Can Tampa Bay run it back? This is a question that will dominate the offseason.
No team has managed the achievement since the New England Patriots’ 2003 and 2004 seasons, when they had current Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady as their starting QB. With Brady due to begin his second season with the Buccaneers, can Tampa Bay run it back?
WELCOMING BACK TOP PLAYERS
Free agency threatened to take away many of the players that guided Tampa Bay to their Super Bowl win last month.
Tampa Bay have franchise tagged Chris Godwin and have also extended the contracts of Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David. Losing any of these three players would have left a massive hole in the Buccaneers roster. Instead, they can all play their part in helping Tampa run it back.
Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown all scored touchdowns in the 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at the Raymond James Stadium. So far only Gronk has resigned, but it is widely expected that the Buccaneers will find a way to bring both individuals back.
RESTRUCTURING BRADY’S CONTRACT
Brady was also someone who had a contract extension this offseason, despite signing a two-year contract last offseason. It has been reported by ESPN that Brady’s new deal has saved Tampa Bay $19 million against the salary cap.
A move such as this has helped Tampa Bay to keep their star players.
Brady has never been paid the same amount of money as his fellow quarterbacks, despite being the ‘GOAT’. In New England, he often sacrificed his paycheck for the benefit of the team. He is doing the same in Tampa Bay, which will go a long way in helping Tampa Bay run it back.Embed from Getty Images
THE STRENGTH OF THIS TEAM
The aforementioned players brought back by Tampa Bay are just some of what is a roster with a plethora of talent.
Antoine Winfield Jr and Tristan Wirfs both had impressive rookie seasons. If Brady is not throwing to Godwin or Gronk, he has the options of wide receivers Mike Evans and Scotty Miller as well as backup tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard.
Tampa Bay also have Ronald Jones on the ground alongside Fournette provided the former Jacksonville Jaguars running back returns to the team.
Defense was where the Buccaneers excelled, particularly in the postseason. The aforementioned David and Barrett form a formidable 3-4 defensive unit in the linebacker position alongside Devin White and Jason Pierre-Paul, who rolled back the years in 2020.
This roster is led by head coach Bruce Arians, who is seen as one of the most respected head coaches in the NFL. When the Buccaneers won Super Bowl 55, there were plenty of neutrals who were pleased to see Arians finally win a ring.
THE OFFSEASON MOVES OF OTHER NFC TEAMS
The offseason so far has seen plenty of movement across the league. There has been some movement for several NFC contenders.
Teams such as the Washington Football Team, Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals have all made improvements of their own this offseason but there are still limitations to these teams.
A Super Bowl is a 50/50 contest and Tampa Bay proved they can do it against anyone in 2020.