The NFL Draft and free agency is in our rearview mirrors. There is very little day-to-day NFL news aside from random minor transactions across the league and conversations about where/when this star player will be traded. The NBA finals are over and the NHL season has ended with a repeat champion. Baseball is gearing up for a long, hot second half of the season. The dog days of Summer are here. We will be going over the offseason happenings of all 32 teams, division by division: their player personnel moves, coaching changes, and projected preseason depth charts. Let’s take a look at the NFC South, starting with the GOAT Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champs: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pre-Training Camp Projected Depth Chart
|QB||Tom Brady||Blaine Gabbert|
|RB1||Ronald Jones||Giovani Bernard|
|RB2||Leonard Fournette||Ke’Shawn Vaughn|
|WR1||Mike Evans||Scotty Miller|
|WR2||Chris Godwin||Tyler Johnson|
|WR3||Antonio Brown||Jaelon Darden|
|TE1||Rob Gronkowski||O.J. Howard|
|TE2||Cameron Brate||Tanner Hudson|
|LT||Donovan Smith||Josh Wells|
|LG||Ali Marpet||Robert Hainsey|
|RG||Alex Cappa||Aaron Stinnie|
|RT||Tristan Wirfs||Brad Seaton|
|DL||Ndamukong Suh||Rakeem Nunez-Roches|
|NT||Vita Vea||Steve McLendon|
|DL||William Gholston||Pat O’Connor|
|EDGE||Jason Pierre-Paul||Joe Tryon|
|ILB||Devin White||Kevin Minter|
|ILB||Lavonte David||K.J. Britt|
|EDGE||Shaq Barrett||Cam Gill|
|CB1||Carlton Davis||Ross Cockrell|
|CB2||Sean Murphy-Bunting||Antonio Hamilton|
|CB3||Jamel Dean||Chris Wilcox|
|FS||Jordan Whitehead||Raven Greene|
|SS||Antoine Winfield Jr.||Mike Edwards|
|KR||Tyler Johnson||Jaelon Darden|
|PR||Scotty Miller||Jaelon Darden|
*BOLD player name = Rookie*
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 NFL Draft Class
Round 1 (32nd overall): EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington
Round 2 (64th): QB Kyle Trask, Florida
Round 3 (95th): G/T Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame
Round 4 (129th): WR Jaelon Darden, North Texas
Round 5 (176th): LB K.J. Britt, Auburn
Round 7 (251st): CB Chris Wilcox, BYU
Round 7 (259th) LB Grant Stuard, Houston
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Player Personnel Moves
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Info / Notes|
|A.Q. Shipley||C||35||TB||—||TB Off. Asst. Coach|
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Acquired via|
|Giovani Bernard||RB||30||CIN||TB||Free Agency|
|Raven Greene||S||26||GB||TB||Free Agency|
|Antonio Hamilton||CB||28||KC||TB||Free Agency|
|Joe Jones||LB||27||DEN||TB||Free Agency|
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Departed via|
|Joe Haeg||T||28||TB||PIT||Free Agency|
|Andrew Adams||S||29||TB||PHI||Free Agency|
|Ryan Smith||CB||28||TB||LAC||Free Agency|
|Antony Auclair||TE||28||TB||HOU||Free Agency|
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Info / Notes|
|Chris Godwin||WR||25||TB||TB||*Franchise Tag*|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Review
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off of an epic Super Bowl winning season. There were plenty of ups and downs during the regular season, but once December hit, this team got hot, winning it’s final eight games of the season – including the playoffs. The big question coming into last season was if Tom Brady still had it after seemingly struggling his last season in New England (60.8% completion percentage – lowest since 2013; 29 passing touchdowns – lowest since 2006) or if father time had finally caught up to the legend. Well…we now know that answer: father time can suck it. Brady had his best statistical season since 2017, throwing his most passing touchdowns since he threw 50 in 2007 and passing for his most yards since 2015. Oh, and Tampa Bay is the first Super Bowl winning team to return every single starter.
The best player the Buccaneers lost this offseason was swing tackle Joe Haeg to the Steelers in free agency. Other than that, every single key member of the team returns, including all 22 starters. Brady restructured his contract, as he had done so often in New England, so the team could re-sign their key free agents. The Buccaneers got the ball rolling when they put the Franchise Tag on star receiver Chris Godwin. Godwin may not be the WR1 on his own team, but he is a legit top option in his own right and forms maybe the best 1-2 punch in the NFL with Mike Evans. The Bucs also re-signed longtime stud linebacker Lavonte David and star edge rusher Shaquil Barrett. Barrett had only 8 sacks last season, but provided excellent pressure all season. David is one of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL, and is the leader of this Bucs defense. Ndamukong Suh is no longer the force he once was, but he can still push the pocket and is one of the best run defenders in the league. The Bucs needed a third pass rusher, and drafted edge rusher Joe Tryon in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Tryon opted out of the 2020 season due to Covid, but he is long and explosive off the edge, and has a chance to develop behind two upper echelon pass rushers in JPP/Barrett.
The Bucs also were able to retain the services of Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, and Ryan Succop. Gronk came out of retirement last offseason and ended up playing a key role for the Bucs, including scoring two touchdowns in the Super Bowl. Fournette and Brown both played key roles down the stretch, and should continue to play important roles on offense this season. The rest of the additions and re-signings were to secure the kind of depth needed over a grueling 17 game schedule. Gio Bernard was the biggest free agent addition, and he should be able to fill the James White pass catching role for Brady. Aaron Stinnie was brought back after playing very well as a starter during the playoffs in place of the injured Alex Cappa (broken foot).
Tampa Bay was a tough team to figure out last season, but once December hit, the team turned it way up all the way to a ‘chip. The team has aging stars playing key roles, but as long as Brady keeps winning in his battle versus Father Time, this team will be a contender. The Bucs have a lot going for them: tons of talent, veteran leadership on the field, upper echelon coaching staff, quality depth on both sides of the ball, and a seemingly easy schedule. Will Brady and the Bucs be the first repeat Super Bowl winner since Brady and the Pats did it in 2003 and 2004?
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