Who said the Buccaneers weren’t going to be active in free agency?
The Buccaneers officially entered the free agent market yesterday by signing former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Deonne Bucannon to a one-year contract
Bucannon chose the Bucs over the New York Giants due in part to the relationship that he has with new Bucs coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
Under Bowles and Arians, Bucannon played a linebacker/safety position as he has above average coverage skills for a linebacker.
Bucannon will take over for Kwon Alexander at the inside linebacker slot. Last season Bucannon had 38 tackles and one sack. With the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Kendall Beckwith, linebackers are a huge need right now for this Buccaneers defense.
The Bucs also parted ways with punter Bryan Anger and signed former San Francisco 49ers punter Bradley Pinson to a four-year contract. Anger averaged 45 yards per punt last season while Pinson averaged 39.1 yards per punt, good for 24th in the league.
Pinson has a very strong leg and will be used on kickoffs for the Bucs, as they did not re-sign kicker Cairo Santos.
In a move that was to be expected, the Bucs also parted ways with disgruntled wide receiver DeSean Jackson trading him to the Philadelphia Eagles with a 2020 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2019 sixth-round pick.
This move frees up $10 million in cap space for the Bucs.
Last season, wide receiver was a position of strength for the Buccaneers, but with the trade of Jackson and losing Adam Humphries to the Tennessee Titans in free agency, that is now a weakness on the team.
If the season were to start today, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin would be the No. 1 and 2 receivers, and then you would be looking at Justin Watson, Bobo Wilson, Sergio Bailey, and K.J. Brent behind them.
The Bucs did invest in the backup quarterback position, re-signing Ryan Griffin to a two-year contract. Griffin has yet to throw a pass in a regular season game.
Years of giving money to mediocre players in free agency have finally caught up with the Bucs and now they are handcuffed. They have no money to spend to acquire the talent that is needed to improve the team.
The signing of linebacker Deonne Bucannon and punter Bradley Pinion will be met with one big collective yawn from most of the Buccaneer fan base.
The Buccaneers still have some of their own players that they are trying to sign. Running back Peyton Barber, and a couple of backup linebackers in Cameron Lynch and Adarius Taylor. The team was able to re-sign Kevin Minter.
These signings will probably happen in the next few days but will create zero buzz nationally or in Tampa Bay.
On January 31, ESPN set the over-under on the Bucs wins for the 2019 season at 6.5. With the loss of linebacker Kwon Alexander and wide receiver Adam Humphries and the lack of being able To bring in any marquee talent, that total should drop to five or less by the time the 2019 season kicks off.