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Jason Licht says Buccaneers will focus on keeping own players

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NFL: Preseason-Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are widely expected to be active in free agency, with many players set to leave and around $70 million in cap space. But general manager Jason Licht told the Tampa Bay Times that they’d focus on keeping their own free agents, so how active they’ll be in adding new players remains to be seen.

"We have a track record of rewarding our players that produce, keeping key players that thrive in the system, and we have the salary cap flexibility to make it happen," the general manager said.

It’s a little unclear who they’ll work to re-sign. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers is an obvious candidate, while defensive end Will Gholston, safety Bradley McDougald, wide receiver/special teamer Russell Shepard and center Joe Hawley are likely candidates as well.

Beyond that, role-players like linebacker Daryl Smith, cornerback/special teamer Josh Robinson, tight end Brandon Myers and defensive tackle Akeem Spence are all good options to keep.

The team also has eight restricted and exclusive rights free agents, all of whom they should retain, except for injured longsnapper Andrew Depaola. In all, the Bucs have 25 free agents they could keep this offseason, which means Licht has plenty of work to do before free agency proper starts.