It looks like arguably the top free agent in the NFL will not actually hit free agency: linebacker/edge rusher/all-around disruptor Von Miller will be tagged by the Denver Broncos if they can't reach terms on a long-term contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The Bucs are looking for help on the defensive line and in the secondary this offseason, and Miller would have been close to perfect -- but the odds that he'd actually be available were always low. The top prospective free agents rarely become actual free agents. Which means the Bucs are likely going to have to settle for somewhat second-tier players -- Mario Williams and Olivier Vernon come to mind -- or hope that their draft picks can again yield a group of quality starters. The latter seems unlikely.
The Bucs can't just rely on the draft to fix their defense, though. They likely need to find multiple starters, and the odds of finding multiple quality starters in a single draft are very poor. We'll see more of those top-tier free agents come off the market over the next month or so, though. So the Bucs may just not have much of a choice.