All weekend long, Bucs Nation has brought you a series of articles looking at certain positions that need to be addressed during free agency. Those articles can be found here.
In this edition of Bucs 2018 Free Agency Prep, we look at the remaining positions not addressed previously. Why are these four positions reviewed together? Well these are the ones that are in much better shape than those that are in need of upgrades.
There’s obviously not much to say here. Jameis Winston is the franchise quarterback and the team is bringing back veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for another year.
Now there is obviously some kind of concern surrounding Winston and his alleged involvement in the Uber investigation. A few weeks back, the league stated they are looking into the background of the allegations. They could very well be trying to validate the claims. But with no real assurances just yet, it’s good that Fitzpatrick is around just in case the league office drops the suspension hammer on Winston.
Tampa Bay is pretty solid from a roster standpoint at wide receiver. The team just locked up Mike Evans with a contract extension for five years and DeSean Jackson is under contract through 2019. Last year’s third rounder Chris Godwin showed what he brings to the future of the Buccaneers’ receiver position and will eventually be lined up opposite Evans in a starting role.
Down the depth chart is Adam Humphries who has performed admirably since signing as an undrafted free agent. He is a restricted free agent but it is expected he gets tendered. Depending on what the Bucs tender Humphries with, we’ll see if a team comes in with an offer to match.
Like the wide receiver position, the Bucs are fine at tight end, sort of. OJ Howard had a good rookie campaign scoring six touchdowns. Cameron Brate also scored six touchdowns and continues to be a reliable target for Winston.
Like Humphries, Brate is also a restricted free agent. He, too, will be tendered and the team will wait to see if an offer for the 2014 undrafted free agent is good enough to deal him.
On the defensive side of the ball, the linebackers were perhaps the one group that was more productive than the rest of the defense. Led by Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David, the linebackers were the bright spot of the defense. And even when Alexander missed time, Kendell Beckwith did a good job.
All three have a strong hold at each linebacker position for 2018. As for depth, Cameron Lynch and Devante Bond round up the depth at linebacker.
The Bucs also face a tough decision during free agency with Adarius Glanton being a restricted free agent. His gruesome leg injury last season may make matters worse for the team to decide what to do.