The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Wild Card Round. Of course, that ended the Buccaneers’ 2022-23 season. Looking ahead, though free agency is still a month away, they’ve likely already begun compiling their list of potential targets. This team simply needs a lot of depth and extra support on both sides of the ball. Here’s a look at five good, crafty NFL free agents the Buccaneers should consider signing in the 2023 offseason.
Although the Buccaneers advanced to the playoffs, this was not the type of season they expected for a team led by Tom Brady. The Bucs only qualified for the playoffs because the NFC South as a whole put in a lackluster performance. Keep in mind that Tampa Bay finished with a paltry 8-9 win-loss record. In fact, coach Todd Bowles stated that the team would resupply and not rebuild going into this summer with many unanswered questions. In light of this, re-signing some players and going after some key free agents would significantly alter the team’s preparations for the 2023-24 NFL season.
Let’s look at five good, crafty free agents the Buccaneers should sign this offseason. We have a couple of recontractors and a few others from other teams.
5. L.B. Lavonte David
If the Buccaneers are really focused on winning another Super Bowl, they should certainly plan to re-sign Lavonte David. Keep in mind that this free agent linebacker has been with the team since he was drafted in 2012. With 166 games played and nearly 1,350 total tackles, David has been a cornerstone of the Bucs’ defense and has received numerous accolades. These include a Pro Bowl selection and being named First Team All-Pro once and Second Team All-Pro twice. A key factor in the Bucs’ recent defensive success has been the duo of David and Devin White. By keeping these two star players together, the Bucs can ease concerns about the linebacker position heading into the 2023 NFL Draft and next season.
4.CB Jamel Dean
Keep in mind that the Buccaneers actually boasted a top-10 passing defense in 2022. In fact, they allowed just 203.6 passing yards per game. That was due in large part to standout performances from cornerbacks Carlton Davis III and Jamel Dean. While Davis remains with the team, Dean is a pending free agent after two years as a backup and one year as a starter. He recalls that he has 110 total tackles, four interceptions and 17 passes defensed. If the Buccaneers lose both Dean and Logan Ryan in free agency, the cornerback position would become a major question mark. However, re-signing Dean would eliminate this concern and preserve his strong secondary.
3. G Isaac Seumalo
To improve their offensive line, the Buccaneers should consider signing guard Isaac Seumalo. He is a high-quality starter who has played left and right guard and received praise for his football IQ. Despite dealing with injuries in recent seasons, Seumalo had a breakout year and was part of one of the Eagles’ best offensive lines. His versatility, which includes taking plays at tight end, tackle, guard and center, means he can easily slot into the Bucs’ line. Also, at 29 years old, he aligns with his timeline. With projected deals ranging from a two-year deal, just north of $24 million, to a three-year, $33 million deal, he, too, is a potentially reasonable and valuable investment for the team.
2.QB Jacoby Brissett
Last season, underrated quarterback Jacoby Brissett signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. He impressively carried the team through the end of Deshaun Watson’s 11-game suspension and even outdid him later in the year. Brissett has played well in his last two games against the Todd Bowles defense, including an overtime win over the Buccaneers in 2021. This could factor into Tampa Bay’s decision making. While Brissett may not excite fans, he does offer efficient play and ample early experience at an affordable price. Those are three qualities the Bucs are likely to look for in their search for a quarterback. Now, Brissett doesn’t necessarily have to be the starter, either. We all know from what happened to the San Francisco 49ers last season how important it is to have quality QB backups. Brissett could be that guy, and he can compete for the starting job alongside…
Jimmy Garoppolo hits Brandon Aiyuk in the end zone for his second TD of the night!
Throwback 2022 Week 11 MNF 49ers @ Estadio Azteca Mexico Cardinals pic.twitter.com/Xl592ttVNd
— 49ers throwback ❤💛 (@49ers_Throwback) February 9, 2023
1.QB Jimmy Garoppolo
The Buccaneers have been linked to a number of quarterbacks like Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield and Aaron Rodgers. However, reports suggest that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is also heavily involved. Garoppolo, who turns 32 in November, could offer stability to the Bucs’ quarterback position and complement his offensive weapons with a passing rush attack. If the Bucs can agree to a reasonable contract, Garoppolo could be the new starter on a team that could compete for their division. While Garoppolo may lower the team’s ceiling overall, the Bucs could still be competitive as they try to thrive in a post-Brady timeline.