Bucs Free Agency Primer: Offensive Skill Players


With Free-Company proper across the nook the Bucs are confronted with changing 11 starters between their offense and protection. That quantities to 1 complete facet of the ball. With the retirements of Tom Brady and Ali Marpet this yr’s offseason will look completely different than final yr’s “Run it Again” philosophy.

With that mentioned, GM Jason Licht mentioned throughout interviews on the NFL Scouting Mix that Tampa Bay might be attempting to retain lots of their personnel from the 2021 season. Under we’ll take a look at the beginning roles presently vacant providing you with three choices that the Bucs might take a look at to fill the void. Choice A would be the earlier yr’s incumbent (or in his absence one of the best obtainable choice in the marketplace), choice B would characterize a mid-level exterior free agent, and choice C will look in the direction of an unproven or in any other case dangerous flyer.

This sequence might be damaged up into three items. Offensive Playmaker, Offensive Line, and Protection.

QUARTERBACK

Choice A- Jameis Winston

I’m not advocating for Wisnton as Plan A, however the easy reality is he represents probably the most proficient participant presently obtainable in the marketplace. Final yr, Winston posted profession highs in PFF grade (74.2) and Huge-Time Throw Price (7.1%), with the bottom Turnover-Worthy Play Price (3.0%) of his profession.

The probability of the Bucs reuniting with their as soon as franchise-quarterback are slim-to-none. However that doesn’t change the truth that he represents the best stage of expertise with the best upside in free company. Given his penchant for turnovers and coming off a torn ACL, his price ticket might be modest by way of each size and monetary dedication. Search for a 1-year deal for $5-7.5 million with heavy incentives that gained’t hit a group’s cap till 2023.

Choice B- Teddy Bridgewater

Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater and HC Matt Rhule – Photograph by: USA As we speak

What can we already know in regards to the Bucs and Teddy B? We all know there was curiosity in 2020 earlier than Tampa Bay was in a position to land their white whale in Tom Brady. Does Bridgewater characterize a prototypical Bruce Arians quarterback? No. Bruce’s mantra is famously “no danger it, no biscuit”. In the meantime, Bridgewater is understood for enjoying a tamer model of offense, checking the ball down and never having the arm to essentially push the ball down subject.

What Bridgewater is understood for is being correct, which is a high quality Arians appreciates greater than most. He’s additionally a recognized amount. Whereas not representing the next upside than Winston, Bridgewater represents a decrease variance choice which implies he would come at the next value. PFF has Bridgewater pegged for a 2-year deal for $17 million with $12 million assured. I agree with the value, however once more assume the deal can be loaded with incentives that might not hit the cap till 2023.

Choice C- Blaine Gabbert

The person, the parable, the legend. Blaine Gabbert represents the worst-case situation for a lot of Bucs followers. Whereas Bruce Arians continues to speak up Gabbert as being able to be a starter in Arians’ offense, the veteran represents a low chance of success. His price ticket can be very low although. I’d venture 1-year, $3.5-5 million, once more with incentives that might hit the 2023 cap tacked on.

SLOT RECEIVER

Choice A- Chris Godwin

Bucs WR Chris Godwin

Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photograph by: USA As we speak

Godwin has developed a cult-like following in Tampa Bay. Together with his big-time contested catches, route-running savvy, capacity to run your entire route tree and willingness to dam, there aren’t many who don’t love the sixth-year receiver. Rely Bruce Arians and Jason Licht amongst these followers, because the Bucs have tagged Godwin to return. Godwin will come at a deservedly hefty price ticket on a long run deal.

Choice B- Allen Robinson

Robinson doesn’t have the game-breaking velocity you’d anticipate from a receiver Bruce Arians would search for. However Robinson’s profession 12.9 yards per catch compares effectively with Godwin’s 13.1 over the past three years in Arians’ offense. He produces effectively in contested catch alternatives and has proven to be a strong blocker as effectively. Coming off an injury-plagued season, I venture Robinson to get a 3-year deal price $42.5 million.

Choice C- JuJu Smith Schuster

Smith-Schuster isn’t the No. 1 receiver his 111-catch, 1,426-yard 2018 season would have you ever consider. However he additionally isn’t a 3rd or fourth receiver the 1-year, $8 million contract he signed late within the offseason final yr would have you ever consider as effectively. The reality with Smith-Schuster lies someplace in between. And that is the place he can characterize an incredible worth for the Bucs. After getting only a few presents final yr, Smith-Schuster missed many of the season with a shoulder harm. There is superb motive to assume he would possibly come at a good larger low cost in 2022. A one-year, $7.5 million deal may very well be subsequent for Smith-Schuster.

OUTSIDE RECEIVER

Choice A- JuJu Smith Schuster

What can I say about Smith-Schuster that I didn’t already say earlier when speaking about him as an choice for the slot receiver place? He’s place numerous, which implies he can play the skin function as effectively. That’s what will get him on this listing twice.

Choice B- Will Fuller

Fuller represents a trait Arians covets that can’t be taught. That trait is velocity. He employs that velocity on a body that’s extra in-line with Arians prototypical receiver than Scotty Miller and Cyril Grayson, with a extra completed observe report. Fuller comes along with his warts. Particularly, he has had bother staying wholesome. That enables him to return in at an inexpensive value of 1-year $5-7 million.

Choice C- Michael Gallup/Odell Beckham Jr

Each of those gamers have the expertise and skillsets to be Choice “A’s” throughout the league. They each have full skillsets that permit them to play a number of roles inside a number of offenses. How did they find yourself decrease than Choice “B” on this listing? Each receivers suffered main lower-body accidents late within the season that has their availability for the whole thing of the 2022 season doubtful. PFF has the duo every pegged for 1-year, $5 million offers.

TIGHT END

Choice A- Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Gronkowski’s play has not dipped regardless of him ending up his age-32 season. He ranked high 10 amongst tight-ends per PFF and continued to make large performs all through the season. Gronk additionally suffered one other main harm in 2021, maintaining him out of 5 video games altogether together with most of a sixth. And that places his future in flux. Gronk has already retired as soon as and has by no means performed with out Tom Brady in his skilled profession. There’s a very excessive probability he retires once more. And even when Gronk does determine to play in 2022, the circumstances will change his contract significantly.

Final yr Gronk signed a team-friendly deal beneath his market worth. This yr there isn’t a Brady swaying his choice as to how a lot he needs to play for tying him down. And Tampa Bay isn’t the Tremendous Bowl favourite they had been a yr in the past. Given the latest Ian Thomas extension and the stories of David Njoku probably getting $10-111 million APY. Gronk can command effectively north of the 1-year $7 million deal PFF has him pegged at. I can see Gronk getting 1-year $9 million.

Choice B- Maxx Williams

Williams represents the extra conventional Bruce Arians Tight Finish he has used all through his profession. Not the playmaking athletes Gronkowski and OJ Howard have offered him over the previous three years, however an excellent blocker with certain arms who will help within the pink zone. This skillset along with his upside pegs his worth at 3-years $20 million.

Choice C- Eric Saubert

Saubert is a sixth-year journeyman who has by no means performed greater than 120 snaps in a season. Why is he on this listing as a possible choice for the Bucs? He’s a strong blocker who wouldn’t step in because the No. 1 tight finish, however fairly slot in as a No. 2/No. 3, pushing Cam Brate right into a beginning function for the season. And he’ll come on the Veteran League Minimal of 1-year, $1.12 million.

RUNNING BACK

Choice A- Leonard Fournette

Playoff/Superbowl/Lombardi Lenny had about as nice of a turnaround from Week 13 of 2020 via the top of 2022 as one might have. He improved as a pass-blocker and a receiver and proven himself to be a bell-cow again, however has his shortcomings. He lacks breakaway velocity and has inconsistent imaginative and prescient.

However Fournette did show himself to be a dependable playmaker on a championship offense. Now he’ll look to get an enormous payday. One the Bucs might even see as too wealthy to pay. Given his age, I venture Fournette to see a 3-year deal price $22.5 million.

Falcons RB-WR-KR Cordarrelle Patterson

Falcons RB-WR-KR Cordarrelle Patterson – Photograph by: USA As we speak

Choice B- Cordarrelle Patterson

Late profession renaissances are a uncommon factor on this planet of working backs. However that’s precisely what Patterson loved final yr with Atlanta. Albeit, Patterson isn’t a real working again. However he totaled 1,168 yards and 11 touchdowns in his age 30 season.

Patterson confirmed the big-play capacity that made him a 1st spherical draft decide in 2013. He can line up all around the subject and produce personnel mismatches that make offensive coordinators drool. Add to these his prolific return abilities, and you’ve got a dynamic playmaker who can change video games in a single play. Given his age and the dearth of historical past at this stage of play, Patterson initiatives to price lower than Fournette. PFF has him at two years, $12 million.

Choice C- Rashaad Penny

Penny represents the final word flyer. His abilities are plain, matching a 220-pound body with velocity and explosiveness. He generally is a three-down again in any system. What Penny has lacked over his first 4 years within the league is a clear invoice of well being. Nonetheless, when on the sector he can carry an offense, as evidenced by his efficiency within the again half of the 2021 season. If the Bucs do go down this street, they are going to actually wish to hedge their bets with extra our bodies.

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