Tampa Bay has a lot to look at this offseason. The impending free-agent class is one that will require a lot of attention. One decision that needs to be made is whether to bring back free agent Carl Nassib. The defensive end/ outside linebacker signed with the Buccaneers in 2018 after being cut from the Cleveland Browns.
Nassib the Odd Man Out in Tampa Bay?
Nassib has been great for Tampa Bay over the last few seasons, but I think that his time with the team has come to an end. The emergence of Shaquil Barrett and the core of young defensive linemen make Nassib the odd man out. With Nassib, Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and Beau Allen all potentially becoming free agents, the hope to keep the defense together may not be obtainable since there is the possibility of signing Jameis Winston to a long-term deal. After the season Barrett had, he is looking to cash in after signing a one-year prove-it deal. Since Barrett has expressed that he would love to come back to Tampa and build on what he started this past season, I think he is the better option for the team.
I think Nassib is a great player but in my eyes, the Buccaneers will let him walk. Nassib became more of a rotational player once Pierre-Paul returned from injury. The salary cap numbers will be a big factor in who Tampa re-signs. Players like Anthony Nelson, who was drafted last year, are cheaper options then re-signing Nassib. The defensive line talent in this year’s draft is very good, so the Buccaneers could look to add depth that way.
If Buccaneers want to move forward with the improvements made last season, this free agency period will be important. Like Bruce Arians said at the conclusion of the 2019 season, keep this defense together.