The Bucs are managing to keep their key pieces in place. The question becomes whether they’ll finish the job and keep them all.
Receiver Chris Godwin got the franchise tag. Linebacker Lavonte David agreed to a two-year deal. Most recently, linebacker Shaq Barrett took the offer on the table before the Bucs started calling other available pass rushers — of which there are many.
They still have work to do. Running back Leonard Fournette is a free agent, as is defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Will they return or move on?
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has said he’ll play again in 2021. He’ll presumably play for the Bucs or no one, unless someone blows him away with a major offer.
Some think the Bucs are the only real suitor for receiver Antonio Brown. Still, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has clamored for Brown in the past, as has Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (and Ravens receiver — and Brown’s cousin — Marquise). The Packers reportedly inquired about Antonio Brown last year, too.
Regardless, three big pieces from 2020 are locked in for 2021. Given the cap space the Bucs have saved and/or created, they will either keep more of the team or, if those guys go elsewhere, potentially attract veterans who are hungry for what would be their first championship.