Why the Vikings and not the Buccaneers have the best skill players

RB Dalvin Cook leads the best skill group in the NFL

By: Jake Rajala

The professional football league showcases many elite groups of weapons and more talent is undoubtedly being displayed on the field in 2021 than in any previous time period. Bill Barnwell, who is an iconic staff writer for ESPN, recently put out a list of the 32 groups of NFL offensive weapons. At the very top of the list, he marked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers skill group as the utmost best unit in the league. 

I believe the defending Super Bowl champions carry players with elite talent and prominent depth all around, but I believe it’s far-fetched to put them at number one. In my opinion, the true number one group is clear. The top offensive skill group is none other than the Minnesota Vikings. To further state my case, I will give three reasons why the Vikings and not the Bucs display the top weaponry in the NFL. 

  • Vikings have a stronger WR duo 

The stories and myths surrounding Vikings WR Adam Thielen may have started to slowly fade, but he can still operate at a high playing level. The Bucs number one WR in Mike Evans may have hauled in a whopping 13 touchdowns last season, but the Vikings number two WR unveiled 14 receiving touchdowns on the table. Thielen’s career-high touchdown count and 926 yards clearly show he’s one of, if not the best WR2 in the league.

Chris Godwin may have been a stat machine in the days of Jameis Winston leading the league in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and then interceptions, but he hasn’t shown to be a dominant force of late. Godwin had 840 yards and likely would have been floating around 1,000 yards if he stayed healthy for the long season, but his touchdown count was just half (7) of what the freakish Thielen was showing. It’s fair to say that Thielen’s resume and talent is a step ahead of Godwin and he’s been playing in a far less explosive passing attack. As far as the number one WR spot between the Bucs and Vikings, the honors actually go to Vikings Justin Jefferson. 

Jefferson was fourth in the whole NFL last season in receiving yards (1,400). The Vikings WR was just a rookie last season and didn’t get into sync until a short period into the season. Going into year two, Jefferson could realistically show he’s the best WR in the NFL. Evans screams consistent high-level play, but he’s not quite rubber-like when it comes to route running, nor can he take the top off a defense as the second-year Vikings WR can. Buccaneers Antonio Brown is a very quality number three WR, but I believe the Vikings WR duo can take over games individually. Thielen’s clutch ability and Jefferson’s explosion with any route concept deep down the field make them very reliable and hard to cover with one or two defenders.

  • Dalvin Cook is significantly more impressive than the Bucs running game

The Bucs have an admirable duo with all-purpose back Ronald Jones and 2021 playoff hero Leonard Fournette, but both of them combined don’t match Dalvin Cook’s playmaking ability. Dalvin Cook was second in the league in rushing yards (1,416) and rushing touchdowns (16). It’s worth noting that Cook put this damage on defenses despite missing two games. Leonard Fournette compiled 367 rushing yards and six touchdowns during the span of the 16 game season, while Ronald Jones captured a stout of 978 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. The Bucs RB duo is a nice assist to Tom Brady’s passing game, but they don’t stack up to the production that Cook lays out with even a combined effort. 

All in all, the Buccaneers should be labeled as a Top 5 offensive group of weapons. Yet, I believe an overrated factor of the defending Super Bowl title on their nameplate combined with the fact that these slightly dissolving household players like Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette just happened to make their biggest plays in the most recent game (Super Bowl), helped them garner the number one spot. The Vikings may have been a 7-9 squad with no impressive number three wideout, but I believe the talent is above and beyond to earn them the first place standing.

Projecting Tom Brady’s ceiling and floor for 2021

Will Buccaneers QB Tom Brady be an MVP candidate in 2021?

By: Reese Nasser

Tom Brady is entering the 2021 season coming off of one of the greatest years of his storied  career. The soon-to-be 44 year old quarterback won his seventh Super Bowl, his first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has somehow managed to find a resurgence with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. 

The all-pro quarterback found success in his first year with Tampa Bay. In both the regular season and playoffs, Brady saw near career highs across the stat sheet. Over 16 regular season games, he threw for 40 touchdowns and 4633 yards, finishing in the top-5 of both categories. With the good also came the occasional bad. He threw 12 interceptions, his most since 2011. 

The playoff run that Brady led was just as good as his regular season, if not better. In his four postseason games, he passed for 10 touchdowns and just over 1000 yards. 

His finished stat line from both the regular and postseason was arguably his best since his 2007 season where he threw 50 touchdowns. By the end of 2020, Brady compiled 56 total touchdowns and nearly 5700 yards. He proved to still be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. 

Entering his 22nd season, all eyes will be on Brady. After coming off yet another Super Bowl victory and the Bucs returning all 22 starters, the expectations will be high for both the team and their QB1. 

A decline has been expected for years now for Brady, but it is yet to come. It is almost as if every season, people believe that father time will catch up to Brady. Could 2021 be the season for it to happen? Potentially.

Brady could find himself having yet another great season. Or, he could find himself in the situation of many past superstars that have stuck around too long and have a season that goes very poorly. Let’s take a look at both the potential floor and ceiling for Brady in 2021. 

The Floor

It is hard to imagine a Tom Brady performance that is anything less than average. The floor for Brady is still seemingly better than what many quarterbacks would have to offer. Throughout his career, even when he hasn’t had the greatest weapons around him, Brady has still been able to be an above average quarterback. His understanding of the game and just all around football IQ has kept him at a high level, even as he has gotten older and began to slow down from a physical standpoint.  

 
When looking at his most recent seasons, Brady’s worst performance was arguably the 2019 season. He threw 24 touchdowns, the least he’s had in a full 16-game season since 2003, which was his third year as a starting quarterback. His 24 passing touchdowns still ranked him within the top-15 of all quarterbacks. He also threw for just over 4000 yards, his least since 2016, when he played in just 12 games. 

Even at his most mediocre points, Brady has managed to consistently still be an above average quarterback. His floor should reflect that. Even at his worst, Brady should be good for at least an above-average season in 2021. A “down” seasons statline could potentially look like this. 26 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and 3800 passing yards. 

A 2021 stat line looking something like that would be considered poor for Brady. But, it would still be enough to put his team into a position to win. This should be the bare minimum for the longtime quarterback.

The Ceiling 

The best that can be expected from Brady should be a performance similar to what he did in 2020. He has proven time and time again that he can still lead a team and perform at a high level while doing it.

The team surrounding Brady will also play a role in how well he performs. He will go as far as they can take him, and vice versa. Brady is clearly a catalyst in how well this Tampa Bay team can play. 

With the offense that the Buccaneers have, Brady’s ceiling will be that of a top level quarterback. Tampa Bay is bringing back all eleven starters from last season. The group was good at every level on offense. An elite offensive line, a talented wide receiving group, a hall of fame tight end, and two above average running backs, will help Brady maintain his ability to be elite. 

The skills group alone would make any quarterback have good numbers. With wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Scotty Miller, Brady can’t go wrong with who he is throwing the ball to. He also has arguably his most consistent target of his career still with him in Robert Gronkowski. There is also still potential in tight end OJ Howard. If he can perform as he is expected and come back from his achilles injury, this receiving group could be the best in the NFL. 

The ceiling for Brady is high, as it should be. A regular season with around 40 touchdowns and single digit turnovers would be a top performance from him. If he performs at that level, another  Super Bowl run could be in the cards for Tampa Bay.

Why Joe Tryon is the Buccaneers X Factor

Joe Tryon can be a star in Tampa Bay

By: Reese Nasser

With the 32nd and final pick of the first round in the 2021 draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected University of Washington linebacker Joe Tryon. 

During his two seasons at Washington, Tryon developed into one of the best outside linebackers in the country. In his sophomore season, he recorded 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. In his first year starting, he led the team in both categories and was becoming a star on the defensive side of the ball. 

After opting out of the 2020 season due to covid, Tryon re-emerged as a different player. He has improved from a physical standpoint and that was highlighted in how he looked at his pro day. Coming in at 6’5” and 259 pounds, Tryon impressed people across the NFL when he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash.

Tyron tested highly across the board. This performance at his pro day, added on to a strong sophomore season, led to Tyron making his way into the first round. Tampa Bay saw an opportunity to improve their Super Bowl winning defense through the addition of Tryon.

The Bucs are returning all 11 defensive starters and Tryon will have to work to make his way into this defense.

Veteran Linebacker Group

Tampa Bay has crafted an established linebacker group, consisting of Devin White, Lavontae David, Shaq Barret, and Jason Pierre-Paul. The talent of these four linebackers is evident and Tryon will have to earn his spot in this rotiation. 

When looking at where Tryon lined up during his time in college, he played a majority of his snaps either at outside linebacker or coming off of the edge. His quick speed and ability to get around lineman allowed for him to be effective in this role while at Washington.  He is expected to play a similar role in Tampa. 

When looking at the defensive talent collected at both the edge and outside linebacker positions, the Bucs may be looking at more of a slow approach for Tryon. 

Veteran outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, even while being 32 years old, still proved that he can play at a high level. Pierre-Paul may prove to be the perfect mentor for Tryon considering he has played and succeeded at both the end position and at outside linebacker. They are also nearly identical in size with Pierre-Paul coming in at 6’5” and 275 pounds. 

Throughout Pierre-Paul’s 11-year career, he has consistently performed at a high level. His career totals in the regular season are among some of the best since he entered the league in 2010. He has recorded 89 career sacks, 572 tackles, and 119 tackles for loss. He has also racked up 159 quarterback hits. 

After a somewhat down season in 2019, Pierre-Paul returned in 2020 and played a large role in the success of Tampa Bay’s defense. He recorded 9.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits. Tryon could step into a role much similar to that of Pierre-Paul. A player that is able to both impact the passing game and rushing game. 

Tryon will also benefit greatly from playing alongside veteran outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, who plays opposite of Pierre-Paul. Barrett has proven to be one of the best defenders in the NFL. During the 2019 season, the first year that he spent in Tampa Bay, Barrett was able to finally break out. His 19.5 sacks ranked first in the NFL and along with this, he added 19 tackles for loss. 

Barrett’s 2020 season was much more subdued than the performance that he had in 2019, but he still proved to be an effective player. He still managed eight sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Barrett has quickly made a career out of getting to the quarterback and is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. 

Tryon will benefit immediately from having both Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul to help him along during his first season in the NFL. But what exactly can Tryon accomplish during year one with the Buccaneers? What are fair expectations for the rookie? Let’s take a look. 

Ability to Play Fast

Tryon is a fast player with even faster hands. He can beat offensive lineman off of the snap and uses his speed to get into the backfield. He has proven that he can also effectively see a play before it develops and has found success in both run defense and pass defense.

Tryon’s eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2019 were no mistake. Tryon should be expected to do the same thing for the Buccaneers. Both Pierre-Paul and Barrett consistently made their way to the backfield and the Bucs should expect the same out of Tryon. The rookie should be able to rack up at least a couple sacks and will make an immediate impact on this star-studded defense.

Rookie Success in Tampa Bay

It’s rare that a player is put into the perfect situation to succeed in their rookie year. Much of a player’s success comes from the unit that they have around them, especially when they are younger. Nick Bosa with the 49ers and Bradley Chubb with the Broncos are just a couple of recent selections that achieved near immediate success in the league and benefited from being drafted by teams that already had strong veteran players at their positions. 

The Buccaneers have been notoriously great at drafting in recent years. Each top pick has made an impact on this team, with many of them making strong impacts last season that eventually ended in a Super Bowl victory.

Vita Vea, Devin White, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Tristan Wirfs, and Antoine Winfield Jr. All players selected in the last four seasons have proven to be key components of this team with four of them being defensive starters.

Tryon will be expected to be the next great rookie in Tampa Bay. Given the situation that he will be in, the linebacker should be able to live up to this. All eyes will be on him and he could prove to be an integral part of this already solidified defense. 

Projecting the prominent Buccaneers WRs stat lines in 2021

By: Jeremy Trottier

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had arguably one of the best receiving cores in the NFL as of late.  They have also added to it this offseason during the draft, taking Jaelon Darden with the 129th pick.  They also re-signed Antonio Brown, and franchise tagged Chris Godwin, bringing their four top receivers back for another season.  

In this article, I will be predicting the stats of the Bucs top three receivers who should all get touches, those being:

  • Mike Evans
  • Chris Godwin
  • Antonio Brown

Each of these receivers brings a different skillset to the team, and should each have pretty varying levels of different receiving stats.  With that said, here are my predictions…

Mike Evans

Statline: 123 receptions on 76 targets (61.8% catch rate), 1208 receiving yards, 10 TDs

Mike Evans had a relatively down year in 2020 by his standards, likely because of all the new weapons brought in.  However, with Tom Brady continuing to age, it is apparent that his arm fell off a little bit last year in terms of the deep ball.  With this in mind, Evans should have a “comeback” year of sorts in 2021, continuing his streak of 1000 yard seasons through his whole career.

The reason Brady factors into this is because Evans tends to run the short-intermediate routes, while Antonio Brown will run the deep slot routes most of the time.  This precise route running from Evans should allow him to be Brady’s favorite target this season, as it will make his job exceptionally easy.

Chris Godwin

Statline: 68 receptions on 89 targets (76.4% catch rate), 895 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Chris Godwin has mostly had the lesser of the two stat lines out of this duo, and I do not think that will change unless Evans has a severe drop off in production.  With that said, he still sees a slight increase from 2020 as he likely will play one more game than last year at the least (played in 12 last season).  

This increase likely will not cut into the other receivers on the team, as like I mentioned this is purely due to an increase in games played not number of targets per game.  At only 25 years old this season though, he should be looking to make an entry for the WR1 conversation on the team.

Since he would be going against the 2nd best CBs in the teams he plays, his coverage would be slightly sparse compared to Evans.  If they can draw coverage off of eachother and try to “pick and roll” per-say, that would give them a huge advantage on the field for sure.  

Antonio Brown

Statline: 60 receptions on 82 targets (73.2% catch rate), 795 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Another player who will benefit from more games played is the addition from last season, Antonio Brown.  My guess is he will likely start 10-12 games of the 17 this season, which is why he has such a drastic improvement in this statline compared to last season.  His primary focus as a receiver is turning YAC and getting to the endzone if he can rip a gap open.

The low-ish receiving yards compared to the other two receivers is due to just lack of volume, sharing between three primary receivers is absolutely difficult to do, even for someone like Tom Brady.  There is only so many receptions that can be given out per game, and the focus of the offense is heavily reliant upon Godwin and Evans, so this deteriorates the touches of everyone else.  

With that said, since he would likely be going up against the CB3 of each team he plays, this would still allow him to produce no doubt.  When the duo ahead of him is getting a lot of the focus, he can get to the seam and rip off long plays.  

Three reasons why the Buccaneers wouldn’t return to the Super Bowl

44 year old Tom Brady faces obstacles in 2021

By: Reese Nasser

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020 season was historic, to say the least. Led by 43-year old Tom Brady, the Bucs pulled off the improbable. An 11-5 season came to an end with the Lombardi trophy making its way to Tampa Bay. Everything went right for this team. A near-perfect draft, a solid free-agent class, and everything else that needed to happen happened for this squad.

But a super bowl run is no easy thing to accomplish. Even with the Bucs returning much of their roster, and all 22 starters, another trophy may not be in their future. A team hasn’t won back-to-back super bowls since 2003 and 2004. Which team was that you ask? The 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots, led by Tom Brady himself.

Would it be impossible for the Bucs to repeat? No, it wouldn’t. But that doesn’t make it any more likely. Here are three reasons why the Bucs won’t be back to the super bowl next season. 

More Talent in the NFC

Many other teams have made strides to be better this upcoming season. Either through free agency, the draft, or players returning from injury, the conference will undoubtedly be better than it was in 2020. 

When looking ahead, a team such as the Los Angeles Rams, at least on paper, has become much more of a threat than they were last year. The addition of longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford could make this team the true #1 group in the NFC. This squad was 10-6 last season and the addition of Stafford should attribute at least two to three more wins. 

The teams that the Bucs face in their own division may prove to be a true problem. While the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons both had down years in 2020, they have proven to be valiant opponents of the Bucs. Both of these teams will also be much improved from last season.

The Panthers will have star running back Christian McCaffrey back in their backfield. McCaffrey, who played in only three games last season, will give this Carolina team at least a chance in every game that they play in. 

The Atlanta Falcons have added tight end Kyle Pitts, the fourth-overall pick in the 2020 draft who will look to make an instant impact. He will be put into an offense that has star wide receiver Julio Jones (at least for now) and wide receiver Calvin Ridley. This offense, led by veteran quarterback Matt Ryan, should be explosive and could give this Bucs defense real problems. 

And then there is the New Orleans Saints. This Saints team finished first in the division with a record of 12-4. Longtime quarterback Drew Brees has finally stepped away from the game of football and retired. Brees appeared in 12 games last season and had a record of 9-3. In the four games played by the other rostered quarterbacks, the Saints went 3-1. Led by whoever the Saints choose to play at quarterback, most likely being Jameis Winston, this team will still have a valid shot at beating out the Bucs. Star wide receiver Michael Thomas will also make his return. Thomas played in just seven games last season due to a lingering ankle injury. And Alvin Kamara will still be on the team, and that alone makes this offense a problem. 

Age

This team will not be getting any younger and at times last season, injuries were an issue. Tight End Rob Gronkowski is 32 years old. Antonio Brown will be 33 come to the start of the season. And Tom Brady will be 44. Brady has lasted this long and looked incredible at points last season. His age has not stopped him yet and it might not next season, but there is always a chance.

While a majority of this team is young and has plenty of football in front of them, it can be difficult to dictate how a season will go when some prominent players are getting older. There is no guarantee that injuries won’t derail their 2021 season. 

The Likelihood of Making it Back

Simply put, nobody makes it back to the super bowl. Just seven teams in NFL history have gone back to back. As previously noted, Tom Brady did happen to lead a team on back-to-back trips in 2003 and 2004 but it is something that simply does not happen. 

With other teams improving and the Bucs getting another year older, there is no guarantee that this team will play near the level that they did in 2020. As the saying goes, the Bucs may have found “lightning in a bottle” last season. Their improbable run could also have been a thing of luck. 

All signs point to this team still being a legitimate threat in 2021 and they will certainly make another run. But it is incredibly hard to win the Super Bowl twice. It’s hard to even return twice. The Bucs will have a target on their back next season and the road to another Lombardi Trophy will be no easy one to go down. 

Are the Chiefs or Buccaneers more likely to return to the Super Bowl?

By: Jeremy Trottier

As pretty much all football fans know by now, the Super Bowl LIV matchup this season was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.  With that said, both teams have had extremely different offseasons in terms of the draft and how they worked on their roster.  The Buccaneers have been more tame and kept all 22 of their SB starters, while the Chiefs have been revamping their roster quite a bit.

In this article, I will be going over which of these two teams is more likely to repeat their conference championship wins and return for SB 56 this coming season.

Signings/Cutting Comparison

Like I mentioned previously, these two teams have had vastly different offseasons.  The Buccaneers retained every starting 22 player from last season, while making a few signings such as:

  • RB – Giovanni Bernard
  • LB – Ladarius Hamilton
  • CB – Nate Brooks
  • CB – Dee Delaney

Overall, they have not made too many moves to change their roster from last season, they are taking the “don’t fix what’s not broken” approach to things.  

Meanwhile the Chiefs have had a complete overhaul of a few different positions, and have really been moving their team around.  Their signings and cuts look as such:

Additions:

  • OT Orlando Brown (via trade)
  • RB Jerrick McKinnon (signing)
  • LB Kamalei Correa (signing)
  • G Kyle Long (signing)
  • G Joe Thuney (Signing)
  • C Austin Blythe (signing)
  • CB Mike Hughes (via trade)

As well as other depth pieces.  In terms of losses however, they have the following:

  • RT Mitchell Schwartz (released)
  • LT Eric Fisher (released)
  • WR Tajae Sharpe (released)

The Chiefs have definitely added more than they have lost as of now, and have made major additions to their offensive line.  The Chiefs have definitely made more productive moves than the Buccaneers have, as the Bucs were more focused on re-signings and tagging their players.

Major Draft Picks

In total the Bucs had seven draft picks that they used, and the Chiefs had six, so they were relatively close in quantity.  In terms of quality, the Bucs had a first round pick while the Chiefs did not (due to the Orlando Brown trade).  With that said, both teams got relatively even value our of their picks, both for future needs and current needs.

The biggest three players I would mention for the Buccaneers are Joe Tryon LB from Washington, Kyle Trask QB from Florida, and Jaelon Darden WR from North Texas.  Tryon will be a fantastic addition to the Bucs 3-4 defense, where they already have Jason Pierre-Paul (may move to edge with this draft pick), Devin White, Lavonte Davis, and Shaquil Barrett.  Kyle Trask is much more of a future pick, where he will learn from Tom Brady up until his eventual retirement, in which Trask will be prepared to take over.  Jalen Darden is just a nice speed addition to the receiving core who will likely fill the role of Antonio Brown once he either retires or leaves.

The three biggest Chiefs picks were Nick Bolton LB from Missouri, Creed Humphrey C from Oklahoma, and Cornell Powell WR from Clemson.  Nick Bolton will be a fantastic addition to the Chiefs front-7 where his run stopping and pure strength based game will be hugely helpful for KC.  Creed Humphrey will fill the center role likely between Thuney and Kyle Long, where he can learn from both while starting at this rate.  Finally Cornell Powell, who while being a relatively raw prospect could take over as WR2 in a year or two time.

Conclusion

Overall, factoring in divisions and offseason moves, the Chiefs should have the better shot to make the Super Bowl again next season.  Despite the Buccaneers retaining their starters, the Chiefs have new weapons to work with and hypothetically what should be an easier division depending upon how the Saints, Panthers, and Chargers all perform.

Why Tampa Bay and Kansas City won the offseason

Chiefs and Buccaneers won the offseason

By: Andy Davies

“Who has won the offseason?”. This is an age-old question that is often asked after free agency and the draft.

Teams are often said to have won free agency or won the draft, therefore being held the ‘Offseason Champions’. This rarely translates to success on the field. In truth, no one knows when a player is drafted or signed in Free Agency how they will perform for their new team.

Two teams that in my opinion, that won the offseason, are the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and here is why.

Addressing The Areas Of Need In Kansas City

The Chiefs lost 31-9 to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl 55 just over three months ago and there was one clear issue that needed to be addressed, the offensive line.

Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwarz were the two notable absentees in the o-line as the replacements failed to protect the former MVP and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

This limited the Chiefs to just three field goals all game, despite possessing the most exciting offense in the league.

Kansas City made the moves in the offseason to address this glaring need. There was a questionable start when both Fisher and Schwartz, who were missed in the Super Bowl, were released.

However, Joe Thuney walked through the door after five seasons and two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots. Kyle Long also joined in free agency via the Chicago Bears before the Chiefs traded for Baltimore Ravens lineman Orlando Brown.

People would have not been blamed for thinking the Chiefs had acquired all the offensive lineman they needed. Instead, the Chiefs continued to acquire offensive line help through the draft.

Oklahoma centre Creed Humphrey was acquired with the 63rd overall pick, as was Tennessee guard Trey Smith in the sixth round.

During the entire three seasons in college with the Sooners, Humphrey allowed 0 sacks and just 28 quarterback pressures from 1,297 passing-blocking snaps.

Linebacker has also been a position that has been an understated need and the Chiefs went out and took Missouri linebacker Nick Boulton with the 58th overall pick.

Clemson wide receiver Cornell Powell was also taken to replace the departing Sammy Watkins, who left for the Baltimore Ravens in Free Agency.

The Chiefs have done exactly what any team should do, and what the great teams always do. They have gone out and efficiently acquired help for positions of needs.

Familiar Faces In Tampa Bay

In the salary cap era, Super Bowl-winning teams often have issues bringing players back.

Tampa Bay have brought all of their starters back in their attempts to ‘Go For Two’.

This in itself is a reason why the Buccaneers have won the offseason. They have players coming back who showed they know the system well by winning the NFL’s greatest prize in February.

Quarterback Tom Brady is likely to have one or two years left in him at the very minimum. Having offensive weapons such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown available will allow Tampa Bay to once again go far in the postseason.

Defensive studs such as Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David were two of the starters to come back. Along with Jason Pierre-Paul, the Buccaneers can keep one of the best defensive units in the NFL.

Tampa Bay have added depth to their roster, with Washington linebacker Joe Tyron being drafted 32nd overall. Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask was taken in the second round. He will be a backup for at least two or three seasons and who better to learn from than the greatest quarterback of all time?

Notre Dame offensive tackle Robert Hainsey, Auburn linebacker K.J. Britt, BYU cornerback Chris Wilcox and Houston linebacker Grant Stuard were also some of the players taken the draft.

These players were taken along with North Texas wide receiver Jaelon Darden, who could prove to be a sleeper pick after recording two double-digit touchdown college seasons and 1,926 receiving yards across 2019 and 2020.

Both the Chiefs and Buccaneers have both set themselves for success and with their decisions so far this offseason, it would not be a shock if they were to both be back for a Super Bowl rematch in February.

Tom Brady’s top three teammates of all time

Randy Moss is not Tom Brady’s best teammate of all time

By Calvin K (Twitter: @Calvin_SGF)

Tom Brady will begin his 22nd career NFL season this September, and his list of accolades has grown so enormous that there’s now no debate over who’s the greatest of all time. Brady has won seven Super Bowls and appeared in ten, while winning a whopping 264 out of 344 starts in his career. An entire article could be written solely summarizing Brady’s accomplishments, but by now, every football fan knows how great he is.

A more interesting discussion than a list of Brady’s achievements would be a look back at his teammates. Brady has played on some good teams, some very good teams, and some great teams, and he has undoubtedly been helped by various superstars whom he played alongside. There are a lot of greats who he’s played with, but this article will attempt to narrow down the top three of all time. The rankings are below.

#3. Wes Welker (WR)

#3 was probably the hardest spot to narrow down, as guys like Richard Seymour, Matt Light, and Tedy Bruschi can also make a case to be there. However, Welker’s dominance is an everlasting memory from the heyday of great Patriots receivers.

Welker joined the Patriots in 2007, where he proceeded to rack up 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns over six seasons. Welker was a consistent threat for Brady out of the slot, and his years of dominance overlapped into both Randy Moss’ last years and Julian Edelman’s first.

The main argument against having Welker here is his lack of a Super Bowl win with Brady. However, despite that, Welker is still remembered as a prime Patriots WR, and mentioning his name instantly conjures up memories of the glory days. The name value for Welker is partly what helps his status in greatness, but that should not be overlooked, as those six years were about as dominant as a WR has ever been in the slot.

#2. Randy Moss

The fact that Moss only played 52 games as a Patriot certainly hurts his status, but as an all-time top-five receiver, he deserves to be this high. Moss made his hay in Minnesota, beginning his career with six straight 1,000 yard seasons, a record that stood until 2020, when he was surpassed by Mike Evans.

Moss was also a part of probably the most dominant New England team ever. His first season as a Patriot (2007) was one where New England went 16-0 in the regular season, coming up one win shy of a Super Bowl with a crushing loss to the New York Giants. Moss was a big factor in that Super Bowl run, catching 98 passes for 1,493 yards during the regular season.

Surprisingly, Moss wasn’t much of a factor in that year’s playoffs, catching just seven passes in the entire postseason, with five coming in the Super Bowl. However, his impact on the Patriots cannot be ignored. Moss is definitely the most talented player on this list, but his impact on the Patriots ranks third, meaning that one player slots ahead of him in Patriots lore.

#1. Rob Gronkowski

Gronk was a huge factor for New England during the second half of Brady’s career, and he was also crucial to Brady’s Super Bowl run with Tampa Bay last year. His ability to be a consistent vertical threat revolutionized the tight end position, and he’s probably the most talented tight end to ever play.

In 131 career games, Gronk has racked up almost 8,500 yards. As mentioned, however, he isn’t just some possession tight end, he averaged a whopping 15 yards per catch in his career. He has definitely struggled with injuries, missing 29 games in his career and leaving early in others. However, when he’s been on the field, he’s been fantastic.

Gronk has also had the benefit of appearing in many Super Bowls. Him and Brady have been to six together, winning four, which just shows how great he’s been. He has had major success in two-tight-end sets with Aaron Hernandez, but when it was just him, Gronk has shown that he can make plays anyway. His career has been marvelous, and his Super Bowl victories combined with a consistently high level of play make him the most legendary Patriot not named Tom Brady.

3 WIN NOW Trades For Buccaneers: OBJ Tops The List

Will The Buccaneers Land Beckham Jr?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are arguably the most invested “win now” NFL team in the league.

It was clear with the move to acquire six, seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady last offseason. Bruce Arians followed up the addition of Brady with a trade for his pal, Rob Gronkowski. After Gronk came Leonard Fournette… then to cap it off, former Patriot Antonio Brown became a Buccaneer.

In the midst of the 2021 offseason, there may be different weapons for TB12 headed into the new 2021 season, but the Lombardi aspirations will be the same. So, who could join the Tompa Bay arsenal? Let’s get into the details.

Odell Beckham Jr.

Reports have surfaced of Tom Brady being interested in obtaining Beckham Jr. from the Browns. According to Adam Shefter, it would still be challenging for the Buccaneers to acquire the Browns gifted WR.

We’ve seen Rodgers Brady often get his wishes of player additions. Gronk was acquired in a trade from New England, while it was well known that Brady wanted AB for quite some time — which resulted in signing AB.

If the Browns were to trade for OBJ, there would be a nail in the coffin for AB returning. If the team wanted to keep Chris Godwin (who could be better), they would likely have to lose a key defender from returning. Coach Arians will have to decide if it’s worth adding a player like OBJ but losing Lavonte David or Shaq Barrett.

The Buccaneers defensive front was key in shutting down Patrick Mahomes and unraveling one of his career low performances. Mahomes ousted a 52.3 passer rating, averaged 5.5 YPC, and was sacked three times.

Stephon Gilmore

It may be an unlikely look for Bill Belichick to trade Stephon Gilmore to the Brady bunch after they won the Super Bowl, but it would be the perfect fit. It’s almost a guarantee that Belichick sends Gilmore out of Massachusetts.

The former DPOY could help the Buccaneers where one of the few weak links lies: cornerback. When the 2020 playoffs Buccaneers defense didn’t play lights out and Devin White didn’t look like the best LB in the league, their secondary often got exposed. In particular, the annual NFC South foes got the best of the Bucs secondary.

The Saints swept the Buccaneers in the regular season at the expense of the Saints passing game crippling the Bucs young cornerbacks. And the Falcons nearly edged out the Bucs in the second matchup, but their own secondary fell harder.

If the Bucs had to give up a player in the front seven to obtain Gilmore, it may be worth it more for Gilmore — opposed for a risky WR.

Michael Gallup

If the Buccaneers very well look to load up on weapons and if OBJ isn’t in play, they should strongly consider Michael Gallup. There’s been a lot of buzz around the Dallas Cowboys shopping Gallup, or Jaylon Smith. Even if Prescott has agreed to a contract extension, they are very tight against the cap amid a team that’s looking to rebuild on defense.

Gallup is only 25 years old and his last two seasons exceed the production of Beckham Jr. Not only has Gallup been more electric than the Browns wideout, but Gallup comes at a much better price than OBJ.

Gallup still has a year left on his rookie deal, while OBJ is under contract until 2023 — from his five year, 90 million dollar deal in 2019. If the OBJ experiment doesn’t work in Tampa, they have to deal with a financial mess. And if Gallup doesn’t blow the roof off defenses, they can just let him hit free agency next offseason.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑