All Eyes On The Future
With the 2018 NFL Draft fast approaching, all teams are making their share of offseason moves to enhance their respective rosters. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no exception. In the last few weeks the Bucs have not only resigned several players, but the have looked to the free agent market and found a few gems as well. It is clear to me now that the Bucs front office want to start winning games as soon as possible, bringing in playmakers such as Mitch Unrein, Vinny Curry and Beau Allen on the defensive side of the ball, and “nasty” center Ryan Jensen on the offensive line.
The signings that caught my eye, however, are the long term deals agreed upon with The Buccaneers’ two best offensive weapons through the tenure of Jameis Winston: Mike Evans and Cam Brate. Evans’ and Brate’s respective deals keep each of them here to the 2023 season. This should be nothing but motivation for Jameis as he heads into the final season of his rookie contract. All eyes are on our quarterback this season as he looks to fine tune his game and correct the mistakes of last year, putting the high powered offense back in business.
The release of Doug Martin is not much of a surprise to the Bucs community. Off the field issues and a downward trend in on-the-field play became overly noticeable in his last year in pewter and red. Averaging just 2.9 yards per carry over 12 games, Martin was easily over shadowed by 2nd-year running back Peyton Barber. Taking notice of this, the Bucs signed Barber for another year this offseason as well. This shows some faith in the young back, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bucs add another either through free agency or the draft.
We’ve heard from perennial Pro-Bowler Gerald McCoy that #3 (Jameis Winston) is the cornerstone of this team. All eyes are on him to be the player that he was drafted to be and that starts this year. If we are to sign him to a long term deal next year, and make him a Buc for his career, we will need to see him play as the leader we know him to be, and use this high powered group of talent to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the next level.