Matera’s 2022 Bucs Battle Plan For The Offseason

The Present State Of The Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a franchise-best 13-4 season and a last-second, heartbreaking loss to the Rams within the playoffs. The Bucs have additionally had to deal with the retirements of two Professional Bowlers in quarterback Tom Brady and left guard Ali Marpet. These losses are large and can make the staff’s focus in 2022 successful the NFC South moderately than legitimately contending for an additional Tremendous Bowl.

The Bucs have a plethora of starters slated without cost company, together with tight finish Rob Gronkowski, extensive receiver Chris Godwin, cornerback Carlton Davis III, middle Ryan Jensen, defensive deal with Ndamukong Suh, security Jordan Whitehead, working again Leonard Fournette, proper guard Alex Cappa, defensive finish Will Gholston and out of doors linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul. Tampa Bay can’t afford to deliver all of them again.

Bucs HC Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

The most important query might be at quarterback the place the staff is resigned to the truth that it may’t land an enormous identify by way of a commerce. With a weak free agent class, the Bucs are anticipated to re-sign free agent backup Blaine Gabbert to compete with Kyle Trask, final 12 months’s second-round decide. Tampa Bay might want to add two extra quarterbacks for depth and competitors, however the pickings are slim.

The Bucs teaching employees stays largely intact with inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell being the one main loss. Larry Foote strikes from outdoors linebackers coach to take over. Bob Sanders, who coached with Bruce Arians in Arizona, was signed to teach outdoors linebackers.

Explaining The Bucs Battle Plans For 2022 writers Scott Reynolds, Jon Ledyard, Matt Matera, JC Allen and Josh Queipo have devised their very own Bucs Plans For the 2022 offseason. These come full with free agent signings, trades, roster strikes and draft picks to assist Tampa Bay repeat as NFC South champions and make one other playoff run.

Keep in mind, these Bucs Battle Plans are how the employees members would reshape the staff this offseason – not essentially what we predict Tampa Bay will do in free company and the draft, though there might be some overlap with sure gamers the staff could also be concentrating on.

The Bucs have roughly $2.7 million value of wage cap house proper now, in line with

Bucs basic supervisor Jason Licht and vice chairman of soccer administration Mike Greenberg can create loads of wage cap house by restructuring the contracts of a number of gamers and reducing their 2022 cap values. Huge receiver Mike Evans ($20,622,500 cap worth in 2022), outdoors linebacker Shaquil Barrett ($19.75 million cap worth in 2022), left deal with Donovan Smith ($18.4 million cap worth in 2022) and nostril deal with Vita Vea ($11,887,311 cap worth in 2022) are the prime candidates. The Bucs would possibly even prolong the contracts of Evans and Smith this offseason moderately than simply doing restructures.

Matera’s Bucs Battle Plan For The 2022 Offseason 

The best way I went about constructing my Bucs Battle Plan is a mix of conserving the staff aggressive for the 2022 season whereas additionally understanding that this can be a stop-gap 12 months based mostly on the quarterback place. It’s tough to remain beneath the cap this 12 months and re-sign each participant, however I attempted making a splash signing or two. A variety of this depends on youthful gamers stepping up into greater roles with out tying up a ton of cash to ageing gamers on long-term offers.

Godwin Franchise Tagged


Effectively, the massive information on Tuesday was that the Bucs used the franchise tag on extensive receiver Chris Godwin. That’s $19.2 million on Tampa Bay’s cap because it’s the second 12 months Godwin has been tagged. The excellent news is he stays a Buccaneer. The unhealthy information is that it’s an enormous hit to the cap after they’ve had a 12 months to succeed in a long-term deal. They might nonetheless come to an settlement by July – and even earlier than the beginning of free company.

Bucs Pay Cuts

We’ve seen this track and dance earlier than. Tight finish Cameron Brate has taken a pay reduce the final two seasons and might want to take one other this 12 months. He is aware of the drill. Brate made just below $2 million final 12 months, so he’ll do the identical and save the Bucs $5 million.

Bucs Restructures

LG Ali Marpet – Marpet leaves one final parting present for the Bucs by clearing $10 million in cap room.

NT Vita Vea – Even after a brand new deal, they will convert a bit of Vea’s wage right into a bonus and go from $11.89M to $4.25M on the cap.

OLB Shaq Barrett – Identical thought course of right here similar to Vea. A restructure to Barrett can save the Bucs just below $10 million.

Bucs Prolong Evans and Smith

The pillars of the present Bucs roster reside round Mike Evans and Donovan Smith amongst others. Evans has all the time been staff first and has restructured his contract up to now to open up extra cap room. Smith is one other team-first man that the Bucs have handled properly relating to agreeing to a deal. 

By changing their salaries to largely signing bonuses and lengthening their contract, Tampa Bay opens up $19 million.

Bucs Cuts

P Bradley Pinion

Pinion’s destiny may need been sealed when he kicked two kickoffs out of bounds within the divisional playoff spherical. He handled accidents final 12 months and was basically run of the mill. For his worth, he might be changed. The Bucs save $2.9 million right here.

Ok Ryan Succop

Succop was stable final 12 months however not so good as he was in 2020. He doesn’t have a powerful leg, and due to that the Bucs couldn’t settle for a lot of area objectives that had been 50-plus. When Tom Brady is your quarterback you will get away with it. However that isn’t the case anymore. The league is unfold with kickers who can boot the ball. Tampa Bay already has his alternative on the roster with Jose Borregales. This opens up an additional $2.5 million in cap room.

Unrestricted Free Brokers Re-Signed


CB Carlton Davis III – 4 years, $70 million
If you happen to can’t tag him, signal him. Davis is a shut-down nook for the Bucs and so they can’t afford to lose him. Giving him sufficient assured cash at first ought to preserve him completely satisfied. It doesn’t go away the Bucs in a gap both, if they will get his 2022 cap quantity to round $14 million. There are different high degree corners obtainable on the market, however with Davis’ age and match on the staff, it is smart to deliver him again as a substitute of signing some else. I perceive his damage historical past, however it’s a danger the Bucs should wager on.

RG Alex Cappa – 3 years, $25.5 million 
Cappa continues to enhance as a participant and he’s a less expensive possibility than re-signing Ryan Jensen. He’ll assist reduce the blow of dropping Marpet. Locking Cappa up for 3 years retains a bit of stability on the offensive line.

DT Will Gholston – 1 12 months, $4.5 million
He’s an extended tenured Buc that matches nice on this protection. Gholston comes up with a handful of splash performs every season, taking part in properly with 4.5 sacks. I name him the ameba as a result of he can adapt to something.

QB Blaine Gabbert – 1 12 months, $4 million
Along with his wage doubled and a chance to be a beginning quarterback once more, Gabbert is again on an inexpensive deal. This helps the Bucs signal different gamers. All aboard the Blaine Prepare, he might be beneath middle the primary week.

OG Aaron Stinnie – 2 years, $3 million
Stinnie will get some stability with a second 12 months. He’s proved he can maintain his personal when he began through the Tremendous Bowl run. He’ll compete to be the full-time starter this offseason.

OT Josh Wells – 1 12 months, $1.2 million 
Wells is a serviceable backup that stuffed in when Tristan Wirfs was out. He takes the identical position this season.

RB Giovani Bernard – 1 12 months, $1.2 million
I like the thought of Bernard coming again and being a mentor to the youthful backs once more. He’ll have a job on third down.

S Andrew Adams – 1 12 months, $1.2 million
He is aware of the offense and is a good veteran backup.

LS Zach Triner – 1 12 months, $1.2 million
There’s been no snapping issues, so deliver him again.

DT Pat O’Connor  – 1 12 months, $1.2 million
A stable participant on particular groups and all-around good locker room man.

QB Ryan Griffin – 1 12 months, $1.2 million
Griffin would possibly find yourself with an extended taking part in profession than Tom Brady with the way in which he retains re-signing with the Bucs.

Unrestricted Gamers Not Re-Signed

SS Jordan Whitehead
I’d like for Whitehead to come back again to the Bucs, however I’m projecting he’ll get overpaid. He’s an old style security that hits arduous and brings power to the protection. Everyone knows how useful he’s within the run recreation, but when a staff goes to provide him $9 million, that’s an excessive amount of for the Bucs.

C Ryan Jensen
It’s powerful to lose Jensen. He’s one of many leaders on offense and arguably the perfect middle in soccer. For his asking worth, it’s simply an excessive amount of. I’m extra involved on if he’ll break down within the later years of his contract than his outlook for the 2022 season.

DT Ndamukong Suh
Suh has been formidable for the Bucs up entrance and helped with having the perfect run protection within the NFL. Sooner or later they should get youthful and I’d moderately have some defensive tackles that might be there for a number of seasons.

OLB Jason Pierre-Paul 
JPP is a warrior that has always performed by tough accidents. You received’t discover many extra decided gamers than him. The accidents preserve piling up, although, and his play declined. His departure provides free reign to Joe Tryon-Shoyinka at outdoors linebacker.

TE Rob Gronkowski
He’s both retiring or taking part in for a staff with a extra established quarterback.

RB Leonard Fournette
I really like Lombardi Lenny. It simply doesn’t make sense to pay a working again a profitable deal. I hope he will get the bag some place else.

RB Ronald Jones II
Jones was sad about his taking part in time final 12 months after getting dropping the working again competitors to Fournette. He’ll search for one other staff.

TE O.J. Howard
Howard was used sparingly within the Bucs’ offense final 12 months. Some will say he can nonetheless attain his potential. A contemporary begin would give him that probability.

ILB Kevin Minter
Minter is nice on particular groups as a staff captain. He acquired a bit uncovered at inside linebacker when Lavonte David was out. 

CB Richard Sherman 
He’s ageing and his physique is breaking down. I wouldn’t be shocked if he calls it a profession.

Bucs DT Steve McLendon

Bucs DT Steve McLendon – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

NT Steve McLendon 
I used to be shocked that McLendon got here again this 12 months. He might retire this time, however both method, the Bucs must get youthful at defensive deal with. He’ll all the time have that interception.

RB Le’Veon Bell
Bell was introduced in due to accidents at working again. Look out for him on TV in a boxing match.

CB Pierre Desir 
I’m positive if the Bucs need to signal him late in the summertime to compete in coaching camp.

New Unrestricted Free Brokers Signed

S Marcus Maye – 1 12 months, $5 million

For this state of affairs, Whitehead will get more cash thrown at him that’s too wealthy for the Bucs. In comes Maye, who has to play on a show it deal following an Achilles damage final season. He’s a proficient security that may do some little bit of every thing on protection and be moved round in numerous spots. Maye performed solely six video games final season, however earlier than that performed a full season up to now two years. In 2020, Maye recorded 88 tackles, two interceptions, 11 cross breakups, two pressured fumbles and a fumble restoration. These are fairly comparable numbers to Whitehead from that 12 months. Maye was drafted in 2018 by the Jets. Who was the pinnacle coach then? You guessed it, Todd Bowles.

C Brian Allen – 3 years, $17 million

Allen is younger at 26, and may substitute Jensen at middle if the Bucs don’t belief Robert Hainsey but. He has an damage historical past as properly, struggling an MCL damage in 2019 and taking longer to recuperate than anticipated in 2020. With that mentioned, he bounced again in 2021, serving to the Rams win the Tremendous Bowl. Allen performs properly in a zone blocking scheme and may be very cell at his place regardless of the earlier damage.

RB Chase Edmonds – 2 years, $5 million

The Bucs add depth with Edmonds within the backfield. He’s used to taking part in in a rotational position having shared time with James Conner on the Cardinals. He could be a lead again if the Bucs go that method or additionally deal with third down duties. There can be familiarity on the teaching employees as Edmonds performed beneath Byron Leftwich in Arizona. Edmonds recorded 592 speeding yards and two touchdowns together with 43 receptions for 311 yards in 12 video games final season.

TE  Mo Alie-Cox – 3 years, $18 million

This can be a good alternative for Alie-Cox to seize a beginning position for the Bucs after splitting time with the Colts. He supplies a stable mixture as a receiving tight finish and a participant that may block. You recognize Tampa Bay’s teaching employees is keying in on that. He caught 24 catches for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns the earlier season. There’s a number of upside potential right here.

DT Larry Ogunjobi – 3 years, $24 million

After 4 years with the Cleveland Browns, Ogunjobi went to the opposite NFL staff in Ohio to signal a one-year, $6 million cope with the Cincinnati Bengals. He performed in 16 video games this season earlier than injuring his foot within the playoffs. He recorded seven sacks in that point, which makes him an attractive addition to the Bucs lining subsequent to Vea. The Bucs signal a youthful man to exchange Suh, and it comes with extra years and across the similar cash they’d give to the veteran participant.

Matera’s 2022 Bucs Draft Picks

Spherical 1 – Ohio State WR Chris Olave, 6-3, 187

What would make Olave so thrilling for the Bucs is his route-running means. He’s thought-about the most effective at it on this 12 months’s receiver class. Tampa Bay’s offense is closely predicated on extensive receivers successful their battles down the sphere, and his route-running has helped him separate from defenders. Olave has a knack for making the massive catch as a deep menace. The Bucs can take a number of deep photographs with him or simply rapidly throw it and let him do the remaining. He had his finest 12 months as a senior at Ohio State, making 65 catches for 936 yards and a staff finest 13 receiving touchdowns in 11 video games. Olave is a menace to opposing defenses always when lining up. He turned heads on the NFL Mix working a 4.39 40-yard sprint.

Spherical 2 – Montana State LB Troy Andersen, 6-3, 243

The Bucs love small college guys and Anderson matches that mildew. I do know that we don’t need to stay in a world the place Lavonte David isn’t beginning at linebacker, however he’s solely beneath contract for another season. Andersen is a tackling machine, racking up 150 tackles in his final 12 months. I don’t care what convention you’re in, these are large numbers. After beforehand taking part in quarterback and working again, he’s used that for nice instincts on the sphere and may get sideline to sideline rapidly. After having an incredible Senior Bowl, Andersen impressed on the Mix with a 4.42 40 – the quickest of all linebackers. I do know the Bucs drafted Grant Stuard and Ok.J. Britt final season, however they appear extra like particular groups gamers. Andersen might be David’s future alternative.

Spherical 3 – Memphis OL Dylan Parham, 6-3, 311

Parham is a flexible offensive lineman that went from a good finish to deal with after which settling at guard. He’s acquired good footwork due to his expertise as a good finish, which inserts his mobility going throughout and up the sphere. Keep in mind when Leonard Fournette had his Tremendous Bowl landing run? What about his landing to seal the sport towards the Colts final season? That was all from a pulling linemen on the play. I can see Parham excelling in these sorts of performs. He’ll must preserve bulking up, however he’s been doing that every season and will proceed progressing.

Spherical 4 – Oklahoma DT Perrion Winfrey,  6-4, 290

Winfrey has a very good first step and quick fingers. The Bucs are in search of faster defensive tackles this 12 months, so Winfrey would possibly simply be a match. He’s proven that he has a lot of passing speeding strikes he can go to, which was evident by the way in which he stood out on the Senior Bowl. Winfrey recorded 40 tackles, six sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and a pressured fumble with the Sooners in two years.

Spherical 5 – Missouri CB Akayleb Evans, 6-2, 197

The Bucs like corners with size and that’s precisely what Evans has. He’s a bodily participant that’s sturdy on the level of contact. Evans welcomes competitors too, transferring from Tulsa to Missouri and dealing with higher competitors. There’s a number of uncooked expertise with Evans, and he has struggled with discovering the ball within the air and with some zone coverages. It’ll be on Tampa Bay’s coaches to assist him enhance in these areas. One other cool truth, Evans began his personal charity, the Akayleb Evans Basis, which supplies again to youngsters and adults in his hometown of Mckinney, Texas. He recorded 82 tackles, one sack, 11 cross deflections and a pressured fumble at Tulsa adopted by 28 tackles, one interception, six cross breakups and one other pressured fumble in his lone season with Mizzou taking part in SEC soccer.

Spherical 7 – FIU RB D’Vonte Worth 6-2, 215

Worth used to run observe so he’s a speedster on the place. He’s a clean runner that may go in between the tackles and take it to the skin as properly. Worth can cross block when requested to and doesn’t draw back from it. He’s additionally acquired some energy to his recreation and may also help out within the passing assault. He ran for two,203 yards and 15 touchdowns in his FIU profession, together with making 45 catches for 307 yards and a rating.

Spherical 7 (Comp’d Decide) – Colorado State P Ryan Stonehouse, 5-11, 185

The Bucs want a punter to exchange Pinion. If Matt Arazia is off the board, Stonehouse is the subsequent possibility. He’s a three-time first staff All-Mountain West punter. In 2021 he was named to the second staff behind Arazia. As a senior Stonehouse had a mean of fifty.9 yards on his punts.

Matera’s “Approach Too Early” Bucs 53-Man Roster Projection

QB Blaine Gabbert
QB Kyle Trask
QB Ryan Griffin


Evaluation: It’s a quarterback competitors between Gabbert and Trask come coaching camp! With a weakened NFC South, there’s nonetheless a path for the Bucs to make the postseason. This offers the nod to Gabbert contemplating he is aware of the offense higher than any quarterback on the roster. If the Bucs are out of it late, search for Trask to get some reps as a starter.

Bucs RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn

Bucs RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

RB Chase Edmonds
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn
RB Giovani Bernard
RB D’Vonte Worth

Evaluation: It’ll be working again by committee this season. Who will get the primary crack because the starter might be decided throughout coaching camp. This could make for a enjoyable competitors to look at. Vaughn has rather a lot to show whereas Edmonds is a veteran that may get the job completed. Bernard will play on third down and we’ll see what we get from Worth.

WR Mike Evans
WR Chris Godwin
WR Chris Olave
WR Tyler Johnson
WR Jaelon Darden

Evaluation: The Bucs preserve their dynamic duo intact with Evans and Godwin. Olave brings a number of pleasure because the No. 3 extensive receiver. I’m not as down on Darden after just one season, however it’s now or by no means for Johnson.

Mo Alie-Cox
Cam Brate
Codey McElroy

Evaluation: Alie-Cox turns into  the starter. Brate stays because the second tight finish. He’ll have a job as per typical. McElroy has been creating behind the scenes and it pays off by incomes a spot the 53-man roster for the season.

LT Donovan Smith
LG Aaron Stinnie
C Brian Allen
RG Alex Cappa
RT Tristan Wirfs
C Robert Hainsey
OT Josh Wells
G Dylan Parham
OL Nick Leverett
G Sadarius Hutcherson

Evaluation: The offensive line appears to be like fairly completely different this 12 months with out Marpet or Jensen. Allen is available in to start out at middle whereas Stinnie and Parham compete at left guard. Total stable depth with the backups that may be moved round.

Oklahoma DT Perrion Winfrey

Oklahoma DT Perrion Winfrey – Picture by: USA At this time

NT Vita Vea
DT Larry Ogunjobi
DE Will Gholston
DT Perrion Winfrey
NT Rakeem Nunez-Roches
DE Pat O’Connor

Evaluation: Ogunjobi is the brand new addition that performs a beginning position alongside Vea. Winfrey will get some taking part in time rotating in but additionally will get to be taught from the veterans in entrance of him. Gholston takes the identical position he’s had with the staff.

OLB Shaquil Barrett
OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
OLB Anthony Nelson
OLB Cam Gill

Evaluation: I don’t count on Barrett or the younger JTS to come back off the sphere that a lot. That makes Gill potential because the fourth outdoors linebacker. Nelson is in a contract 12 months with a lot to show. He was good final 12 months and can look to construct on that.

ILB Devin White
ILB Lavonte David
ILB Troy Andersen
ILB Ok.J. Britt
ILB Grant Stuard

Evaluation: David and White are the leaders of the staff and that’s not altering. Andersen will get to be taught beneath the duo, and will get the primary shot of filling in if there have been to be an damage. Britt and Stuard stay as core particular teamers.

CB Carlton Davis III
CB Jamel Dean
CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
CB Akayleb Evans
CB Ross Cockrell
CB Dee Delaney

Evaluation: Just about the identical group of corners as final 12 months together with the addition of Evans. It’s an enormous 12 months for Dean and Murphy-Bunting. The Bucs almost definitely received’t be capable to preserve each subsequent season.

Bucs S Mike Edwards

Bucs S Mike Edwards – Picture by: USA At this time

FS Antoine Winfield, Jr.
SS Marcus Maye
SS Mike Edwards
FS Andrew Adams

Evaluation: Winfield Jr. and Maye will prepared the ground because the final line of protection. It’s intriguing to see how they’ll work collectively given their capabilities. Edwards ought to see the sphere as properly along with his ball-hawking skills.

Ok Jose Borregales
P Ryan Stonehouse
LS Zach Triner

Evaluation: Triner is the one returning particular teamer from final 12 months. Borregales has been with the staff and completed properly in observe, however in-game is a unique take a look at. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see how Stonehouse does within the NFL, together with the unit.

What Did You Assume?

Did you want my Bucs Battle Plan for the 2022 offseason? Does it adequately tackle Tampa Bay’s wants? Which additions did you want finest? Let me know what you assume within the article feedback part beneath.

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