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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Tampa Bay Buccaneers off season could lead to another Super Bowl

Tampa Bay Buccaneers off season could lead to another Super Bowl

He's Back!
Publish Date: 06/03/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
A view of the entrance of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers headquarters in Tampa, Florida, on February 1, 2022 on the day quarterback Tom Brady confirmed his retirement from the National Football League. - NFL icon Tom Brady confirmed his retirement from the sport on February 1, 2022, officially bringing the curtain down on a glittering 22-season career. The 44-year-old superstar, widely regarded as the greatest quarterback in history, made the announcement in a post on Instagram. (Photo by OCTAVIO JONES / AFP) (Photo by OCTAVIO JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Brady is Back!

What went well: Whether the crypto crash, the organization or the horrors of reintegrating into civilian life, Tom Brady tried his hand at retirement, but it only lasted about a month. The Buccaneers, who had been looking down at a future with Kyle Trask for their quarterback, had to be delighted and relieved at the same time. Brady’s return was enough to convince Ryan Jensen to sign with them again. The legendary quarterback also coaxed receiver Russell Gage from the rival Falcons. Check out the top new sportsbooks for betting on the NFL!

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Although it appeared that Tampa Bay would lose Carlton Davis and Chris Godwin, both were able to return. Godwin was a franchisee before signing a three-year, $60 million extension. Davis signed a three year, $44.5 million contract. Both deals are fair for the two top players in their respective positions.

Jason Licht & Co., the general manager, must have been disappointed to lose star Guard Ali Marpet to retirement. But they landed on a solid alternative by sending a fifth-round pick to the Patriots to Shaq Mason, which was a steal. The Patriots selling a player in their prime is a sign of suspicion. However, Mason, who is still just 28 years old, signed for less than $16 million over two years, so the risk of losing the 170th round pick seems worth it.

What went wrong? I was not as enthusiastic about Tampa Bay signing Leonard Fournette a three year, $21million deal. This is primarily because the Buccaneers were initially able to sign him to one-year contracts for $2 million and $3.5M as a free agent in the past two offseasons. Although it isn’t a significant problem, they can opt out after one year and $9million. However, it’s easy to see the Buccaneers finding a reliable running back while still using the money to improve their defensive line. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the NFL!

Tampa’s defense has lost three regulars: Jason Pierre ­Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and Jordan Whitehead. Whitehead will be replaced by former Patriots and Giants defensive back Logan Ryan. Ryan is at the tail end of his career at 31 but still should have enough in the tank to be productive. Joe Tryon–Shoyinka will be the first to replace Pierre-Paul. The Bucs signed Akiem Hicks to replace Ndamukong Suh. This was a one-year deal. Like Suh, Hicks is past his best football but can still play in an interior rotation for passing downs.

However, I don’t think Tampa Bay’s decision making is terrible in general. Although Fournette was a good player last season, would it not have been easier to find a runningback this summer and spend that money to add someone like Harrison Phillips. They could do differently: Moving in a different direction with running back would have allowed the Bucs to add players in their prime.

What’s next? It seems likely that the Buccaneers would like to convince Rob Gronkowski, last seen in Las Vegas at the draft, to join the team for another go-around with Brady. Gronk, the future Hall of Famer, was a star when he was healthy in 2021. He averaged 2.23 yards per route, the fourth-best mark among tight ends. Gronk also served as a critical blocker. Gronk has not taken more than the market value to play for Brady. He would be able to get $15 million per season to play elsewhere, but he is expected to return to Brady on a one year deal.

Prognostication: The Buccaneers seemed poised for another Super Bowl run in what looks to be a weak NFC.

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