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 big and can make the workforce’s focus in 2022 profitable the NFC South quite than legitimately contending for one more Tremendous Bowl.
The Bucs have a plethora of starters slated free of charge company, together with tight finish Rob Gronkowski, vast 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 outdoors linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul. Tampa Bay can’t afford to carry all of them again.
The most important query will likely be at quarterback the place the workforce is resigned to the truth that it will possibly’t land a giant identify through 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 yr’s second-round choose. 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 exterior linebackers coach to take over. Bob Sanders, who coached with Bruce Arians in Arizona, was signed to educate exterior linebackers.
Explaining The Bucs Battle Plans For 2022
PewterReport.com 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.
Bear in mind, these Bucs Battle Plans are how the PewterReport.com employees members would reshape the workforce this offseason – not essentially what we expect Tampa Bay will do in free company and the draft, though there could possibly be some overlap with sure gamers the workforce could also be concentrating on.
The Bucs have roughly $2.7 million value of wage cap area proper now, in response to OverTheCap.com.
Bucs common supervisor Jason Licht and vp of soccer administration Mike Greenberg can create loads of wage cap area by restructuring the contracts of a number of gamers and reducing their 2022 cap values. Extensive receiver Mike Evans ($20,622,500 cap worth in 2022), exterior 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 quite than simply doing restructures.
The free brokers that Tampa Bay indicators and re-sign will all have one or two years value of assured cash. That’s a Greenberg staple in relation to contracts. However the first yr salaries can even be decrease than the typical yearly cap worth of the contract to assist the Bucs’ cap in 2022. The cap is anticipated to rise in 2023 and Tampa Bay can defer some cash into later years.
Reynolds’ Bucs Battle Plan For The 2022 Offseason
The technique I comply with in my Bucs Battle Plan every year is to be as reasonable as doable. I attempt to venture what Licht would or might do as a substitute of getting a bit outlandish with my roster strikes. That will make my Bucs Battle Plan rather less enjoyable than the opposite Pewter Reporters, however it might provide you with some perception into what Tampa Bay could also be planning.
Just like the Bucs, I’m not going to re-sign the entire workforce’s free brokers. I’ll carry again some key items in free company and goal talent place gamers within the 2022 NFL Draft.
Bucs Commerce Out Of The First Spherical
Licht has mentioned that the actual worth on this draft is within the center rounds, and I agree. I’ll commerce out of the primary spherical with Jacksonville and choose on the high of the second spherical. The Jaguars have 12 draft picks. Along with swapping choose No. 27 for No. 33, I’ll purchase extra picks within the fourth spherical (104) and the sixth spherical. That provides the Bucs 9 draft picks this yr. Tampa Bay traded away its sixth-round choose final yr.
Tampa Bay’s 2022 NFL Draft Picks
Spherical 2 – No. 33 (from Jaguars)
Spherical 2 – No. 60
Spherical 3 – No. 91
Spherical 4 – No. 104 (from Jaguars)
Spherical 4 – No. 131
Spherical 5 – No. 169
Spherical 6 – No. 186 (from Jaguars)
Spherical 7 – No. 246
Spherical 7 – No. 261 (anticipated compensatory choose)
Bucs’ Pay Cuts
For the third straight yr, tight finish Cameron Brate goes to must take a pay reduce. He’s set to make $7,285,000 in 2022. Final yr, Brate made just below $2 million. He’ll must take an identical reduce to remain in Tampa Bay at age 31.
Use The Franchise Tag On Davis
In my state of affairs, I exploit the franchise tag on Carlton Davis III as a result of I wish to see if Davis can keep wholesome for a complete season. He hasn’t finished that in any of his 4 years in Tampa Bay. And I wish to work out if he’s a one-interception per season man, or if he’s able to 4 picks per yr, as he had in 2020. The $17.287 million is expensive for a one-year, prove-it deal. However I don’t wish to overpay Davis on a multi-year deal. I’m undecided if he’s value $19 million per yr or $13 million per yr. I’m undecided the Bucs are, both.
Unrestricted Free Brokers Re-Signed
WR Chris Godwin – 4-year deal, $64 million
Godwin would possibly get the franchise tag on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET if a multi-year extension isn’t labored out. However in my state of affairs, he and the Bucs come to phrases. Godwin, who’s masking from a torn ACL, is again on a deal that averages $16 million. He’s an important cog in Bruce Arians’ offense because the workforce’s slot receiver. The deal options $32 million in assured cash.
RG Alex Cappa – 3-year deal, $25.5 million
It got here right down to paying as a lot as $15 million per yr for Professional Bowl middle Ryan Jensen or $8.5 million per yr for Cappa. Jensen will likely be 31 this yr, whereas Cappa is 27, so I’ll spend money on the youthful participant. The Bucs preserve some continuity on the correct aspect of their offensive line.
DT Ndamukong Suh – 1-year, $7 million
Suh already accounts for $6.8 million in lifeless wage cap cash this yr. So why not pay the additional $200,000 and re-sign him for another yr at age 35?
SS Jordan Whitehead – 3-year deal, $16.5 million
Bringing again Whitehead at $5.5 million per season appears affordable. He’s not an awesome scheme slot in each NFL protection, however Whitehead is an ideal match for Todd Bowles’ scheme.
DE Will Gholston – 1-year, $4.5 million
The 30-year outdated Gholston has averaged $5.5 million per season during the last 5 years. He’ll have to take a slight pay reduce to return, however he’s a precious run-stopper.
QB Blaine Gabbert – 1-year, $4 million
Gabbert is re-signed to compete for the beginning job in 2022. His 2021 wage is doubled, and the $4 million he’ll receives a commission this yr is a far cry from what the Bucs paid for Jameis Winston (over $20 million in 2019), and Brady ($25 million in 2020 and ’21). That permits the Bucs to re-sign and signal free brokers.
G Aaron Stinnie – 1-year, $1.5 million
Stinnie is re-signed to an affordable, one-year deal and can compete for the left guard job vacated by Marpet’s retirement.
OT Josh Wells – 1-year, $1.2 million
Wells is again for the league minimal to offer depth at left and proper deal with.
ILB Kevin Minter – 1-year, $1.2 million
Minter, the workforce’s particular groups captain is re-signed, however he’s not a lock to make the workforce. He’s the fallback possibility because the No. 3 linebacker in case Ok.J. Britt isn’t prepared but.
Andrew Adams – 1-year, $1.2 million
Adams is a precious veteran backup who will come again for the league minimal.
DE Pat O’Connor – 1-year, $1.2 million
O’Connor, who’s rehabbing a torn ACL, is re-signed for the league minimal.
LS Zach Triner – 1-year, $1.2 million
The Bucs carry again their lengthy snapper for one more yr.
QB Ryan Griffin – 1-year, $1.2 million
Griffin is aware of the offense is signed to compete in camp. He could find yourself on the follow squad once more for a lot much less cash.
Unrestricted Free Brokers Not Re-Signed
C Ryan Jensen
I really like Jensen, however can’t justify paying him over $13 million per yr. I believe he’ll make north of that in free company.
OLB Jason Pierre-Paul
At age 33, Pierre-Paul’s physique is breaking down and I don’t belief his well being anymore. It’s time to maneuver on to Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.
TE Rob Gronkowski
I don’t suppose Gronkowski needs to return again to Tampa Bay anyhow with out Brady.
RB Leonard Fournette
I could be open to re-signing Fournette to a one-year, $2 million deal if he struggles to discover a higher contract in free company.
WR Breshad Perriman
Perriman isn’t the reply at vast receiver No. 3 – or No. 4 – for the Bucs.
TE O.J. Howard
Howard hasn’t been the identical since his Achilles damage. Each he and the Bucs want a contemporary begin. For Howard, that can occur elsewhere.
RB Ronald Jones II
Jones can’t cross defend and catch the ball. He’s soured on the Bucs and the Bucs have soured on him.
CB Richard Sherman
It’s time for Sherman to retire. His physique stored breaking down final yr at age 33.
RB Giovani Bernard
I’m not against bringing Bernard again, however he much less taking part in time in Tampa Bay than he anticipated. I believe he needs a greater state of affairs elsewhere.
DT Steve McLendon
McLendon is a warrior, but when I’ve to carry again one growing older defensive deal with it’s Suh.
CB Pierre Desir
Desir was an emergency fill-in at cornerback. Not somebody that I essentially need on the 53-man roster.
RB Le’Veon Bell
Bell was an emergency fill-in at working again. There’s not a lot tread left on these tires.
New Unrestricted Free Brokers Signed
DT B.J. Hill – 3 years, $25.5 million
This yr’s defensive deal with class is weak exterior of the highest three prospects – Georgia’s Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis, and UConn’s Travis Jones. There’s a likelihood all three could possibly be gone by the point the Bucs choose at No. 27. The Bucs not solely re-sign Suh and Gholston, however add Hill, who turns 27 in April. Hill will begin subsequent to Vita Vea and be the Bucs’ long-term starter whereas Suh rotates in throughout his ultimate season. Hill (6-3, 303) is coming off a Tremendous Bowl look with the Bengals and had seven sacks final yr, together with 1.5 within the playoffs.
C Bradley Bozeman – 3 years, $21 million
I don’t belief Robert Hainsey to take over at middle in his second yr in Tampa Bay. He not often performed as a rookie. Jensen was signed from Baltimore again in 2018, so why not revisit the script? Bozeman has a variety of Jensen-like qualities and at 6-foot-5, 317 kilos, is a giant, bodily middle like Tampa Bay prefers. If Hainsey develops and beats him out, Bozeman might all the time transfer to left guard the place he started his profession with the Ravens.
TE Mo Alie-Cox – 3 years, $18 million
Alie-Cox has been a No. 2 tight finish in Indianapolis and could also be prepared for a much bigger position in Tampa Bay. With nice dimension at 6-foot-5, 267 kilos, Alie-Cox is nice in-line blocker and an excellent receiver. He’s 28 and nonetheless within the prime of his profession and price a median of $6 million per yr. Alie-Cox had 24 catches for 316 yards (13.2 avg.) and 4 TDs final yr.
RB Cordarrelle Patterson – 2 years, $12 million
Don’t freak out. I’m not signing a working again for $6 million per season. I’m signing a weapon for $6 million per season. Not solely am I stealing Patterson away from the Falcons, he’ll be the beginning working again and a precious receiver out of the backfield and even lined up out vast. He rushed for 618 yards and had 548 yards receiving with 11 complete touchdowns in his first season with the Falcons. Plus, he’ll carry a dynamic skill to return kicks.
WR Byron Pringle – 2 years, $6 million
Pringle, a Tampa native, comes house for an awesome value to compete for the No. 3 receiver position in Tampa Bay. He’s a discount at a median of $3 million per season. If something he can be a implausible No. 4 for the Bucs and an enchancment over Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller and Jalen Darden. Plus, Pringle went to my alma mater, Kansas State, and is coming off his greatest season in Kansas Metropolis. He caught 42 passes for 568 (13.5 avg.) and 5 touchdowns in 2021.
Reynolds’ 2022 Bucs Draft Picks
Spherical 2 (from Jaguars) – North Dakota State WR Christian Watson • 6-4, 208
The Bucs have to get a dependable receiver with velocity and athleticism to exchange Antonio Brown. Watson, who hails from Tampa, ran a 4.36 within the 40-yard sprint, which is a superb time for a giant receiver. His 38.5-inch vertical permits him to win contested catches. Watson posted a ridiculous 9.98 RAS (relative athletic rating), which is the fifth greatest in historical past, and forward of Andre Johnson, Javon Walker, Vincent Jackson and Julio Jones. Watson caught 43 passes for 800 yards and 7 touchdowns, and averaged 18.6 yards per catch final yr for the Bison. He’s totaled 104 receptions for two,134 yards (20.5 avg.) and 14 TDs in his profession. The North Dakota State offense runs the ball loads so properly versed in run blocking on the perimeter, which Bruce Arians loves.
Spherical 2 – BYU RB Tyler Allgeier • 5-11, 224
The Bucs are in search of a working again to take over for Leonard Fournette, who departed throughout free company. Allgeier was a workhorse again final yr at BYU the place he rushed for 1,601 yards and 23 touchdowns with a 5.8 common. The yr prior he ran for 1,130 yards and 13 TDs whereas averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Allgeier is a bodily, punishing runner who had 1,143 yards after contact final yr. That was the second-best in school soccer, in response to Professional Soccer Focus. He additionally compelled 77 missed tackles. Allgeier is an efficient receiver with 46 profession catches for 437 yards (9.5 common) and one landing. He’s additionally a really achieved cross protector, which is essential for Arians’ offense. He’ll workforce with Patterson to provide the Bucs a bodily, one-two punch.
Spherical 3 – Western Kentucky OLB DeAngelo Malone • 6-3, 243
Malone’s lack of preferrred dimension virtually makes him a Day 3 choose, however his manufacturing is intriguing. In 5 years he recorded 349 tackles, 59 tackles for loss, 32.5 sacks, eight compelled fumbles, seven passes defensed, an interception and a fumble restoration for a landing. Malone was the Senior Bowl American workforce Defensive MVP with six tackles and half a sack. He’s an explosive athlete able to dashing the passer or dropping into protection. Malone might want to add one other 10 kilos of dimension on the subsequent stage to higher set the sting within the run recreation. However whereas he develops bodily he could be a situational cross rusher, difficult Cam Gill for a roster spot. And he could be a issue on particular groups, too.
Spherical 4 (from Jaguars) – Sam Houston State CB Zyon McCollum • 6-2, 199
The Bucs begin off Day 3 with a rangy, developmental cornerback in McCollum. The Sam Houston State product has the dimensions that Todd Bowles needs in an outdoor cornerback. He additionally lit it up on the NFL Scouting Mix athletically. McCollum earned a 9.99 RAS rating (out of doable 10) with a 39.5-inch vertical, a 4.33 time within the 40-yard sprint a 3.94 shuttle time and a 6.48 three-cone drill. The manufacturing is there, too. McCollum recorded 13 interceptions, 54 cross breakups and 6 compelled fumbles for the Bearkats. He’ll contribute on particular groups and add depth at cornerback. McCollum could possibly be groomed to exchange both Jamel Dean or Sean Murphy-Bunting in 2023. He has some expertise taking part in within the slot, however is healthier exterior.
Spherical 4 – North Dakota State OL Cordell Volson • 6-6, 315
Licht likes drafting school offensive tackles and shifting them inside. He’s finished that a number of occasions with the likes of Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa and most just lately Robert Hainsey. Volson was primarily a proper deal with at North Dakota State. But additionally noticed 267 snaps at proper guard, 104 snaps at left deal with and 19 snaps at proper guard in his profession. Volson performed guard on the East West Shrine Bowl and dominated as a run blocker. He’ll want some work at cross safety on the subsequent stage, however Licht has to like his bodily taking part in model and the way in which he strikes the road of scrimmage. Volson could not begin instantly, however like Cappa he can develop right into a starter in time.
Spherical 5 – SE Louisiana QB Cole Kelley • 6-7, 249
The Bucs could not wish to draft one other quarterback after deciding on Kyle Trask final yr, however I believe Kelley is an ideal match for Arians’ offense. Kelley had a extremely good throwing session on the Mix, demonstrating arm power, zip and contact on his passes. At 6-foot-7 he’s constructed like a dream pocket passer for Arians’ offense. After transferring from Arkansas to SE Louisiana in 2019, Kelley, the NFLPA Bowl MVP, threw for 8,602 yards with 72 touchdowns and 16 interceptions for the Lions. He accomplished 72.1 p.c of his passes with lots of these throws being down the seam, which Arians likes to see. Kelley can also be an achieved aim line runner with 38 profession touchdowns. Even with Trask and Gabbert the Bucs want two extra QBs for camp – and Kelley is considered one of them.
Spherical 6 (from Jaguars) – Nebraska TE Austin Allen • 6-8, 253
The Bucs lastly handle the tight finish place, which is deep on this yr’s draft. Allen is a large tight finish with an enormous wingspan and the power to dam and catch. His 4.83 time within the 40-yard sprint will preserve him as a Day 3 prospect. And there’s a likelihood he’ll doubtless run sooner at his professional day. However Allen crushed the opposite athletic testing on the Mix and is an efficient match for the Bucs. He averaged 15 yards per catch for the Cornhuskers. Allen hauled in 65 catches for 975 yards and three touchdowns at Nebraska and was a workforce captain. He’s an awesome depth piece with doable starter potential down the highway.
Spherical 7 – Washington State RB Max Borghi • 5-9, 210
The Bucs keep on offense with Borghi, an amazing receiver out of the backfield. He caught 53 passes for 374 yards (7.1 avg.) and 4 touchdowns as a freshman. Borghi additionally rushed for 366 yards and eight TDs that yr whereas averaging 5.1 yards per carry. In 2019, Borghi ran for 817 yards and 11 scores whereas averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He additionally caught an incredible 86 passes for 597 yards (6.9 avg.) and 5 TDs. This previous season he rushed for a career-high half of one mile and 12 TDs. Labeled a poor man’s Christian McCaffrey, Borghi would make an awesome third-down again and particular teamer in Tampa Bay.
Spherical 7 (comp choose) – Nicholls State WR Dai’Jean Dixon • 6-2, 210
Dixon is a giant receiver who had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons for the Colonels. He totaled 30 touchdowns in 4 years at Nicholls State with no fewer than seven TDs in any season. Dixon is a clean receiver who can go up and get contested catches. He averaged 15.5 yards per catch in his school profession and shined on the NFLPA Bowl the place he caught six passes for 131 yards (21.3 avg.) and a landing. Dixon will are available and compete with Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller for a roster spot as a rookie.
Reynolds’ “Manner Too Early” Bucs 53-Man Roster Projection
QUARTERBACKS – 3
Evaluation: Tom Brady is gone. It’s time to get on board the Blaine Prepare in 2022. Trask and Kelley will compete for the backup job and the favourite to be the long-term starter in Tampa Bay. The addition of the strong-armed Kelley helps the Bucs hedge their bets in case Trask fails to develop right into a starter. Ryan Griffin will likely be re-signed to the follow squad.
RUNNING BACKS – 4
Evaluation: Patterson was introduced in to be the veteran starter this yr. He helps the Bucs as a runner, receiver and kick returner. Allgeier is a James Conner clone who’s the longer term on the place. He’ll edge out Vaughn for the backup position as a rookie. Borghi offers depth as a third-down receiving again.
WIDE RECEIVERS – 5
Evaluation: The Bucs carry again Godwin and revamp the receiving corps with three new faces. Pringle and Watson will battle for the No. 3 receiver position all season lengthy, whereas Dixon edges out Johnson, Miller and Darden for the ultimate receiver spot on the depth chart.
TIGHT ENDS – 4
Evaluation: Alie-Cox is a pleasant veteran addition and would be the starter. Allen, a rookie, will compete with Brate for the No. 2 tight finish position. McElroy has been growing behind the scenes and wins a spot on the 53-man roster this yr.
OFFENSIVE LINE – 10
LT Donovan Smith
LG Aaron Stinnie
C Bradley Bozeman
RG Alex Cappa
RT Tristan Wirfs
C Robert Hainsey
OT Josh Wells
G Cordell Volson
OL Nick Leverett
G Sadarius Hutcherson
Evaluation: The Bucs might go together with 9 offensive linemen and have Hutcherson on the follow squad. Then Tampa Bay might go together with six receivers and preserve Miller. However as a result of there was a lot change alongside the O-line this offseason, the extra our bodies the higher to start out the season. In case Stinnie falters, the Bucs have choices.
DEFENSIVE LINE – 6
Evaluation: Re-signing Suh and Gholston and including Hill make this unit stronger than ever this offseason. Suh will be simpler with fewer snaps in rotation. Hill, the longer term at defensive deal with subsequent to Vea, will be eased into the system in 2022 and supply extra of an inside cross rush along with his quickness.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS – 4
Evaluation: Tryon-Shoyinka replaces Pierre-Paul, who isn’t re-signed. Nelson is in a contract yr, and Malone is added to carry juice and cross rush skill on third down. Nelson is coming off his greatest season, and is coming into his contract yr. He would be the No. 3 exterior linebacker this season.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS – 4
Evaluation: Britt beats out Minter in coaching camp for the first backup inside linebacker position. Minter could be signed to the follow squad for insurance coverage. Stuard continues to be particular groups dynamo.
CORNERBACKS – 6
Carlton Davis III
Evaluation: The beginning trio of cornerbacks returns in 2022 with Davis in a contract yr because the franchise participant. McCollum will compete with Murphy-Bunting and Dean for taking part in time as a rookie.
SAFETIES – 4
Antoine Winfield, Jr.
Evaluation: Whitehead is again to bolster the secondary and Adams is again to offer depth at free security. Edwards is coming into a giant contract yr.
SPECIAL TEAMS – 3
Ok Ryan Succop
P Bradley Pinion
LS Zach Triner
Evaluation: There’s a actual likelihood that Jose Borregales beats out Succop in camp. If that occurs it could save the Bucs $2.5 million in cap room.
What Did You Suppose?
Did you want my Bucs Battle Plan for the 2022 offseason? Does it adequately handle Tampa Bay’s wants? Which additions did you want greatest? Let me know what you suppose within the article feedback part under.
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