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Tampa Bay’s roster outlook for the 2020 offseason

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A look at where the Bucs’ roster stands as they head into the offseason.

NFL: DEC 29 Falcons at Buccaneers
What will the Bucs decide to do with Jason Pierre-Paul?
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The offseason began a long time ago for the Bucs, but now that the games are out of the way, Bruce Arians and his staff can begin to really focus on improving this team over the next few months.

That focus will be turned to their own roster in the early stages of the offseason. The Bucs have a lot of big decisions to make in regards to whom they would like to keep around for 2020 and said decisions will impact what happens in free agency, the draft, and even in the regular season.

For this exercise, I’m going to simply navigate Tampa Bay’s roster as it currently stands while cross-referencing how many spots per position were carried over onto 2019’s starting 53. That way, we will get an idea of how many players were kept for each position.

I used spotrac.com for all of my information, so if you have any problems, take it up with them.

Haha. Just kidding. You know where to find me. Now, onto your guide to Tampa Bay’s 2020 offseason roster.

NFL: DEC 29 Falcons at Buccaneers
“The Winston Decision” will likely determine Tampa Bay’s immediate future.
Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Quarterback

  • QB Ryan Griffin - $945,000 salary (+) $700,000 roster bonus = $1,645,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (3)
FAs-to-be: Jameis Winston, Blaine Gabbert
Decision(s) to be made: Jameis Winston is the obvious decision, here. Should the Bucs franchise him, sign him long-term, or let him walk? The franchise tag is estimated to be right around $27 million in 2020. The Bucs will also need to look at adding a backup or third-string quarterback, whether it’s through the draft or free agency.

Running Back

  • RB Ronald Jones II - $1,122,901 salary (+) $805,801 signing bonus = $1,928,702 cap hit for 2020. ($1,611,604) in Dead Cap.
  • RB Dare Ogunbowale - $585,000 salary = $585,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.
  • RB TJ Logan - $735,000 salary = $735,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (3)
FA-to-be: Peyton Barber
Decision(s) to be made: Should the Bucs bring back Peyton Barber? That’s the big question for this position. Outside of Barber, the Bucs are free to do whatever they want when it comes to who is backing up/splitting time with RoJo.

Wide Receiver

  • WR Mike Evans - $16,750,000 salary (+) $1.6 million restructure bonus = $18,350,000 cap hit for 2020. ($18,150,000) in Dead Cap.
  • WR Chris Godwin* - $768,500 salary (+) $198,041 signing bonus = $966,541 cap hit for 2020. ($198,041) in Dead Cap.
  • WR Justin Watson - $660,000 salary (+) $75,434 signing bonus = $735,434 cap hit for 2020. ($150,871) in Dead Cap.
  • WR Scotty Miller - $585,000 salary (+) $31,960 signing bonus = $616,960 cap hit for 2020. ($95,880) in Dead Cap.
  • WR Cyril Grayson - $510,000 salary = $510,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.
  • WR Spencer Schnell - $510,000 salary = $510,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (5)
FAs-to-be: Breshad Perriman, Bryant Mitchell, Jaydon Mickens
Decision(s) to be made: What do the Bucs do with Breshad Perriman? He may be the odd man out depending on what happens with Winston, Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and others. Regardless, the Bucs will likely look at adding more to the receiving corps.

*Indicates that Godwin’s 2020 salary will go up due to PPEs that were met on his rookie contract. I’m not sure if spotrac.com has said increases figured into his 2020 salary yet.

Tight End

  • O.J. Howard - $1,977,903 salary (+) $1,552,204 signing bonus = $3,503,107 cap hit for 2020. ($3,503,107) in Dead Cap.
  • Cameron Brate - $6,000,000 salary = $6,000,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.
  • Cody McElroy - $510,000 salary = $510,000 cap hit for 2020.

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (4)
FAs-to-be: Tanner Hudson, Antony Auclair
Decision(s) to be made: Do the Bucs trade Howard in the offseason? Do they cut Brate? Do they keep both? The tight end position seems pretty flexible after Bruce Arian’s first year at the helm, but both players can also be very useful when called upon.

Offensive Line

  • LT Donovan Smith - $14,500,00 salary = $14,500,00 cap hit for 2020. ($14,500,000) in Dead Cap
  • LG Ali Marpet - $10,625,000 salary (+) $400,000 signing bonus = $11,025,000 cap hit for 2020. ($1,200,000) in Dead Cap
  • C Ryan Jensen - $10,000,000 salary = $10,000,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap
  • RG Alex Cappa - $705,000 salary (+) $198,426 signing bonus = $903,426 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap
  • G Aaron Stinnie - $660,000 salary = $660,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap
  • G Zack Bailey - $585,000 salary (+) $7,500 signing bonus = $592,500 cap hit for 2020. ($15,000) in Dead Cap

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (8)
FAs-to-be: Demar Dotson, Josh Wells, Jerald Hawkins, Earl Watford, Michael Liedtke
Decision(s) to be made: Help Wanted at right tackle. The Bucs can bring back an aging - but affordable - Demar Dotson or they can look to free agency or the draft. They also need to consider building depth in a major way after last year. I’d be shocked if they carry just eight offensive linemen into 2020.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
Arians has said he wants Suh back in the Bay for 2020.
Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Defensive Line

  • DT Vita Vea - $1,827,658 salary (+) $2,215,316 signing bonus = $4,042,974 cap hit for 2020. ($8,759,777) in Dead Cap
  • DE William Gholston - $4,750,000 salary = $4,750,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap
  • DE Kahzin Daniels - $585,000 salary = $585,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap
  • DE Pat O’Connor - $660,000 salary = $660,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (6)
FAs-to-be: Ndamukong Suh, Beau Allen, Rakeem Nunez-Roches
Decision(s) to be made: Yikes. The Bucs will have to decide on bringing back Suh, Beau Allen, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Arians said he wanted to keep the defense/defensive line intact, but we will see if that comes to fruition over the offseason. The good thing is that the Bucs are extremely flexible with who they currently have when it comes to money.

Linebacker

  • LB Devin White - $1,827,537 salary (+) $4,835,148 signing bonus = $6,662,685 cap hit for 2020. ($23,985,666) in Dead Cap.
  • LB Lavonte David - $10,750,000 salary = $10,750,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.
  • LB Jack Cichy - $660,000 salary (+) $36,344 signing bonus = $696,344 cap hit for 2020. ($72,689) in Dead Cap.
  • LB Anthony Nelson - $585,000 salary (+) $193,020 signing bonus = $778,020 cap hit for 2020. ($579,060) in Dead Cap.
  • LB Kendell Beckwith - $758,000 salary (+) $176,572 signing bonus = $934,572 cap hit for 2020. ($176,572) in Dead Cap.
  • LB Noah Dawkins - $585,000 salary = $585,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (10) (4 ILB, 6 OLB)
FAs-to-be: Shaq Barrett, Carl Nassib, Kevin Minter, Jason Pierre-Paul, Sam Acho
Decision(s) to be made: Will the trio of Barrett, JPP, and Carl Nassib return? Will at least two of them come back? All three players will be looking for a deserved bump in their salaries, and with good reason. The Bucs need to try their best to bring all three back, but it’s highly doubtful that happens. Beckwith is another name that is interesting in regards to what will happen with him in 2020.

Cornerback

  • CB Sean Murphy-Bunting - $830,273 salary (+) $846,090 signing bonus = $1,676,363 cap hit for 2020. ($3,368,543) in Dead Cap.
  • CB Carlton Davis - $879,374 salary (+) $318,748 signing bonus = $1,198,122 cap hit for 2020. ($637,496) in Dead Cap.
  • CB M.J. Stewart - $942,101 salary (+) $444,202 signing bonus = $1,386,303 cap hit for 2020. ($888,405) in Dead Cap.
  • CB Jamel Dean - $649,000 salary (+) $211,713 signing bonus = $860,713 cap hit for 2020. ($635,139) in Dead Cap.
  • CB Mazzi Wilkins - $585,000 salary = $585,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.
  • CB John Franklin - $510,000 salary = $510,000 cap hit for 2020. No Dead Cap.

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (5)
FAs-to-be: Ryan Smith, Orion Stewart
Decision(s) to be made: This unit got better and better as the year went on, but the Bucs should still consider bringing in a solid veteran to start or at least to provide depth. They can also look to the draft for depth, but this group feels like a good one entering 2020.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Evans will be a mystery in 2020.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Safety

  • S Jordan Whitehead - $660,000 salary (+) $166,814 signing bonus = $826,814 cap hit for 2020. ($333,629) in Dead Cap.
  • S Mike Edwards - $638,623 salary (+) $205,545 signing bonus = $844,168 cap hit for 2020. ($616,635) in Dead Cap.
  • S D’Cota Dixon - $510,000 salary (+) $333 signing bonus = $510,333 cap hit for 2020. ($667) in Dead Cap.
  • S Justin Evans - $1,173,995 salary (+) $480,328 signing bonus = $1,654,323 cap hit for 2020. ($480,328) in Dead Cap.

Players carried on the 53 in 2019: (4)
FAs-to-be: Darian Stewart, Andrew Adams
Decision(s) to be made: Can you say “thin as hell”? Because that’s exactly what this unit is. Whitehead finished 2019 on IR with a hamstring injury, Dixon is coming off a season-ending injury that he suffered in training camp, and Evans hasn’t played in almost two years when training camp picks up. Edwards was the only cat to stay healthy in 2019 and still had his fair share of struggles. The Bucs have to add another playmaker to this position group.