and the Buccaneers have many options this year that they have not had in previous years.
They can pick the best player on the board regardless of position. They can add depth along the offensive and defensive lines or draft a quarterback at 32 and have him sit and learn under Tom Brady for a few years.
With the 32nd pick, I think the Bucs will go defense.
The depth along the defensive line is very thin, and with Suh and McLendon only signed for one year, The Bucs have to start thinking about replacing those guys.
As I wrote earlier in the week, defensive tackle Christian Barmore from Alabama could be there when the Bucs are ready to pick. If not Barmore, Davison Nixon from Iowa would be a good choice.
If Barmore and Nixon are gone, edge rushers Jalean Phillips and Jason Oweh could be there. Phillips has the more significant upside but has been injury-prone. That may cause him to fall on some draft boards.
Could the Bucs take a quarterback at 32? There is a slight chance they could. Bruce Arians has spoken this off-season about possibly drafting a quarterback for the future. Kyle Trask from Florida is a guy to pay attention to. The Bucs could go after him if he is still on the board at 32.
The draft begins at 8 PM tonight on ESPN, The NFL Network, and ABC.