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Todd Bowles would like to see some of his top players back in 2024

The head coach is hoping the turnover is little at the top of the roster.

NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

As teams close out their seasons, questions for the weeks and months ahead immediately take cover. Who will return? How much cap space will they have? Who do they want back?

For the Buccaneers it’s no different and that all started immediately following their loss to the Lions Sunday.

Head coach Todd Bowles stated quarterback Baker Mayfield earned the right to return. Whether the Bucs can afford him or not is another story. But Bowles wants to see not only Mayfield come back in 2024, but others as well.

“I’d love to have him back,” Bowles said Monday of linebacker Lavonte David. “He’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached. I don’t even look at his age – he plays timeless. He plays timeless football, he plays it the right way, he prepares the right way. He’s the ultimate professional.”

David, 33, continued his stellar play in 2023 as he accounted for 17 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. That’s a half sack shy of tying the two previous seasons combined.

But the possibility is there that David has taken his last snap in pewter. Same can be said for linebacker Devin White. The veteran has been heavily criticized for his play on the field and Bowles has also been critical in the past also, but his appreciation for his hard hitting linebacker has also been known.

However, he acknowledges that the business aspect may change things a bit.

“I don’t know, he’s a free agent from a business standpoint,” Bowles said. “I love Devin to death. From a free agent standpoint, I know it’s a business and things have to be out there. We’ll work together and work some things out and hopefully we can come out with something.”

Offensively, if Mayfield returns then Mike Evans should also be one the Bucs also focus on bringing back. And Bowles sure does hope so.

“I don’t even think about it. I don’t like to be asked about it. I don’t want to know about it,” said Bowles of Evans wearing another team’s colors. “I hope to hell that does not happen.”

Of course there are others also like safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. that the Buccaneers have to find a way to re-sign. So it is fair to say that general manager Jason Licht and his staff along with Bowles have some incredibly tough decisions to make in the coming weeks and months.