By Joshua Foster-Storch
Usually after winning a Super Bowl, the winning team usually loses a few of their big name players prior to the start of the following season. That is not the case whatsoever with this Bucs team this year. In a follow up to the piece I wrote about what the Bucs would do in Free Agency, I now have to eat my words a little bit as they have signed almost all of their big name free agents. Godwin, Barrett, David, even Gronk have all made their ways back to Tampa this offseason and expect an extension with WR Antonio Brown and potentially RB Leonard Fournette in the near future.
The real hero for Tampa once is Tom Brady. Heading into the offseason, the Bucs had about $14 million in cap space and it was looking like they would struggle to re-sign any of their free agents. As he has done for his entire career, Brady helped out his team. Last week on March 13th, Brady signed a one year extension with the Bucs and freed up more than $10 million in cap space for the team. Brady has been the Bucs franchise ever since he got here and he showed once again why that is. With that money, they extended TE Rob Gronkowski and EDGE rusher Shaquil Barrett and the Bucs were able to keep their core intact.
Now the question on the minds of Bucs fans everywhere is; can they run it back and win another title? Answer: maybe? While optimism is very high after all of the players they were able to keep, it is still too early for people to be lining the Hillsborough River for another victory parade. While we are on the subject though, why don’t we take a look at who the Bucs will be playing in 2021
*If the NFL adds a 17th game, they will be also playing the Indianapolis Colts
The Bucs get a few very nice breaks in their schedule, getting to play the dreadful NFC East and the rebuilding Panthers, Jets and Bears a total of four times. Their division is about to get a whole lot easier now that the New Orleans Saints are also heading for a reboot in 2021 post-Drew Brees. The Bucs schedule is looking really favorable for them for the most part. They should be opening as favorites to win the division and I personally think that they will not only win their division with relative ease, but also make another convincing Super Bowl run. Tom Brady did not even get an offseason nor a preseason with his teammates. And with most of those teammates coming back for 2021, expect Brady to be in MVP conversation with those incredible receivers he always wanted in New England.
Prediction: Bucs open as perennial favorites and do not disappoint, as they win between 12 and 14 games and make a heavy push for another Super Bowl Title.