The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offseason is basically over, with all the major moves behind them. Now ESPN is grading NFL offseasons. The Buccaneers get a B from Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Matt Williamson and Field Yates. That 'B' is basically an average grade, with 11 teams ranked ahead of the Bucs.
The Buccaneers went 2-14 last season after we gave them positive reviews for their 2014 offseason. They are getting positive reviews again.
"Hopefully they do not burn me twice in a row," Riddick said. "They admitted their mistakes and got guys out of there. Donovan Smith could be their franchise left tackle if he plays to his potential. Marpet can be an all-rookie left guard with better technique. With Winston, they think they have a program there to get him set. Kwon Alexander is a good player under the radar. I like what they did and also thought George Johnson coming over from Detroit was a huge upgrade for them."
I'm still not sure about this offseason as a whole. I like cutting bait with Anthony Collins and probably Michael Johnson, too. I like the veteran defensive free agents they signed, because I think they got good value for them -- especially Henry Melton. Even George Johnson, although they had to give up some draft value to get him, largely unnecessarily. But I also feel like they missed a lot of opportunities to more solidly upgrade their roster.
Most notably, they didn't get a single veteran offensive lineman to upgrade the worst line in the league. That forced them to spend two of their first three draft picks on linemen, just to get some competent starters on their roster. And that's not even touching on the lack of depth, or the fact that neither Logan Mankins nor Evan Dietrich-Smith were actually good last year. They painted themselves into a corner in the draft, and they're still going to have a massive issue there if there's even one injury on the line. And there will be an injury, because that's what happens to offensive linemen.
On the other hand, the Bucs did eventually address all of their holes, even if they left themselves few options. They did get two new starting offensive linemen, and a new starting defensive end, a bunch of defensive depth and finally, a starting quarterback -- one they're already turning into the face of the franchise. So I don't know. There are pros and cons. Nuance!
I guess we'll have to wait until the actual regular season to see what to make of all this. But that would be boring, right?