When you look back at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, the only thing that comes to mind is “Tom Brady came out of retirement for THAT?” Despite earning a playoff bid, it was a brutal year for the Bucs, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. The organization will try and navigate through an offseason with virtually no space as they try to rebuild and move on from the brief Brady era.
2022 in review
The Buccaneers finished 8-9 last season, and managed to win the AFC South, barely, though it was more by default since the rest of the division was even more inept and mired in the earliest stages of a rebuild, kinda like where the Bucs find themselves now.
A year after scoring more than 30 points per game, the Bucs could hardly muster more than 18 last year, ranking 25th in the NFL. In 2022, we saw Brady devolve into a dink and dunk passer, more reminiscent of Sam Bradford than a guy with a handful of Super Bowl rings. The running game was particularly brutal, managing just 76.9 yards per game. The one bright spot here is the presence of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at wide receiver, both of whom managed to break the 1,000-yard mark last season in spite of everything.
On defense, the Buccaneers weren’t as dominant as they had been in the recent past, but they still managed a respectable effort, giving up an average of 21.1 points per game. And oppsing offenses barely averaged more than 200 yards per game through the air against this group.
The Bucs defense could have a tougher time in 2023, with stalwarts like linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Jamel Dean ticketed for free agency and no cap room to re-sign them. Tampa Bay restructured Vita Vea’s deal as they try to get back under the cap. They also released running back Leonard Fournette, offensive tackle Donovan Smith, and tight end Cameron Brate.
Buccaneers free agency rumors, signings and losses
- Buccaneers signed former Rams DL Greg Gaines to a one-year contract.
- Buccaneers are signing former Broncos’ RB Chase Edmonds to a one-year deal, per Adam Schefter.
- Buccaneers LB Lavonte David will return to Tampa Bay on a one-year deal, per Josina Anderson.
- The Buccaneers will add quarterback Baker Mayfield for one season with a contract worth $8.5 million, per Tom Pelissero.
- LB Anthony Nelson will re-sign with the Buccaneers on a two-year deal worth $11M, up to $13M, per Jeremy Fowler.
- The Buccaneers will re-sign DB Jamel Dean — Ian Rapoport
- The Giants will sign former Buccaneers DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Contract details TBD — Tom Pelissero