Offseason grades are fun. Offseason grades are doubly fun when they come from actual NFL executives, who presumably have a somewhat decent grasp of what’s going on—though you wouldn’t necessarily say that judging by some personnel decisions and results around the NFL.
So when ESPN’s Mike Sando asked fifteen NFL executives to grade every team’s offseason, I had to go check it out. Turns out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got an A- overall. Nice.
"That offense is going to be really hard to play against," an exec said. "DeSean has at least a year left, and then you add Howard."
Jackson's reputation as an occasionally disruptive teammate appears increasingly outdated. How will he respond if quarterback Jameis Winston continues to force the ball to Mike Evans? There are worse problems to have.
"I kind of like their offseason, too," a different exec said. "They got the quarterback some legit weapons."
Okay but....what about the defense? Sando didn’t record any of the evaluators’ comments on that part of the team, which is still pretty crucial. That’s not to say the Bucs didn’t do work there: they drafted Justin Evans, signed Chris Baker and J.J. Wilcox, and added depth at several positions. But is that enough?
There are other holes on the Bucs’ roster too, or at least some question marks. Running back comes to mind. But overall, the Bucs have done a nice job of adding talent at key positions, adding depth across the board, and just building on what they had last year—which was good enough for a 9-7 finish.
That’s deserving of a good offseason grade. Now to see whether it leads to wins.