Over at ESPN.com, the team beat writers have been busy handing out grades to their respective teams. Pat Yasinskas i his duty and gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers an A-.
The team's biggest move was its best move. The drafting of quarterback Jameis Winston is going to make a big impact on an offense that ranked No. 30 last season. Winston is an instant upgrade over Josh McCown, and he is starting off on solid ground with wide receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. The coaching staff has been very impressed with how quickly Winston has picked up the offense, and he should start immediately. The Bucs never truly have had a franchise quarterback, but Winston could change that in a hurry.
That's a little higher than I would have given them -- a B seems more appropriate, addressing most needs but still leaving a few doubts and holes and passing up some opportunities to further improve the team. A good offseason, but not a great one -- at least as far as I can tell at this point.
The reality is, of course, that early grades are largely meaningless. They're a simple reflection of the consensus view on the players the team added and lost, but that doesn't say much about the team's long-term success. After all, the Bucs repeatedly 'won' free agency over the past few years, but their last winning season came after an offseason in which they signed almost no veterans.
But there's one point that Pay Yasinskas expertly makes: the long-term grade for this offseason will depend utterly on Jameis Winston's development. If he turns into a franchise quarterback, they can have messed up every other move and this will still be seen as a historic offseason. If he doesn't turn into a franchise passer, well, we can all look back at how evaluate the 2009 offseason in hindsight. Or that of 1994. Or the one in 1987. No one cares about any move except the quarterback.