The Athletic (you need to subscribe to it if you aren’t already) came out with its top-100 pending free agents on Tuesday and Jameis Winston along with many other pending free agents for the Bucs made the list.
Winston placed 17th. Five other Bucs made the final cut and those names included Shaquil Barrett finished (12th), Jason Pierre-Paul (37th), Breshad Perriman (52nd), Ndamukong Suh (58th) and Carl Nassib (77th).
Talent and ability has never really been the question at One Buc Place, so it’s not too surprising to see the Bucs tied for the league lead in players on this list. Only the Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles had six players make this list.
Author Sheil Kapadia wrote briefly about each player who made the list. I’ll share what he had to say about Winston and Barrett, who were both top-20 selections.
He hits free agency at a bad time. On the one hand, Winston’s only 26 and threw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns last season. On the other hand, Winston had the worst interception rate (30 picks total) in the league and also had 12 fumbles (sixth most). How many teams are going to be willing to pay more than $25 million per year for such a mistake-prone QB? It only takes one, but Winston’s market will be fascinating to monitor.
A savvy edge rusher who probably earned as much money as anybody on this list with his 2019 performance, Barrett left Denver for Tampa last year and bet on himself with a one-year, $4 million deal. He led the NFL with 19.5 sacks, was tied for first with 37 QB hits and was third with six forced fumbles. Barrett produced a sack or QB hit on 11.1% of his pass-rush chances, the fourth-best mark among the 172 players who had at least 200 pass-rush opportunities. If Barrett were a former high draft pick or had a bigger profile, he would’ve received a lot more buzz for Defensive Player of the Year last season. The risk with Barrett is that he served mostly a backup role in Denver for five seasons and has just one year of big production. The Bucs are likely to either tag Barrett or sign him to a lucrative extension.
The Bucs have a lot of choices to make when it comes to their own roster this offseason.
Hopefully, Kapadia’s article doesn’t drive up anyone’s asking price!