Welcome to a new weekly thing here on Bucs Nation where we try to address and dissect the latest rumors and hot topics surrounding the Buccaneers. And so it is only fitting that the first ever topic for The Jolly Roger is surrounding the quarterback position.
There’s been lots of talk about potential landing spots for Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as he hits free agency. Now with Drew Brees officially returning to the Saints, it’s only a matter of time before we see things heat up for the 27-year-old Bridgewater.
One of those potential landing spots has been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With uncertainty surrounding the future of quarterback Jameis Winston here in the bay area, Bridgewater has been often talked about in the same sentence as the Bucs. Even as recently as Monday.
Peter King of NBC Sports has been glued in on the Winston situation for some time. And in his latest piece, he talks about how Bridgewater to the Bucs “makes sense” in his eyes.
King lays out reasons why Bridgewater can land in Tampa Bay. Citing the way he takes care of the football, his record as he filled in for Brees (5-0), his completion percentage and rating compared to Winston, and how he compares to Carson Palmer when Bruce Arians brought him in Palmer lead Arizona’s offense. All valid points. King even ended his article with his traditional haiku, spotlighting Bridgewater to Tampa Bay.
Teddy in Tampa?
Makes sense. Bridge over troubled
waters for the Bucs.
So we ask...
Can it happen?
In one word, yes. King mentions the concern of arm strength which has been raised often here on Bucs Nation as well by writers and posters alike. But Arians is known for making adjustments in his offense to fit his players and there was some of that as the season went on last season when offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was calling plays. A noticeable change was in the red zone.
Bridgewater will also bring in a veteran mentality to the position many argue Winston hasn’t developed and may not. Folks point to the veteran’s ability to lead the Saints to a 5-0 record while under center to be an accomplishment others would have been able to pull off despite being in Sean Payton’s quarterback-friendly offense.
But the biggest reason for this to happen here is now with Brees’ official return to New Orleans, the team will begin their molding of backup Taysom Hill to eventually replace Brees down the line. Another factor for New Orleans is money as they have reportedly expressed the lack of interest in bringing back the former Louisville standout due to the money he may demand in free agency.
Perhaps the biggest reason to make note of here is that other rumored veteran targets like Philip Rivers and Tom Brady may not be options for the Buccaneers, according to King. Also add in that he states the Raiders could aggressively pursue Winston, maybe giving Winston the thought that he’ll get the money he really wants in free agency.
Why won’t it happen?
The Buccaneers ownership group is still big on Winston. Last I’ve heard is the Glazer family is optimistic something will get done between the team and Winston’s camp. So if the owners want something, they may very well get it. That’s one obstacle.
The second obstacle would be money. Bridgewater will reportedly demand north of $30-million — hence why the Saints are probably like, “Good luck in free agency, my dude.” Why give a quarterback who has been serviceable at best, according to some, that much money? I suspect that is something the team will be mulling over in the coming weeks. That is if the report is true, of course.
The third obstacle will be familiarity. Do the Bucs go with their former first overall pick since he is now familiar with Arians’ style of offense? Or do they roll the dice on the potential of bringing someone in that has to learn a new and complex offensive system when his arm is often questioned? This obstacle alone could be reason enough for the Bucs to bring back the former Florida State product.
What’s the end game?
I can see Tampa Bay making a legitimate run at Bridgewater. When it’s all said and done, I think the team would feel more comfortable giving the money to a guy who has proven to take care of the football as opposed to a guy that has proven to give up the booty (hey, we’re sticking to a pirate theme here).
If Jason Licht, Bruce Arians, and the Glazer family truly see no way of bringing back Winston due to money, his play, etc., then you can pretty much bet Bridgewater will be in pewter in 2020 and beyond.