The offseason grades just keep on coming. This time, Bill Barnwell of ESPN went deep on the NFC South and wrote an in-depth analysis of every team's roster move. He didn't much like what anyone except the Carolina Panthers did this time around.
Barnwell gave the Bucs a C, still a better grade than the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, if barely. He mostly focused his negatives on the decision to fire Lovie Smith, the failure to upgrade the offensive line, and the decision to pay a lot of money to retain a running back who wasn't even worth a fifth-year option a year before. They're all fair criticisms, though we've re-hashed those over and over again this past year. The bottom line: Lovie Smith was fired because his defense was showing no signs of improvement, the Bucs think they're fine on the offensive line and I tend to agree, and while the treatment of Doug Martin has been inconsistent, it's not like there's a massive financial problem if he doesn't pan out.
That's not as interesting as his paragraph on what they need to do next. Not upgrade the offensive line, even though he thinks right tackle is a disaster (Demar Dotson slip his mind?). Nope, it's wide receiver. The Bucs need to add depth and quality in 2017 -- and I tend to agree.
Figure out a future at wide receiver. Mike Evans isn't going anywhere at one receiver slot, but the Buccaneers have Vincent Jackson entering the final year of his deal and nothing behind him on the depth chart. Their backups are undrafted free agents such as Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries. Tampa didn't draft a wideout or sign anybody in free agency, so it might make sense for them to bring in somebody such as Riley Cooper to fill out the roster.
The team could have addressed that position in the draft with, say, a third- or fourth-round pick, had they not spent them on a kicker. As is, there's not a ton of room for an extra receiver on the roster, though. Kenny Bell's returning from injury, Louis Murphy is too, and Adam Humphries is a nice slot receiver. Add in special teamer Russell Shepard, and the Bucs actually have a lot of bodies at receiver.
Injuries can change that quickly, though, and getting more targets for your young, star quarterback is always a good idea. So that may well be the team's focus next year.