Legal tampering has arrived! With all the questions surrounding the Buccaneers and what they will do in free agency, we get you primed for the beginning of free agency right here.
All the talk has been what the Buccaneers are going to do at the quarterback position, but the other key is their ability to bring back their own free agents on the defensive side of the ball. They’ll look to upgrade anywhere they can, but obviously the return of Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul are the biggest concerns in their ability to continue the level of play this defensive unit produced in the second half of the 2019 season.
Below is a thread of tweets (most recent appearing at the top) regarding the latest rumors and reports surrounding the Bucs as well as some of their alleged targets or players that may be heading out the door.
Melvin Gordon’s market shrunk a bit more today. It’s down to Atlanta, Miami or Tampa Bay if he’s to see a true featured role in 2020. Those teams might fill backfield voids in the draft.— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) March 16, 2020
Current top skill position players: (NE) Edelman, Sanu, Harry, White, Michel (LAC) Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler (TB) Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard, Cam Brate. TB's OLine ranked 10th per @pff in pass blocking last year, Pats 12th, Chargers 31st.— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 16, 2020
Bruce Arians still making his pitch to Tom Brady? Raiders aren't totally out of it, but it's my understanding that the Bucs are ahead in line.— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 16, 2020
Not expecting Teddy Bridgewater to land with the #Bears. Other QB options in play there.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 16, 2020
@JeffDarlington still says it's more likely than not Tom Brady will leave New England.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 16, 2020
I believe the #Buccaneers plan is to pull out the stops for Tom Brady. Beyond that, a #Saints source is convinced Teddy Bridgewater is a target in Tampa if Brady doesn’t happen. Saints believe in Teddy. But they also love Taysom’s ceiling. With Brees back, options were limited.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 16, 2020
The #Colts have had discussions with free agent QB Philip Rivers, source said. And while nothing is done, he’s a clear target for Indy. We shall see if they can agree on the money.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2020
#Bears are working to make a deal happen with Teddy Bridgewater. #Bucs have also expressed interest.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 16, 2020
Tom Brady could play a role in it all. If Brady goes to #Chargers or stays with #Patriots, Tampa might emerge as frontrunner for Bridgewater.
Given that Arians said keeping Bucs' defensive front seven intact was a priority, it's curious that Pierre-Paul and Suh are still unsigned two hours in. Suggests Bucs were careful not to overpay for guys who are 31 and 33, will let them test the market and go from there.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 16, 2020
Teddy Bridgewater would likely be the starter over Mitch Trubisky for the Bears. After Tom Brady, he was the next go to FA QB for the #GoBucs. This could get interesting with Jameis Winston in the negotiating window. https://t.co/R57LDmXLc3— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 16, 2020
Phone calls and discussions are taking place as we speak (tweet). I do believe that by tonight, we'll know what the #Bucs are doing at QB. Teams have been at this for weeks— Tom Krasniqi (@TKras) March 16, 2020
Being told Teddy Bridgewater working deal with CHI @929TheGame— Paul Crane (@PaulCrane7) March 16, 2020
Tampa Bay's interest in Tom Brady is very real and sincere. We'll see if he reciprocates— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 16, 2020
BREAKING— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) March 16, 2020
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now the betting favorite to sign Tom Brady.
Odds (via BetOnline):
As the legal tampering period kicks off at noon, would fully expect the Colts to pursue former Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers, though Indianapolis also will look at other QB options.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
No news on the Bucs' lower-end free agents, so likely they'll hit the open market, still could be back: OLB Sam Acho, OL Earl Watford, OT Jerald Hawkins, OT Josh Wells, S Darian Stewart, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, CB Ryan Smith, LB Kevin Minter, QB Blaine Gabbert, S Andrew Adams.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 16, 2020
After asking a dozen-plus NFL execs where Tom Brady ends up, nearly all predict New England. Among beliefs: Brady slow-playing for more weapons, market won't be obscene, N.E. still best place to win. We'll see what happens, but not many envision him in new uniform.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 16, 2020