Brady Returns To Bucs In Nick Of Time

SR’s Fab 5 is a group of reporting and evaluation on the Bucs from yours really, Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds. Listed below are 4 issues that caught my consideration this week, plus some random tidbits in my Buc Pictures part on the finish. Take pleasure in!

FAB 1. Brady Returns To Bucs In The Nick Of Time

Tom Brady got here again to the Bucs within the nick of time. Not only for the beginning of 2022 NFL free company, however in loads of time for the beginning of the 2022 season.

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

We haven’t seen the Bucs schedule but. It comes out in Could just a few weeks after the NFL Draft. But we all know which groups Tampa Bay will play in 2022.

When the schedule does come out will probably be a doozy. The Bucs will play eight playoff groups from a 12 months in the past, together with each Tremendous Bowl groups.

Sure, the Bucs will play the Tremendous Bowl champion Rams for the fifth time in 4 straight years. Tampa Bay is 0-3 in its final three conferences with Los Angeles. The final of which was a heartbreaking, 30-27 loss at dwelling within the divisional playoffs.

Here’s a record of the opponents the Bucs will play in 2022:


Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints
Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals
Inexperienced Bay Packers
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
Los Angeles Rams
Seattle Seahawks


Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals
Cleveland Browns
Dallas Cowboys
Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco 49ers

The Bucs at the very least have an opportunity to lastly beat the Rams with Brady. Not a lot if Blaine Gabbert, who has but to re-sign, or Kyle Trask have been below middle.

Check out the quarterbacks Tampa Bay will face in 2022 – Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, Inexperienced Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Kansas Metropolis’s Patrick Mahomes, L.A.’s Matthew Stafford, Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Cleveland’s Deshaun Watson and Dallas’ Dak Prescott. With Brady, the Bucs have a legit likelihood to go toe-to-toe and throw-for-throw and win any sport.

With Gabbert or Trask? They stand a greater likelihood of profitable in opposition to the likes of Atlanta’s Marcus Mariota, Carolina’s Sam Darnold and New Orleans’ Jameis Winston, the place factors might not be as plentiful.

Bucs QBs Blaine Gabbert and Tom Brady and QBs coach Clyde Christensen

Bucs QBs Blaine Gabbert and Tom Brady and QBs coach Clyde Christensen – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

One of the best the Bucs might need executed with Gabbert or Trask below middle in 2022 in opposition to a formidable schedule is 9-8 and probably profitable the division. That’s if Tampa Bay’s protection actually involves play this 12 months.

However with Brady wholesome for 17 video games, profitable the NFC South once more all however appears assured. I can see Tampa Bay being a greater, extra proficient workforce this 12 months and profitable 10-13 video games in opposition to some actually robust groups.

Since Brady introduced he would return for a twenty third season, not solely have the Bucs gotten higher by re-signings and additions in free company, however a few of their 2022 opponents have gotten worse. Atlanta traded longtime Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to the Colts.

The Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Broncos. The Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders and misplaced Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the Chiefs. Kansas Metropolis despatched Chiefs followers reeling by buying and selling Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. The Cowboys shipped Amari Cooper to the Browns and misplaced move rusher Randy Gregory to the Broncos. The Rams misplaced move rusher Von Miller to the Payments in free company.

Granted, the Browns seem like they’ve gotten significantly higher. However Watson going to Cleveland slightly than New Orleans, Atlanta or Carolina was an enormous stroke of excellent luck for Tampa Bay.

There will probably be new, lesser quarterbacks taking on in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and sure Carolina in the event that they draft one, as anticipated. But no win is assured. Look no additional than the Bucs dropping to the Taylor Heinicke-led Washington Soccer Workforce final 12 months, and the last-second comeback wanted to beat the Zach Wilson-led Jets.

However having Brady below middle in opposition to a slew of formidable groups that includes nice quarterbacks provides the Bucs an opportunity each Thursday, Sunday or Monday. That wouldn’t have been the case with Gabbert or Trask.

FAB 2. Bucs’ 2023 Schedule Appears to be like Much less Daunting

Tom Brady is again in Tampa Bay, nevertheless it would possibly solely be for an additional 12 months. Brady will flip 45 this 12 months and is just below contract by 2022. That’s not anticipated to vary, even when the Bucs restructure his contract to create some wage cap room.

So life with out Brady in Tampa Bay might formally start in 2023. And that appears like a significantly better time for the Bucs to retool their roster, and re-calibrate on the quarterback place.

The Bucs’ free agent record in 2023 isn’t practically as daunting. Brady, linebacker Lavonte David, defensive lineman Will Gholston, cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, security Mike Edwards and reserve exterior linebacker Anthony Nelson are the notable names.

Even higher, Tampa Bay ought to have a a lot softer schedule in 2023. A fast take a look at the opponents the Bucs will play reveals a number of potential simpler video games in opposition to Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston. All 4 groups are choosing within the Prime 10 on this 12 months’s draft.

That’s along with six complete video games in opposition to Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans, which might not be playoff-caliber groups by subsequent 12 months. The Falcons and Panthers even have Prime 10 draft picks this 12 months.


Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans
NFC East opponent (TBD)


Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints
Inexperienced Bay Packers
Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Minnesota Vikings
NFC West opponent (TBD)
AFC East opponent (TBD)

In fact the time period “any given Sunday” at all times applies within the NFL. That’s why Tampa Bay misplaced at Washington, Buffalo misplaced at Jacksonville and Arizona misplaced at Detroit final 12 months.

Bucs QB Kyle Trask

Bucs QB Kyle Trask – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

So much can change in an offseason within the NFL, too. A wholesome Joe Burrow in his second season took the 4-11-1 Bengals to a 10-7 document final 12 months and a Tremendous Bowl berth.

In 2018 the 49ers have been 4-12. The subsequent 12 months they have been 13-3 and nearly beat the Chiefs within the Tremendous Bowl.

And naturally in Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston led the Bucs to a 7-9 document in Bruce Arians’ first season. Brady changed Winston the subsequent 12 months and guided Tampa Bay to a 10-6 document and a Tremendous Bowl victory.

Maybe a chump workforce this 12 months turns into significantly better by the point they play the Bucs in 2023. Regardless, subsequent 12 months’s slate of video games seems way more manageable to interrupt in a brand new quarterback and begin the post-Brady life in Tampa Bay.

FAB 3. NFC South Quarterback Upheaval

Final 12 months the Bucs received the NFC South for the primary time since 2007. The rationale was a stacked roster of Professional Bowl gamers coming off a Tremendous Bowl victory.

And naturally Tom Brady.

Actually, Brady was the largest motive the Bucs received a franchise-best 13 video games and a uncommon NFC South title. As a result of for a dozen years Tampa Bay had not had a quarterback to stack up in opposition to the likes of Matt Ryan in Atlanta, Cam Newton in Carolina and Drew Brees in New Orleans.

For at the very least another season, the Bucs ought to rule the NFC South with Brady on the helm. Let’s check out the present starters within the division exterior of Tampa Bay.

Atlanta Falcons – Marcus Mariota

Titans QB Marcus Mariota – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Titans QB Marcus Mariota – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

After swinging and lacking for Deshaun Watson, the Falcons had no alternative however to commerce a livid Ryan to the Colts for a third-round choose. The Bucs have had Ryan’s quantity these days, profitable 5 of the final six conferences, together with the final 4. However previous to that, Ryan had overwhelmed Tampa Bay 5 straight instances from 2016-18.

In steps the 28-year outdated Mariota, who was the No. 2 total choose within the 2015 NFL Draft. He signed a two-year, $18.75 million contract. Mariota’s final important motion got here in 2019 with the Titans. He went 2-4 as a starter, finishing 59.4 p.c of his passes for 1,203 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

Mariota is aware of Arthur Smith from his time in Tennessee and his transition to the run-based Falcons offense ought to be slightly seamless. However Mariota hasn’t performed a lot during the last two years as a backup with the Raiders. He accomplished 18-of-30 passes for 230 yards with one landing and one interception in spot obligation behind Derek Carr. Within the final two years the Falcons receiving corps has misplaced Julio Jones (traded), Calvin Ridley (suspended) and Russell Gage (free company).

Carolina Panthers – Sam Darnold

Bucs ILB Devin White and DE Will Gholston and Panthers QB Sam Darnold

Bucs ILB Devin White and DE Will Gholston and Panthers QB Sam Darnold – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Matt Rhule is out of the blue on the recent seat after a 5-12 season following a 5-11 document in his Carolina debut in 2020. Rhule traded for Darnold, a former first-round choose, and picked up his fifth-year possibility for 2022 earlier than he even performed a down in Carolina.

Meaning the Panthers are dedicated to Darnold to the tune of practically $19 million this season – although he went 4-7 final 12 months. Darnold accomplished 59.9 p.c of his passes for two,527 yards with 9 touchdowns and 13 interceptions enjoying in 12 video games with 11 begins.

Carolina will seemingly transfer on from Darnold after this season if he isn’t considerably higher. The Panthers have the sixth total choose and are significantly contemplating drafting Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett or one other quarterback to ultimately substitute Darnold. There’s additionally speak of Carolina buying and selling away oft-injured operating again Christian McCaffrey for draft picks. Shedding a viable weapon – when McCaffrey was wholesome – received’t assist Darnold or a rookie quarterback in 2022.

New Orleans Saints – Jameis Winston

Bucs S Mike Edwards and Saints QB Jameis Winton

Bucs S Mike Edwards and Saints QB Jameis Winton – Picture by: USA At present

The Bucs gave up on Winston, the No. 1 total choose within the 2015 draft, after they have been in a position to land Brady in free company in 2020. Winston spent that season studying behind Brees and making just a few cameo appearances, together with throwing a landing in opposition to the Bucs on a trick play in a divisional spherical dwelling playoff loss.

After Brees retired, Winston beat out Taysom Hill and went 5-2 as a starter final 12 months. He accomplished 59 p.c of his passes for 1,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and simply three interceptions. Just like the Falcons and Panthers, the Saints tried to woo Watson and land him in a commerce deal. When that fell by, Winston re-signed with the Saints on a two-year, $28 million deal. He’s coming off a torn ACL, which he suffered on Halloween in opposition to Tampa Bay.

The amount of cash Winston was given by New Orleans, coupled with the truth that Sean Payton retired, all however assures that he’ll be the starter. Meaning the Hill experiment at quarterback seems to be over. Hill was Payton’s pet venture for years in New Orleans. It’s fascinating to notice that Winston and Mariota will duel in opposition to one another twice a 12 months within the division now.

FAB 4. Godwin’s Contract Appears to be like Like A Cut price Now

Only a week in the past Bucs followers have been fretting over franchise participant Chris Godwin getting a three-year, $60 million contract. Did Tampa Bay overpay Godwin? Is he value $20 million per 12 months?

Godwin’s re-signing comes on the heels of the Chargers extending the contract of Mike Williams, who is just not as achieved because the Bucs’ star receiver, with an eye-opening $20 million common per season.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin

Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Picture by: USA At present

Heck, even Jacksonville overpaid Christian Kirk to the tune of $18 million per season. That was a surprising transfer on the time.

Since then, the Packers traded Devante Adams to the Raiders the place he reset the broad receiver market with a large, $140 million contract that averages $28 million per 12 months. That topped DeAndre Hopkins, who was the clear frontrunner for broad receiver contracts at $27.25 million per 12 months. The subsequent closest receiver was the Chargers’ Keenan Allen at $20.628 million.

Issues can change rapidly within the NFL. Not simply with some seismic trades this offseason which have seen big-name quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan all discover new properties. But in addition on this planet of the NFL wage cap the place the receiver market out of the blue exploded.

On Thursday, one other wild commerce occurred when Kansas Metropolis despatched Tyreek Hill to Miami for a slew of draft picks. The Chiefs have been unwilling to fulfill Hill’s contract calls for, however the Dolphins have been.

Simply days after Adams’ huge deal was finalized, Hill’s $120 million contract extension, which options $72 million in assured cash reset the receiver market once more. Hill is ready to earn a median of $30 million per season.

In lower than 10 days, Godwin’s deal seems like a discount. Godwin went from being tied because the third highest-paid receiver within the NFL on March 16 to being tied for the sixth-highest. That’s as a result of Carolina prolonged the contract of D.J. Moore, who now makes $20.628 million per 12 months.

Talking of bargains, Mike Evans is the actual discount in Tampa Bay. He’s now the thirteenth highest-paid receiver within the league at $16.5 million per 12 months. Evans is below contract for 2 extra years.

New Bucs WR Russell Gage, Jr.

New Bucs WR Russell Gage, Jr. – Picture by: USA At present

It’s unimaginable to suppose that Hill is making $30 million per 12 months with the Dolphins. Whereas the Bucs have Godwin and Evans for a mixed $36.5 million per 12 months. That’s two 1,000-yard Professional Bowl broad receivers for simply $6.5 million greater than Hill is making.

The Chargers’ duo of Allen and Williams makes a mixed $40.653 million per 12 months. It’s laborious to consider that receiver contracts of $16.5 million and $20 million per 12 months are actually thought-about to be relative bargains, however right here we’re.

Even Russell Gage’s signing at a mere $10 million per 12 months seems like chump change now. There are 28 different receivers within the league that may earn extra per 12 months than Gage does.

FAB 5. SR’s Buc Pictures

• BE LIKE MIKE: Regardless of making practically half of what Tyreek Hill and Devante Adams makes, Bucs broad receiver Mike Evans is correct up there with each Professional Bowl receivers when it comes to landing manufacturing.

• GHOLSTON IN RARE COMPANY: Bucs defensive lineman Will Gholston re-signed with the workforce on a one-year deal value $4.5 million. The deal consists of $3 million in assured cash. Gholston is coming into his tenth season in Tampa Bay, and turns into simply the fifteenth participant to play a decade with the Bucs. The Athletic’s Greg Auman posted a trivia query (and the solutions) on Twitter concerning the different 14 Buccaneers.

• WINSTON ON THE MEND: Saints quarterback Jameis Winston tore his ACL on a horse collar sort out by Bucs linebacker Devin White on Halloween in New Orleans. In response to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, his rehab goes properly and Winston ought to be able to go for coaching camp.

• BUCS FREE AGENCY COVERAGE ON THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST: The Pewter Report Podcast is energized by CELSIUS and broadcasts 4 dwell episodes every week. Pewter Report Podcasts sometimes air on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4:00 pm EST within the offseason.

On Monday, Jon Ledyard and Scott Reynolds mentioned the Logan Ryan signing and analyzed the Bucs’ scenario at operating again.

On Tuesday, Reynolds and Matt Matera reacted to the re-signing of operating again Leonard Fournette.

Wednesday’s present featured Ledyard and Reynolds reporting on Will Gholston’s return amongst different Bucs subjects.

Ledyard and Reynolds analyzed the most recent Pewter Report Bucs’ 7-Spherical Mock Draft 3.0 and answered followers’ questions.

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• IN MEMORY OF JOHN CLAYTON: John Clayton was among the best NFL reporters of my lifetime. A form soul who simply liked the sport of soccer and coated it so properly for many years for a number of shops – most notably ESPN. Clayton died at age 67 this week and to pay tribute to him I believed I might run this hilarious clip from among the best ESPN commercials of all-time.


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