3 burning questions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not been truly relevant in the grand scheme of the NFL landscape since the struggling NFC South franchise won a Super Bowl title all the way back in 2002-03.
It can be argued that the Buccaneers had a little bit of time to shine back in 2015 when Tampa Bay found itself on the clock at No. 1 overall as a result of that year’s NFL Draft.
Failing to reach the postseason as a result of each go-round since the 2007-08 campaign, which resulted in a very brief playoff appearance, the Buccaneers are now fresh off back-to-back 5-11 seasons and must answer a slew of questions this offseason.
3. Can Jameis Winston become the team’s franchise quarterback after all?
With that No. 1 overall pick back in 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers notably selected former Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston, who has not quite panned out as it stands today.
In his four seasons as the team’s starting quarterback, Winston has not only failed to lead the Buccaneers to the postseason, but Tampa Bay has posted just a single winning season under the direction of the former Heisman Trophy winner.
With Winston under contract for the 2019-20 season, the Buccaneers must now make a decision both his future and the team’s this offseason. While the NFC South franchise will likely let Winston play out at least part of the upcoming season before potentially inking him to a long-term deal, this offseason will no doubt be pivotal for the veteran quarterback’s future in Tampa Bay.
It is also worth noting that Winston could find out what his fate is this very offseason.
With the Buccaneers on the clock at No. 5 overall come late April’s 2019 NFL Draft, could Tampa Bay already be eyeing Winston’s replacement under center?
2. Is Bruce Arians the answer at head coach?
Parlayed with such a decision, the Buccaneers notably hired a new head coach this offseason with former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians stepping out of retirement to lead the NFC South franchise.
With the Buccaneers undoubtedly tabbing Arians as Dirk Koetter’s replacement due to the presence of Winston, in addition to his previous successes as a NFL head coach, could the former Cardinals leader actually be the answer in Tampa Bay?
With an entire offseason to properly prepare for the 2019-20 campaign, Arians will be attempting to turn things around in a hurry for the Buccaneers. However, his relationship with both up-and-coming veteran players early on will surely play a major role in who stays and who goes in Tampa Bay.
Not only is Arians responsible for figuring out whether Jameis Winston is the Buccaneers’ quarterback of the future, but the veteran NFL mind must also put together a team that is going to compete against the likes of the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.
1. Who should the Buccaneers select in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft?
Thanks to the team’s dismal 5-11 record in 2018-19, the Buccaneers will be picking at No. 5 overall as a result of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. With only four teams picking ahead of the Buccaneers, the team will have its pick of the litter for the most part.
It is no secret that this year’s draft class is a stellar one, with the first round sure to be scattered with NFL-ready talent. As a result, the Buccaneers must be careful in who the franchise selects as the aforementioned Bruce Arians needs players that can make an immediate impact — whether it is on the offensive or defensive side of the football.
Although this year’s draft class contains a slew of talented defensive players, the Buccaneers may be forced to select the best offensive player on the board upon picking at No. 5.
With just about every skill position currently up for grabs, outside of the franchise’s No. 1 wide receiver spot that of course houses the prolific Mike Evans, perhaps it is time for the Buccaneers to select another quarterback — assuming Jameis Winston doesn’t ultimately pan out.
In addition to the possibilities of Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins at the quarterback position, the Buccaneers could also trade back into the first round en route to acquiring even more draft capital. In doing so, Tampa Bay could garner more than one first round pick in 2019 while still being able to select a starting-caliber player on the offensive side of the football.
Whatever happens, the Buccaneers better hope it all pans out sooner rather than later as another losing season will not bode well for the fan base in Tampa Bay.