No other team in the NFL this off-season has had the success that the Buccaneers have had during the free agency period.
A lot of credit should go to Jason Licht and the Buccaneer front office for re-signing the key players on this team to make another Super Bowl run.
With the signing of running back Leonard Fournette to a one-year 3.25 million dollar contract, all 22 starters from the Super Bowl-winning team will be back in 2021, including all three special team specialists.
This is the first time this has happened in the salary cap era and a true testament to Jason Licht and the front office’s work behind the scenes to keep this team together.
It all started with quarterback Tom Brady re-negotiating his contract and, in the process, freeing up 19 million dollars in cap space to help re-sign the free agents on the team.
Then, Jason Licht and the front office went to work.
The team put the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin, re-signed linebacker Lavonte David to a new multi-year contract.
The Bucs then announced a deal with linebacker Shaq Barrett to keep him in Tampa for the next four years. Then it was tight end Rob Gronkowski, returning on a one-year ten million dollar deal.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh signed for another year. Kicker Ryan Succop signed a new contract.
The Bucs also re-signed guard Aaron Stinnie and defensive linemen Rakeenm Nunez-Roaches, Jeremiah Ledbetter, and Patrick O’Conner.
Licht should have won the GM of the year award last year, but that went to Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane.
One key piece of the offense from last season that has yet to sign a new contract is wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown played a pivotal role in the Bucs passing game down the stretch when injuries sidelined Chris Godwin and Mike Evans.
Russell Wilson, the quarterback of the Seahawks is pushing his team to sign Antonio Brown. That would give Wilson, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain, and Brown as his receiving targets.
Are the Buccaneers done? You never say never, but it would appear that they are other than possibly re-signing Antonio Brown.
The focus will now shift to the upcoming NFL draft in one month. The Buccaneers still have depth needs at running back, both scrimmage lines, and at defensive back.
It will be interesting to see which direction the Bucs go as they continue to put the pieces together for another Super Bowl run.