Free Agency was practically a baptism for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With a new coach, new players, and a new mindset, Tampa Bay has been reborn. Here’s how they improved what’s next for the new team.
GM Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith have completely refreshed the team and now that the free agency overhaul is complete, the Bucs are ready to get to work. With the signing of around 20 new players, the team is on it’s way to surefire success.
The offensive line has been completely revamped. They have cut veterans Davin Joseph and Donald Penn and they are in the process of trading center Jeremy Zuttah. The addition of left tackle Anthony Collins will make a big difference, too.
Alterraun Verner will suit up for Darrelle Revis, who has been cut. Verner is a perfect fit for Smith’s offensive style and he doesn’t cost as much. An upgrade to defensive end has been added in Michael Johnson who will pair up nicely with Gerald McCoy to create a threatening pass rush.
So, what was the driving force behind all of this success during free agency? It all started with the firing of former head coach Greg Schiano. Once Schiano was gone and Smith was in, the Bucs hit the ground running.
For Tampa Bay, two players made notable departures during this free agency period. CB Darrelle Revis is no longer a Buccaneer and neither is WR Mike Williams. Both cuts were a bit controversial but it’s something that needed to be done for the team to progress.
Moving forward, they will need to focus on finding a player to balance Vincent Jackson and figure out the depth of the linebackers in order to properly operate Smith’s new system.
One situation to keep an eye on is the QB competition between Josh McCown and Mike Glennon. It’s not clear if there really is a competition but Glennon has made it clear that he will be fighting for the starting role. It’s more likely for him to end up as the backup to McCown. So, will Smith and Licht draft a quarterback to develop into their future star QB once McCown is too old to play?
That remains the big question in Tampa Bay. But, regardless of what they decide to do in the draft, this free agency period was everything the team needed to move forward in 2014.