Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won free agency and the offseason, it’s not even close at this point. (Chris O’Meara/Associated Press)

Matthew 14:13-21, that’s the bible verse where Jesus feeds five thousand people with only two fish and five loaves of bread. That’s what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did in free agency, it was an absolute clinic, and is incredibly impressive. They’re the unquestioned winners of free agency, it isn’t even close.

How It Started

The Buccaneers entered the offseason with multiple key players in their Super Bowl run set to become free agents. ILB Lavonte David, EDGE Shaq Barrett, WR Chris Godwin, IDL Ndamukong Suh, TE Rob Gronkowski, and WR Antonio Brown were all set to be free agents. Almost everyone was saying that there’s no chance they keep the core together, and that was a logical thought. The Buccanneers just didn’t have enough cap space, or so we thought.

Salary Cap Manipulation

They re-signed all of them except for Antonio Brown, who was the surplus requirement and reports indicate that he’s been offered and contract and just hasn’t signed it. The use of voidable years, which has spiked this year because of a falling salary cap, helped this effort. They also extended Tom Brady, who has the most post-season wins in team history. Oh, by the way, he’s only been there for one season. What Jason Licht has done is incredible, and it deserves a lot more attention than what it’s currently getting.

Where Do They Go Now?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a beautiful position in the draft. They can just take the best player available, or draft for future years along the offensive line or even on their defensive front, Suh and JPP aren’t getting any younger. The best case would be to trade back in the draft and collect more picks that they could turn into gold. They could get a quality wide receiver in the second or third round to replace Antonio Brown, they don’t need him. Scotty Miller is a speedster, he could replace Brown and I don’t think anyone would complain at all. I was in on Scotty Miller back in August, he’s got speed and he’ll hurt you if you underestimate him (Kevin King and Packers fans, how ya feeling?)

Don’t confuse this clinic for what some people are calling a clinic in New England. This is how you handle the offseason, you keep your good players and don’t overpay. The clinic in New England is a one of desperation, that’s it.

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