Considering the state of the world right now, everyone needs an escape. Sports are often that much-needed distraction from the heavier stuff going on around the globe, and while there aren’t any live sports to enjoy at the moment, the NFL came through this week. I know there’s been plenty of criticism thrown at the league for going through with free agency, but honestly (and perhaps selfishly), I’m glad we had some sense of normalcy this week. The result? Transactions galore.
Whenever there’s a sizable wave of moves being made, you can always expect social media to be abuzz. There was plenty of fun to be had on Twitter dot com throughout the week thanks to the NFL, and especially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s a good thing for this weekly feature, where we look at the best Bucs tweets of the week from players, coaches, team staff, or media personalities. There was no shortage to pick from over the last seven days, and even though this whole thing could probably be focused on Tom Brady, we’ll try to get a wider view of the week as a whole (the key word there was try).
So, let’s get going with some of the best Bucs tweets from the week that started with March 15 and ended with March 21:
Matt Gay turns 26!
Bucs kicker Matt Gay turned 26 years old last Sunday. The 2019 fifth-rounder out of Utah just completed his first NFL season, one that had plenty of highs but also some lows. He figures to still be the guy in 2020, and he’ll look to rediscover the consistency that he had during that stretch from Sept. 29-Dec. 8 in which he made 17 of his 18 field goal attempts. He certainly has the leg to be a reliable kicker in the NFL for a long time, while hopefully continuing to drive campaigns such as this one, which we highlighted last week. Join us in wishing a happy belated birthday to the former Utah Ute!
One more year (at least) of Shaq Barrett in Tampa Bay
One of the least surprising moves made this week was Tampa Bay placing the franchise tag on Shaquil Barrett, the NFL’s sack leader in 2019. That nets him around $16 million for the 2020 season and sets him up to be a free agent again next spring, unless the Bucs keep working on a longer-term contract extension. It’s not hard to see why they would want to keep Barrett around, but perhaps the most refreshing thing about the tag is that Barrett seems genuinely happy to play under it. Plenty of guys hate playing on the franchise tag. Of course, Barrett would like more security in terms of contract length, but $16 million is big money on its own. Plus, he has said all along that he wanted to remain in Tampa and continue to develop in Todd Bowles’ system. So, when the announcement was made, it wasn’t surprising to see the 27-year-old pass rusher put his excitement on display for everyone to see on Twitter.
TWO MORE YEARS for JPP
The deal just got done ✔️ pic.twitter.com/bHIHbWcZSk— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) March 17, 2020
Shortly after Barrett was tagged Monday morning and rumors began to swirl about the Bucs making an aggressive pitch to Tom Brady, news broke about Jason Pierre-Paul re-signing with Tampa Bay. The team’s 2018 sack leader got a late start to his 2019 season after fracturing his neck in an offseason car accident, but still managed to put up 8.5 sacks in 10 games. He was an outstanding complement on the other side of Barrett and an effective leader in the locker room. Having him back for two more seasons is wonderful news for the Bucs, and it appears JPP himself is very happy about the news. Just listen to him yell “I got two more years!” in the video above. Excellent.
“Tampa Tommy is who you want on your Tampa Team”
Tampa Tommy Smiles, Tampa Tommy is happy to go to work, Tampa Tommy is who you want on your Tampa Team. pic.twitter.com/QJNGD23lh0— Tony Digs (@ToneDigz) March 17, 2020
While rumors of the Bucs being interested in Tom Brady had been swirling for some time, they got real this past week. They made a pitch to the six-time Super Bowl champion Monday, but a return to New England still seemed like the safest prediction. That changed Tuesday morning, when Brady said goodbye to the organization he had spent the first 20 years of his career with. That led to further speculation, and naturally, memes. Digs, of The Pat McAfee Show, tweeted this classic scene from The Office, which suited the situation oddly well.
The things (and people) you’ll see when out for a drive in Colorado...
Amid the rumors and reported transactions on Tuesday, Bucs center Ryan Jensen was out for a drive in his native Colorado. And would you look at that? He came across a Bucs fan on the road. And to make it even better, he apparently made the fan aware that he was driving next to him. That led to the second photo, which is a great one that said fan will surely remember forever. Imagine a year from now when that guy says “remember that time I randomly came across Ryan Jensen in traffic? Good times.”
Jordan Whitehead turns 23!
The Bucs had another birthday this week, with third-year safety Jordan Whitehead turning 23. If the fact that Whitehead is just now turning 23 surprises you, you’re not alone. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Pitt. He showed some exciting flashes of potential as a rookie before really coming on stronger in 2019. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by injury, but he should heavily figure into Tampa Bay’s plans for the secondary moving forward. He offers versatility and a hard-hitting nature that should serve him well in the future. Join us here at Bucs Nation in wishing him a happy belated birthday!
Welcome aboard, new Bucs fans
By Tuesday evening, word came out about Tom Brady officially choosing to join the Buccaneers as a free agent. While no official announcement had come yet from the team nor Brady himself, that didn’t stop the hype from skyrocketing in Tampa. Well over 6,000 people were in a queue for season tickets that night, which led to noted meme king Trevor Sikkema, formerly of Pewter Report, to tweet this gem. That meme/joke has since appeared on NFL Memes (without credit to Trevor...) and even made it to Devin White’s Twitter as well.
Devin White officially has his new stallion
Doing What I Love To Do On The KING Of Get Live Stables D’Jango pic.twitter.com/IkiGLybnky— DEVIN WHITE 4️⃣0️⃣ (@DevinWhite__40) March 19, 2020
In last week’s Bucs Tweets of the Week feature, we took a look at Devin White’s new stallion, D’Jango. Well, it appears he officially has possession, as he tweeted a video of him riding it this week. We know how much the 22-year-old linebacker loves his horses, and it’s great to see him out enjoying his offseason the way he has. He certainly deserves it after the rookie season he had. But that’s not all White had time for this week...
White also spent some time recruiting former teammates this week...
While Devin White’s tweet to Todd Gurley may not have worked (since Gurley singed with the rival Falcons), we haven’t seen the end result of his attempt to get former LSU teammate and current Jets safety Jamal Adams to Tampa. The two-time Pro Bowl selection and 2019 first-team All-Pro would be an absolutely incredible get for the Buccaneer defense. Unfortunately, White must be playing the long game here considering Adams isn’t a free agent until 2022. Buuuut if he does sign with the Bucs in 2022, perhaps White should get credit for starting the effort.
Dare Ogunbowale is the leader in the clubhouse for most athletic feat I’ve seen during a quarantine/social distancing period
When there weren’t moves being announced this week, life got pretty boring. We all have our ways of killing time, but I’ll go out on a limb and say none of us were as athletic during our free time this week as Dare Ogunbowale was. He posted a video on Twitter of him juggling a roll of toilet paper with his feet, looking as if he wants to set himself up for a future in the English Premier League or something. It’s honestly pretty impressive, although he juuuust misses the finish at the end. Goodbye, Premier League dreams...
With Brady headed to Tampa, who will follow?
veterans lining up outside one Buc place to play with tom brady pic.twitter.com/MdKntOTIXC— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) March 20, 2020
Once news of Tom Brady’s decision was reported early in the week, more reports started coming out about other free agents lining up in hopes of joining him in Tampa. So, naturally, the good tweet machine that is Trevor Sikkema had this one ready to go on Friday morning. Personally, I laugh every time I see this gummy bear chorus singing Adele’s “Someone Like You” because 1.) it’s simply a funny visual and 2.) the amount of time it had to take to set that up is almost funnier. If you haven’t seen it, enjoy.
OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Tom Brady becomes a Tampa Bay Buccaneer
The Bucs have been left at the altar before. Bill Parcells comes to mind, as does the trade for Brett Favre that never happened. So, no one could really blame Buccaneer fans for getting a little nervous when Wednesday went by without an official “Tom Brady has signed with Tampa Bay” announcement. Nor can there be any blame for nerves once Thursday also went by with no such announcement. But on Friday—finally on Friday—it came. Tom Brady is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. The team announced it, Brady announced it and it was official. The greatest quarterback of all time had officially signed a two-year contract with the Bucs. What followed were reactions from all over, including from #TeamTampaBay and from Brady’s new teammates.
#TeamTampaBay welcomes Tampa Bay Tom
*Tom Brady voice*— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 20, 2020
Let’s gooooo pic.twitter.com/eybpyAtUCV
The excitement about Tom Brady coming to Tampa Bay felt contagious on Friday, with tweets from other teams in the area flying in to welcome the Bucs’ new quarterback. First came the Rowdies, then USF Football, then the Rays and finally the Lightning. Now let’s hope this pandemic ends soon and life can get back to normal for everyone, including these teams who were in-season (and in USF’s case, getting ready for spring ball).
Buccaneers players react to TB12 signing with TB
Of course, plenty of Bucs took to Twitter throughout the day on Friday to welcome their new quarterback to town. But it’s important to note that, as reported by ESPN’s Jenna Laine, this is a pretty bittersweet time for these guys. As you would expect, they’re excited to have the G.O.A.T. on board and are hoping to bring winning football back to Tampa Bay alongside him, but it’s tough for a lot of these guys to lose Jameis Winston. Some players have shared the locker room and become really tight with Winston over his five years with the team, so seeing the end of his time can’t be easy. Nonetheless, the team sounds ready to get to work with Brady.
The new place to be on Sundays in the fall
Of course, the Buccaneers and many fans would’ve liked for Raymond James Stadium to be “the place to be” for the last decade-plus, but losing season after losing season hasn’t helped make that a reality. Now, as evidenced by the booming season ticket numbers in the last several days, it sounds as if Ray Jay will finally have the environment it has been lacking since the early 2000s. We’re five(ish) months away from seeing Brady take that field as the home team’s quarterback. And who knows? Maybe he’ll quarterback Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl, which is being hosted at Raymond James Stadium...
The LEGEND Billie Jean King celebrates a big milestone for the Buccaneers
On March 20, 2019 the @Buccaneers became the 1st #NFL team w/two FT female coaches when they announced the hiring of @CoachLoLoc & @Maraljavadifar.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) March 20, 2020
Cheers to these trailblazing women, & to @BruceArians & his organization for recognizing the value they add to the team. #WHM #OTD pic.twitter.com/nhjynGIZCt
It’s been one year since the Bucs organization took an exciting step forward with the hiring of both Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar, the team’s first full-time female coaches. Bruce Arians has always been a champion of diversity, but he has never wanted the credit for it. His repeated stance has always seemed to be “if you can coach, you can coach.” Nonetheless, it’s pretty cool to see the legendary Billie Jean King giving a congratulatory nod to one year for Locust and Javadifar with Tampa Bay. Plus, she’s rocking one of BA’s “No Risk It, No Biscuit” shirts. Pretty great stuff.
Jameis Winston says his goodbye to Tampa Bay
As Tom Brady arrives, Jameis Winston is making his exit. It’s tough news for the Bucs’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Many thought he might be the first quarterback in team history to outlast his rookie contract and get a second deal. After all, he owns the franchise’s records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions and pass attempts. But ultimately, the turnovers were what had the Bucs ready to go in a different direction. It could be worse than being replaced by an all-time great, though. Wherever he lands, Winston will have plenty of Bucs fans pulling for him to do well.
For those that have loved Winston from the beginning, seeing his goodbye on Saturday morning probably brought some sad feelings, especially when you contrast the feelings that draft night photo elicit with the feeling of how things have ended for him in Tampa. But what should be remembered about Winston is his unparalleled work ethic, the excitement he brought to the field each and every Sunday, his undying passion for the game and the wonderful work he did in the Tampa Bay community. I tweeted about that here, while Pewter Report’s Mark Cook had his own positive message about Winston’s time with the Bucs:
Lastly, one of the cutest welcome messages you’ll see on Twitter
Now that’s just adorable.
If you feel I missed any great Bucs tweets from the past week (I surely did), feel free to send them my way! You can catch me on Twitter @BaileyJAdams22.