The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are doing their best to keep the gang together from last year’s Super Bowl Championship team. The team announced the signings of Shaq Barrett and Rob Gronkowski to new contracts yesterday.
At the boat parade in February celebrating the Super Bowl win, Bucs coach Bruce Arians looked at Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, and Shaq Barrett and said, “Your ass ain’t going nowhere.”
He was right, as the Buccaneers have signed all three players for the 2021 season.
The Bucs used the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin for 2021. Godwin will make 15.8 million dollars in 2021. The Bucs then went out and re-signed linebacker Lavonte David to a two-year 25 million dollar deal.
Today the Bucs continued the spending frenzy. The team signed linebacker Shaq Barrett to a four-year contract and tight end Rob Gronkowski to a one-year contract.
The key to signing Barrett and Gronkowski was quarterback Tom Brady restructuring his contract giving the Buccaneers 19 million dollars in cap space.
Barrett signed a four-year 72 million dollar deal with 34.5 million guaranteed. Barrett’s contract averages out to 17 million per season with an 18 million dollar signing bonus.
Barrett’s new contract will count 5.6 million against the salary cap for 2021.
Barrett leads the league in quarterback pressures the last two seasons with 111. He is also second in sacks in the NFL the previous two seasons with 27.5.
Buccaneer fans everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief that he will be back in Tampa the next four years.
The Bucs also announced the signing of tight end Rob Gronkowski to a one-year ten million dollar deal. The one-year agreement will count 4.8 million against the cap this season. This was the same deal that Gronkowski also played on in 2020.
Gronkowski had 45 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns last season, but he saved his best performance for the Super Bowl with six catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
Barrett and Gronkowski’s signing today puts the Bucs three to four million dollars under the salary cap.
David, Godwin, Barrett, and Gronkowski represent four of the top five free agents on the Buccaneers who needed to resign to compete for another Super Bowl.
Kicker Ryan Succop is also a free agent and is a player that the Bucs need to resign. Succop had one of the best seasons as a kicker in Buccaneer history. He was above 90 percent in field goal accuracy.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is a free agent. But with 24 unrestricted free agents, the Bucs are sure to lose some players they don’t want to lose.
Running backs Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy will probably not be back. James White may end up in Tampa as Fournette’s replacement.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown is also a free agent, and the Bucs would like to bring him back.
There are some strong rumors that the Bucs may part ways with tight end Cameron Brate. There are bound to be other players not re-signed. Some players will be cut as the Bucs try to clear cap space to continue to work on signing their top free agents.
One area of concern not being discussed is that the Bucs seem to be kicking the can down the road on these contract extensions. The voidable years and the low hit on the cap this year could indicate the Bucs may have salary cap issues down the road.
The Buccaneers are counting on the salary cap going up substantially after the 2021 season. You would hope the Bucs wouldn’t mortgage their future to win this year and then handcuff the franchise financially in the future.