Whereas the Bucs are centered on protecting their Tremendous Bowl LV champion crew collectively by re-signing their very own free brokers, particularly OLB Shaq Barrett, Tampa Bay might be trying to improve various positions. PewterReport.com takes a have a look at every unit over the subsequent week, showcasing which gamers Tampa Bay may lose, and which gamers would possibly exchange them, together with our Bucs’ Finest Bets.
2021 Bucs Free Agent OLBs
OLB Shaq Barrett
Regardless of a Tremendous Bowl championship, the Bucs face a vital offseason with seven starters, their kicker and a pair key depth items slated totally free company. Chief amongst these they’d wish to retain is Barrett, who has on a number of events vocally expressed his need to return to the crew, a sentiment the crew has been echoing because the common season, when head coach Bruce Arians stated “we don’t plan on Shaq going anyplace” again in December.
Nonetheless, I absolutely anticipate Bucs followers to be white-knuckling Barrett’s trip into free company till his remaining resolution. Barrett has by no means been given the massive, long-term contract, and at 28 years previous, he is aware of that is most likely his final likelihood to money in. He’s additionally recent off a dominant playoff run with 4 sacks and a Tremendous Bowl ring, which is able to weigh heavy within the minds of different groups providing him vital cash this offseason.
We all know the Bucs can carry again all of their free brokers in the event that they need to, due to the cap flexibility they must push cash into future years. The query is, will they? They haven’t been on this place earlier than, and may’t afford to low-ball a suggestion to Barrett pondering he’ll come again for affordable. Barrett has already stated he desires to “break the financial institution.” Anticipate gives to be within the $19-20M per yr vary, which the Bucs can positively deal with. But when a crew will get loopy with a suggestion, Tampa Bay will not be keen to go previous a sure level, even for a participant they worth as a lot as they do Barrett.
High NFL Free Agent OLBs Obtainable
1. Shaq Barrett – Bucs
2. Bud Dupree – Steelers
3. Matt Judon – Ravens
4. Melvin Ingram – Chargers
5. Yannick Ngakoue – Ravens
Others: Justin Houston (Colts), Olivier Vernon (Browns), Leonard Floyd (Rams), Ryan Kerrigan (Washington), Jadeveon Clowney (Titans), Jordan Jenkins (Jets), Markus Golden (Cardinals), Haason Reddick (Cardinals), Trent Murphy (Payments), Romeo Okwara (Lions), Trey Hendrickson (Saints), Carl Lawson (Bengals)
Bucs’ OLB Outlook
Even when the Bucs retain Barrett this offseason, they want 2021 depth and future beginning choices at edge rusher. Anticipate at the very least one in all their first three draft picks to deal with the surface linebacker spot, because the crew should put together for all times after Jason Pierre-Paul subsequent offseason, who might be 33 then. If Barrett walks, edge rusher doubtless turns into the highest precedence for the Tampa Bay entrance workplace within the 2021 NFL Draft.
After two years, former fourth-rounder Anthony Nelson hasn’t confirmed to be the impactful No. 3 rusher the crew would love, which leaves the door open for an inexpensive addition in free company. May a veteran like Justin Houston or Ryan Kerrigan, each 32, be in search of a brief, low cost contract to chase a hoop of their remaining season or two? If Barrett strikes on, a stop-gap veteran paired with a excessive draft choose is perhaps the answer for the Bucs in 2021.
In that state of affairs, Houston might be an early cellphone name for the Bucs, His numbers have remained strong regardless of his age and function diminishing a bit over time. One other identify that would generate curiosity is Melvin Ingram, however he’s been banged up the previous two years, which may concern GM Jason Licht. If the Bucs are in search of youthful choices that gained’t be fairly as costly as Barrett, Leonard Floyd from the Rams or Romeo Okwara from the Lions might be choices in free company.
Bucs’ Finest Wager – OLB Shaq Barrett
I feel the Bucs would let inside linebacker Lavonte David stroll earlier than dropping out on Barrett, as the surface linebacker merely performs the extra vital place and is way youthful. He notched eight sacks throughout the common season after which one other 4 within the postseason, together with three within the NFC Championship Sport and one in Tremendous Bowl LV. Due to his age, Barrett’s contract might be simpler for the Bucs to construction, making it just a little longer than David’s subsequent anticipated contract and spreading out the cap hit over 4 years. Tampa Bay additionally has nothing ready within the wings behind Barrett, and with Pierre-Paul’s harm historical past heading right into a contract yr, that could be a state of affairs you don’t want to be in at a key place in a win-now window. Barrett will get vital competing gives if he hits free company, however I might anticipate him to permit the Bucs the chance to match earlier than shifting on. The ball will ultimately be in Tampa Bay’s court docket, and the way excessive they’re keen to go to maintain Barrett will doubtless decide if he stays with the crew in 2021.