Since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t add a big-time wide receiver in the NFL Draft, the team could still find a Pro Bowl-caliber player in free agency such as Jarvis Landry.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano said in March that he’s watching the Bucs as one of the potential suitors for Landry. The Bucs have an urgent need for a third wide receiver with Chris Godwin recovering from an ACL tear.
Landry, a five-time Pro Bowler, caught 52 passes for 570 yards and two touchdowns last season in 12 games for Cleveland. The Browns released Landry in March to clear $15 million in salary cap space.
Nicknamed “Juice”, Landry dropped a tweet, “I don’t see what the hype about” during the draft on April 29 but didn’t follow up. It left fans guessing about the receiver’s next step.
Teams interested in Landry include the Baltimore Ravens and Bucs rival New Orleans, which is Landry’s hometown team. Landry coming to Tampa Bay will hinge on finding a deal for him with slim salary cap space.
The Bucs have $12.9 million in salary cap, per Spot Trac, with draft picks and potentially more veterans to re-sign such as Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh. Landry could call for a big contract again as Spot Trac projects him at $12 million annually.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht has worked around the cap before with voidable years, and options for clearing cap space aren’t exhausted. For instance, the Bucs could clear $2.9 million by releasing punter Bradley Pinion after drafting Georgia punter Jake Camarda.
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Bucs Receiver Drop-off After Mike Evans & Russell Gage
Going into possibly the final year with quarterback Tom Brady, the Bucs don’t have a consistent receiver for him to throw to after Mike Evans and Russell Gage until Godwin gets healthy.
Breshad Perriman, who re-signed with the team this offseason, had one electrifying game-winning touchdown last season but little production outside of that. Cyril Grayson Jr. similarly caught two big touchdowns in 2021 but produced very little beyond that. Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller, Jaleon Darden didn’t score any touchdowns last year.
Miller produced as a deep ball threat in 2020, but his production dropped off in 2021 amid injury. Johnson caught more passes and gained more yards in 2021 than he did as a rookie, but he found the end zone twice in 2020 and couldn’t last season. Darden played sparingly at receiver while he returned kicks, but his big playmaking abilities didn’t translate from college to the pros as a rookie in 2021.
Bucs Added Receivers as Undrafted Free Agents
Tampa Bay at least added competition to the receiver room with the signing of undrafted wide receivers following the draft on April 28-30.
Kaylon Geiger, who caught 184 passes for 2,158 yards and nine touchdowns at Texas Tech. However, Geiger doesn’t have a prototypical NFL receiver frame at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds.
Jerreth Sterns produced Western Kentucky with 150 catches for 1,902 yards and 17 touchdowns. Size again is the question for Sterns at 5-foot-9, 183 pounds.
Former Utah State wideout Deven Thompkins had 171 catches for 2,519 yards and 15 touchdowns with the Aggies. Thompkins also has a small frame at 5-foot-8, 160 pounds.
Besides the undrafted free agent signees, the Bucs offered tryout for former Coastal Carolina receiver Kameron Brown, 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds. Brown caught 56 passes for 911 yards and eight touchdowns with the Chanticleers.
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