With the fourth-least cap space in the NFL heading into the offseason, it’s clear that Tampa Bay has some tough decisions to make going forward into free agency. The front office will have to be smart with potential deals as to not hinder the franchise’s financial flexibility going forward. As of now, the Buccaneers are projected to have in excess of $50 million in cap space in 2020, though you can expect a bunch of that to go to Jameis Winston’s extension.
One of the positions that the coaching staff will need to evaluate as the offseason goes on is at wide receiver. Two of the top three receivers, DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, have question marks around their futures in Tampa Bay. Jackson’s money will be off the books if he’s cut before June 1, a potential move that would save $10 million for the Bucs. Humphries is up for extension and he’s likely to command $8-$12 million on the market, which could more than the staff is willing to pay.
Star receiver Mike Evans doesn’t really care. He wants both of them back in Tampa Bay in 2019 and he was adamant about it during the media portion at Pro Bowl practice.
“He’s an extraordinary player with an extraordinary talent that you can’t find just anywhere.” Evans said of Jackson via Buccaneers.com. “I hope he comes back. If not, it’s his decision and the team’s decision.”
But Jackson isn’t the only one Evans is lobbying for.
“I love Adam Humphries,” Evans said. “He deserves to be paid at the caliber he’s at. He’s one of the best No. 3′s in this league. He deserves to be paid, and hopefully it’s here (in Tampa).”
While Evans obviously won’t be making the decisions, the veterans opinion will certainly be respected by the front office. However, it may be too late to save Jackson after the attitude the receiver displayed during 2018. Combine that with his poor chemistry with Winston and that may be a wrap on Jackson’s time in Tampa.
However, if the Buccaneers have the cap room, it certainly feels like they’ll do what they can to retain Humphries. He displays all of the qualities you want in a starting receiver and his grittiness helps provide the team with a spark. It’s players like Humphries that coaches want to go to war with.