An early look at the Buccaneers free agency

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Opinion editorial
Written by: Michael Sedoris

 

With free agency rearing its ugly face at One Buc Place it might have been smarter to list who is still under contract as opposed to those who have the potential of departing.

Here is the list of all who may have played their last game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Unrestricted Free Agents

Sam Acho (OLB)
Andrew Adams (S)
Beau Allen (DL)
Peyton Barber (RB)
Shaquil Barrett (OLB)
Demar Dotson (T)
Blaine Gabbert (QB)
Jerald Hawkins (T)
Kevin Minter (ILB)
Carl Nassib (OLB)
Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DL)
Breshad Perriman (WR)
Jason Pierre-Paul (OLB)
Ryan Smith (CB)
Darian Stewart (S)
Ndamukong Suh (DL)
Earl Watford (G)
Josh Wells (T)
Jameis Winston (QB)

Restricted Free Agents

Antony Auclair (TE)

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

Tanner Hudson (TE)
Mike Liedtke (G)
Bryant Mitchell (WR)
Orion Stewart (S)

Now Jason Licht has to start accessing talent against value. He and Bruce Arians have the task of getting the most out of the cap. So after looking over the list, I have come up with my top 10 need to re-sign players.

#1. Shaq Barrett

While Barrett’s play has earned him his payday and he doesn’t need me cheerleading for him, I will anyway. You have to lock up 58! Don’t tag him, don’t give fans the runaround, give this man his money. Due to where and when he came into the league, this year was essentially his “rookie” campaign. He’s young with little to no wear on his body. He has one of, if not the most, explosive get-offs in the league. The man has a hunting license and uses it every single snap!

#2. Jason Pierre-Paul

I will admit it, after his accident I was a big advocate for medically releasing Pierre-Paul with a non-football injury. I was the one who said there is no way he could live up to his contract. I was the one who said it was in the best interest of Pierre-Paul’s health that the Bucs release him. I WAS WRONG! Licht, do not let this man anywhere near his locker till Day 1 of camp. You grab him by his good hand and take him into your office and open up the checkbook. Pierre-Paul is a leader and a motivator in the locker room. You NEED players like him in front of your whiteboard.

#3 Ndamukong Suh

Can you say intimidator? Suh puts fear in opposing offenses. His kill or be killed demeanor has rubbed off on people like Will Gholston and Acho. He is showing Vita Vea what it takes to be a factor each and every snap. We need Suh for at least one more season.

#4 Carl Nassib

Young aggression isn’t a bad thing. Nassib might not have had the season you expected after he exploded last year but I do think this is the mean. This is his back of the football card stat line. If this is what you can expect as an average season for Nassib, SIGN ME UP! He is a great rotation for JPP and Nassib also has the ability to put his hand in the dirt and do the grunt work. He is decent in coverage (a part of his game that needs improvement) and is exceptional off the edge. You have to do what you can to keep this defense intact.

#5 Jameis Winston

Yes  HIM! Why? A solid question which we all know can be backed with statistics and comparisons to Hall of Famers like Peyton Manning. But those aren’t the reasons I will give. The true answer is easy, the real answer smacks you right in the face every Sunday. But as a fan, you already have your opinion so you fail to see it. The answer is BELIEF! Winston’s teammates trust and believe in him. He throws a pick, they know he will bounce back. Look at the chemistry he has with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and now Perriman. What an electrifying foursome. You may see three 1,000-yard receivers next season.

#6 Breshad Perriman

The man has finally tapped into his first-round potential. He will garner respect next year from opposing defensive coordinators. What can they do? They have to respect Evans and Godwin. Perriman will be huge next season.

#7 Beau Allen

Yeah, he’s just a rotational tackle, yes he didn’t have explosive stats but neither did the opposing teams ground attack. Allen keeps Vea and Suh fresh. Again keep as many of the front 7 as possible.

#8 Kevin Minter

He played well in White’s absence and the defense never really missed a step. Minter again is great depth on this young up and coming defense.

#9 Tanner Hudson

Really? Yes really! Hudson will allow a move this offseason. By retaining him you can free up Howard or even Brate to trade options. If you can package either with a second to move up or back into the first round you do it. Not only will it free some cap but it will bring potentially another starter.

#10 Earl Watford

Is he great? No! Will he start? No! Does he hold value? YES! Watford did well lining up in the backfield as a lead blocker, he also is versatile along the line and gives depth. So, yes, you sign him for that reason alone.

Summary 

The likelihood of signing all of them is impossible. However much like the draft board in a “war room” they need to stick to their priorities and go from there. This could be the offseason that not only opens the playoff window, it could kick the door down!

 

Photo credit: buccaneers.com, USA Today, Fansided

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