2019 Buccaneers Off-Season Guide

A guide to the Buccaneers 2019 off-season.

The Bucs began their off-season with a bang.

They hired the former Coach of the Year Bruce Arians, coaxing him out of retirement and hired former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator.

Tampa Bay finally believes they have a regime that will build a sustainable culture and eventually lead them to the postseason. With the coaching staff in order, it will soon be time to start rebuilding the roster for 2019 and beyond.

Here are some questions the Bucs will need to address this off-season, which positions need to be upgraded, some potential free agent targets, and a few potential draft targets.

What do the Bucs do with DeSean Jackson? 

DeSean Jackson seems to want out of Tampa, but Arians wants him to stay. With a hefty contract invested in Jackson, the Bucs have a decision to make. Do they trade or cut Jackson to let him start fresh, or take a chance and hope he’ll be the player they thought they were getting in 2017 with a new regime in place.

Who’s going to be the quarterback of the future?

It appears the answer to this question is Jameis Winston. Arians came to Tampa in big part due to his belief that Winston will play to his full potential, the potential that made him the first overall selection of the 2015 NFL Draft. However, if the Bucs have any doubts, they need to plan ahead by either bringing in an experienced backup or finding a young quarterback to draft in April.

How do the Bucs create some salary cap flexibility?

The Bucs rank 29th in the NFL in cap space available heading into the off-season. That’s a problem for a rebuilding team. Tampa needs to find creative ways to clear space to make room to sign free agents and make trades that can help the team long term. Moving the aforementioned Jackson would do that, but other veterans may need to keep a bag packed as the Bucs are likely to make some significant cuts in the near future.

Biggest Team Needs:

Cornerback: The Bucs secondary was a mess in 2018. A big reason for the struggles was the lack of production from their cornerbacks. Brent Grimes is aging and claimed he was not paid enough to defend the NFL’s top receivers, Vernon Hargreaves hasn’t lived up to the hype that made him a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft and outside of that, the team has little depth at the position. The Bucs need to add multiple corners this off-season through free agency, the draft, or perhaps trades.

Safety: The safety position was just as problematic as the cornerbacks in 2018. Jordan Whitehead is young and has potential but there’s little depth at either the strong safety or free safety positions behind him.

Edge Rusher: Jason Pierre-Paul had an excellent first season in Tampa Bay racking up 12.5 sacks. However, Pierre-Paul is now 30 and has a long history of injuries. To improve the pass rush and provide depth at the position, the Bucs need to add another quality pass rusher to take some physical and mental pressure off of Pierre-Paul.

Potential Free Agent Targets:

CB Ronald Darby: Darby was a key piece of the Eagles Super Bowl 52 championship squad. The 25-year-old cornerback is one of the game’s best. With the Bucs financial constraints, he’d normally be out of the Bucs price range. But Darby is coming off an ACL tear which should make him more affordable. The Bucs should pursue and try to add this reliable corner to their secondary.

S Adrian Phillips: Chargers safety Adrian Phillips is set to hit the open market and after Derwin James’s Pro Bowl rookie season it is very likely Los Angeles lets him leave. For the Bucs, this is a perfect fit. Phillips would bring a veteran presence to the safety group and provide Tampa with a player who made 94 total tackles in 2018.

WR Tavon Austin: If the Bucs let DeSean Jackson go, they’re going to need a speedy receiver to take his place. Cowboys receiver Tavon Austin fits the bill. Once a top ten overall pick in the NFL draft Austin has never reached his full potential but has sporadically flashed throughout his career.

He is also an elite returner which would give the Bucs a spark on special teams, an area they haven’t had much production from the last few seasons. Austin makes a lot of sense for the Bucs and should be in their price range.

Potential First-Round (5th overall) Draft Options:

DE Rashan Gary: For the Bucs, the defensively-dominated 2019 Draft provides a lot of different opportunities. There are several stand-out defensive players in the upcoming draft class and one of the top available defenders will likely be Tampa bound. Rashan Gary out of Michigan is one possibility. The 6’5 defensive lineman can play both the end and inside positions effectively and is an above average pass rusher and run stopper.

DE Clelin Ferrell: Clelin Ferrell would pair perfectly with Jason Pierre Paul if Todd Bowles chooses to play a 4-3 defensive technique. Bowles has done different techniques throughout his coaching career, so it’s unclear what his plan with the Bucs will be. If it is a 4-3 scheme, the Bucs should take a close at Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell was the star of Clemson’s national championship-winning defense, recording 11.5 sacks from his defensive end position in 2018.

CB Greedy Williams: If the Bucs feel they’re set at pass rusher, then they need to look at some of the stellar cornerback prospects that will be up for grabs in the first round. The best one may be Greedy Williams out of LSU. Williams has incredible length at 6’3 and with two interceptions and nine passes defended in 2018 he’s as lock down a corner as it gets. The Bucs need a top corner. Williams can be that guy.

Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

Share this:


Woz’s NFL Notebook: Russell Wilson emerges as the MVP favorite

There’s no shortage of talking points from Week 6 of the NFL.  This edition of my notebook features several quarterbacks making the headlines for different reasons. The Los Angeles Chargers stink, Dan Quinn’s seat is hot and the Carolina Panthers pound the ground in London. Russell Wilson is an MVP candidate, and a brilliant San Francisco 49ers performance concludes this edition of Woz’s NFL notebook.

Read More

8 Responses

  1. Pingback: Blackhatlinks
  2. Pingback: their explanation
  3. Pingback: scary maze
  4. Pingback: Eco-Luxury

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *