As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to reshuffle their roster, a veteran receiver may emerge as one of their targets in the offseason.
According to CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani, New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder should be one the Bucs “prioritize” signing in free agency. Tampa Bay lost slot receiver Antonio Brown following his sideline spat with head coach Bruce Arians towards the end of the 2021 regular season. They could very well lose star wideout Chris Godwin as he enters free agency.
Dajani mentions how Crowder could be a cost-efficient, worthwhile replacement for the two star receivers.
“Tampa Bay lost Antonio Brown and could lose Godwin as well,” Dajani wrote. “The Bucs don’t have the most cap space this offseason, so let’s find an underrated weapon who could make an immediate impact. I’m thinking Jamison Crowder. The slot weapon has led the Jets in receiving in two out of his three seasons in New York, and is a receiver who can help whoever is throwing the football for the Buccaneers in 2022.”
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Bucs Could Use Crowder as Slot Receiver
Crowder has never been an elite receiver, or even a great receiver. However, he’s been a consistent one since he entered the league as a fourth-round draft pick of the Washington Football Team back in 2015.
Across 96 career games and 51 starts for Washington and the New York Jets, Crowder has posted two 800-yard seasons and three 66-plus reception campaigns.
According to Pro Football Focus, Crowder has ranked in the top 40 among all wide receivers in offensive grade in three of the past five seasons. Again, not spectacular. But Crowder is definitely consistent.
Crowder also excels as a slot receiver. His 5-foot-9, 177-pound frame allows him to slither through defenses. Of his 538 offensive snaps in 2021, Crowder lined up in the slot on 411 of those snaps.
Bucs’ Pursuit of Crowder Hinges on Other Decisions
Whether or not the Buccaneers pursue Crowder hinges on how the rest of their current roster shapes up in the meantime. Tampa Bay lost Pro Bowl offensive guard Ali Marpet to retirement on Sunday, February 27. They lost franchise quarterback Tom Brady to retirement earlier in the month.
The Buccaneers also have a plethora of key free agents, which Dajani also stresses.
“The Buccaneers are in a weird spot right now,” says Dajani. “They have one of the best rosters in the NFL save the quarterback position, but also have many important pending free agents. Losing Chris Godwin would be tough, losing Alex Cappa or Ryan Jensen would also be tough. Who they target will depend on who they plan on losing, so let’s focus on the wide receiver position for a moment.”
Bringing Godwin back would allow Crowder to settle nicely into a more comfortable No. 3 role. It becomes even easier for Crowder if the Bucs are able to re-sign Rob Gronkowski, who is still undecided on a return.
However, if the Bucs lose both Godwin and Gronkowski, it doesn’t look like a pretty situation with Mike Evans as the lone threat outside of Crowder in the lineup.
The Buccaneers have many decisions to make, but making sure they re-sign at least one of their major receiving weapons is key if they plan to bring Crowder on board.