One of the first orders of new business for new Bucs HC Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht will be a couple of big roster decisions that will need to be made.
The new year will kick off March 13 which will be the official start of the NFL free agency signing period and these decisions that the Bucs need to make will have to be made before the start of free agency.
What should the Bucs do with Gerald McCoy? This is the biggest off season decision facing the Bucs. McCoy‘s $13 million dollar salary is not guaranteed and the Bucs can part ways with McCoy.
Another option for the Bucs is to try to convince McCoy to restucture his contract and take less money to come back and play for the Bucs where he has been his whole career.
The Bucs DL has been an area of concern for years now and the second half of the 2018 season under interim DC Mark Duffner we saw what the DL is capable of when they are cut loose and allowed to play.
McCoy was an important piece of that DL especially in the locker room and his mentoring of rookie DT Vita Vea. I would like to see McCoy come back, but not for $13 million. I hope the Bucs and McCoy can come to a new agreement which can be of benefit to both parties.
LB Kwon Alexander will be an UFA and last year we saw how much he means to this Bucs defense when he tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season.
When Alexander is healthy he is one of the top 5 LB’s in the game no question. Alexander and Lavonte David form a dynamic LB duo that is one of the best in football.
The Bucs will need to dig deep to sign Alexander. According to the website Spotrac, Alexander is line to sign a 5yr $51 million dollar contract which would put him at $10.2 Million a year. Alexander is still quite young just 24 years of age and has a lot of football left to play.
This is one piece of the Bucs defense that the team must keep in place as he could anchor the defense and be a key piece of the puzzle as the Bucs get things turned around.
WR Adam Humphries is the third player that the Bucs must give serious consideration to re-signing. Humphries an undrafted FA out of Clemson has developed into a solid number 3 receiver and was second on the team in receiving with 76 catches for 816 yards and 5TD’s.
When the Bucs need a first down or a key play Humphries was the man that stepped up and delivered. Now the Bucs are going to have to step up and pay the man if they want to keep their receiving corp in tact.
According to Spotrac, Humphries should be in line for a 4yr $41 million dollar contact which breaks down down to just over $10 million a season.
Some other players on this Bucs roster that are UFA’s and will not be back include Brent Grimes, Chris Conte, and OT Donovan Smith.
DeSean Jackson is due $10 million this year but the Bucs can walk away from that contract which I hope they do.
Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers are also UFA’s. Barber should be back and Rodgers may not.
We don’t know yet what the plans are for the tweaking of the roster by Bruce Arians and his staff. What we do now is there may be more needs on this team than we first thought.