The off-season is in full swing and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starting to come together through free agency. A few days into free agency, the team has made multiple moves that will make the team better. I will breakdown what additions I think will help the Buccaneers the most.
The addition of Linebackers
This off-season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added two linebackers that I feel will make an impact on the team immediately. The first was Deone Bucannon, which reunites him with the coaching staff that drafted him in Arizona. Bucannon was a vital piece of the Arizona Cardinals’ defense from 2014 to 2018. In 70 games with the Cardinals, he accumulated 406 combined tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions.
The second Linebacker added to the Tampa Bay roster was Shaq Barrett. In 2014, Barrett signed with the Denver Broncos as a undrafted free agent after playing at Colorado State University. In five seasons with the Broncos, Barrett racked up 151 combined tackles and 14 sacks.
With the change in defensive scheme, both players will be fighting for starting positions once training camp begins. I think both players will play a major part in what this year’s defense looks like. The Buccaneers do not have many players who have played in a 3-4 defense but both of these players have. That should give them an advantage.
The Buccaneers went into the off-season believing they would lose Ryan Fitzpatrick as the backup QB for the team. So, finding a QB was one of the focuses of the off-season. The team decided to bring back Ryan Griffin on a two-year deal. I think this was a great move by the team for a few reasons. The past few seasons, the coaching staff has raved about how Griffin just needed an opportunity to show what he could do on the field. Since joining the Buccaneers in 2015, Griffin has not taken a snap in a regular season game. Also, in the Buccaneers’ pre-season games, Griffin has shown that he has the talent to run an offense on a professional level. During a long season, he may have his number called and will have to prove that he is worthy of being the number two QB.
Moving forward with the off-season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have several decisions to make on the roster for 2019. Many speculations will be made from now until April when the team will pick fifth in the NFL draft. Hopefully, whatever decisions are made will help the team win and make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.