This offseason hasn’t been quick on main storylines for the Bucs. Tom Brady retired in February. He then returned simply earlier than free company started. That led to some main strikes for Tampa Bay and — if Tuesday’s addition of Akiem Hicks is any indication — the entrance workplace nonetheless isn’t carried out.
Oh, there was additionally the matter of a training change. Bruce Arians stepped right into a entrance workplace position on the finish of March, making method for the promotion of defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
So, how does the Bucs’ offseason stack up towards the remainder of the NFL? Fairly nicely, a minimum of in line with ESPN’s Invoice Barnwell.
Rating every staff’s offseason from finest to worst (ESPN+ subscription required), Barnwell positioned Tampa Bay at No. 4. His “what went proper” part kicked off with what a win it was for Brady to return from his transient retirement. It additionally included a harsh-but-fair evaluation of what the staff’s prospects would possibly’ve been with Kyle Trask main the way in which.
“A Buccaneers staff that had been staring down a future with Kyle Trask as its quarterback needed to be thrilled,” Barnwell wrote.
Brady’s return led to the return of Ryan Jensen, in addition to the addition of Russell Gage. Barnwell additionally famous Tampa Bay’s capacity to retain each Carlton Davis III and Chris Godwin on contracts which might be “affordable for 2 of the highest gamers at their respective positions.”
Whereas acknowledging that the Bucs needed to be disillusioned to lose Ali Marpet to retirement, Barnwell referred to as the newly traded for Shaq Mason a “very stable various.” He did elevate an eyebrow at New England letting Mason go for a fifth-round choose, however referred to as it a danger well worth the reward for the Bucs.
In his “what’s subsequent” part, Barnwell prompt the “inevitable” transfer of bringing Rob Gronkowski again for one more 12 months. That appears prone to occur.
Nitpicking What Went Incorrect For The Bucs This Offseason
So far as the place the Bucs went improper this offseason, Barnwell mentioned he wasn’t notably thrilled with the staff signing Leonard Fournette to a three-year deal. He does say that it isn’t “egregious” provided that Tampa Bay can get out of the contract after only one 12 months and $9 million.
He addresses the Fournette transfer as soon as once more in his “what they may’ve carried out in another way” part. After writing that the staff might’ve gone in a less expensive route at working again and as a substitute made a transfer on the line of defense, he mentions Harrison Phillips as a substitute addition with that cash. Then once more, Barnwell caps every part off with the next assertion:
“On the whole, although, I can’t fault an excessive amount of of Tampa Bay’s decision-making,” he wrote.
Really, discovering any points throughout the staff’s course of would require some nit-picking. The Bucs are loaded up and prepared for one more run on the Lombardi Trophy.
How Did Tampa Bay’s Offseason Evaluate?
Coming in at No. 4, the Bucs’ offseason ranked behind solely that of the Broncos, Eagles and Chargers. After all, which means they’d the No. 2 offseason within the NFC, in line with Barnwell.
different NFC contenders, the Bucs completed forward of the Rams (No. 8) and Packers (No. 9). The 49ers (No. 21), Cowboys (No. 24) and Cardinals (No. 30) all had their offseasons ranked within the backside half of the league.
Tampa Bay’s offseason additionally blew away the remainder of the NFC South. The Panthers (No. 18) adopted behind the Bucs, whereas the Saints (No. 29) and Falcons (No. 31) discovered themselves close to the very backside of the NFL.