Help may be on the way for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even though the team is just a few weeks removed from their blowout Super Bowl victory. During an interview on the DNVR Three Ring Circus podcast, NFL Network’s James Palmer discussed the advantage the Buccaneers are expected to have in free agency thanks to the presence of Tom Brady combined with a shrinking salary cap.
“There’s people around the league that I talk to that think there’s going to be some super teams attempted to be put together for one year because of this style of where the cap is,” Palmer explained. “Guys are going to take less money and go play with Tom Brady in Tampa for one season and then we get back on track and then they’re going to ask for their regular money [after the 2021 season].”
The salary cap is projected to drop next season as a result of the loss of revenue with few fans being allowed in attendance for NFL games in 2020. This is expected to work in the Buccaneers’ favor potentially in two ways.
Opposing teams will have less cap space to outbid Tampa for their own free agents. As Palmer alluded to, other free agents may not find the lucrative contract offers they were expecting pushing them towards playing with Brady in Tampa since they are likely going to have to settle for less money regardless of where they sign.
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The Bucs Are Aiming to Keep ‘5 or 6’ of Their Key Free Agents
Tampa Bay is going to find it challenging to keep the majority of their own free agents. Key Bucs players expected to hit the free-agent market include Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians indicated the team has a goal of retaining “five or six” of these key players but did not specify where Tampa would direct their resources.
“For us right now, it’s just keeping this team together,” Arians explained to WDAE radio, per JoeBucsFan.com. “And that’s probably going to eat up most of the salary cap if we can just keep or five or six guys that we want to keep on this football team, and keep the closeness and the accountability factor that we have in the locker room.”
Technically, the Buccaneers already have a “super team” just by retaining the majority of their roster with players like Gronkowski, Brown and Fournette joining the Bucs for less money than they have made elsewhere. The question is whether the Bucs will be able to add to this list by finding veteran players willing to play for less in an attempt to win a Super Bowl.
Brady ‘Loved This Team So Much,’ Says Insider
It will be worth watching the role Brady plays in free agency as a recruiter. We saw last season the Bucs were able to add Fournette and Brown largely based on Brady’s presence. We can expect Brady to speak highly about his experience playing in Tampa when he connects with free agents. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported Brady has told those around him that he “loved this team so much.”
“I know people do joke, all of us joke, about the fact that Brady has a lot of the say, but he loves what [general manager Jason Licht] did last year and thinks if they can bring this band back together that they’ll be even better coming into this season,” Darlington explained on SportsCenter, via Bleacher Report. “He told people around him that he just loved this team so much.”