The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won just five games this past season and have not made the playoffs since the 2007 campaign, marking the longest active drought in the NFC.
So, as you can expect, a lot of frustration has built up in Tampa over the last decade.
Heading into 2019, there doesn’t appear to be much hope that the Buccaneers can make the playoffs, as they are playing in a tough NFC South division and don’t appear to have the overall talented needed to make a postseason push.
Still, that does not mean improvement is not expected from the Bucs.
So, here are the three Buccaneers players under the most pressure going into 2019.
3. Ndamukong Suh
How far Ndamukong Suh has fallen.
There was a time when Suh was the most dominant defensive force in the league, but here we are in 2019, and he had to settle for a one-year deal with Tampa Bay in free agency because no one else wanted to touch him with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole.
Of course, Suh’s attitude has long been an issue, which is probably a big reason why he was available for so long this offseason, but with the Buccaneers getting rid of Gerald McCoy and with Jason Pierre-Paul out, Suh will actually need to come up big along the defensive line this year.
Does he have that in him at this stage? It remains to be seen, but he was pretty productive during his lone season with the Los Angeles Rams this past year.
2. Ronald Jones
The NFL is generally not a very forgiving league to players who don’t produce right off the bat, meaning that Ronald Jones may be on the hot seat already heading into 2019.
The second-year running back is coming off a nightmarish rookie campaign in which he logged just 44 yards on 23 carries as hamstring issues plagued him throughout the season.
Jones finally appeared healthy this summer, but recently, knee swelling has been giving him problems due to a hyperextension.
The Bucs don’t exactly have a great running game, as Peyton Barber is nothing to write home about, so Jones has a legitimate chance of eventually becoming Tampa Bay’s featured back at some point in 2019.
Or, the Buccaneers could end up moving on from him sooner rather than later.
1. Jameis Winston
This is it for Jameis Winston.
The quarterback is entering his fifth NFL season and has little to nothing to show for it outside of some off-the-field issues and pretending to eat a W.
To be fair, injuries have hindered Winston over the last couple of years, as he missed three games in 2017 and played in just 11 games this past season, but he also has not been very impressive when he has actually been on the field.
On a positive note, Winston’s accuracy has been gradually improving, but he still has a penchant for throwing interceptions, and his consistency leaves much to be desired.
There is little doubt that Winston has big talent, but if he can’t finally put it all together in Year 5, Tampa Bay may be looking for another signal-caller in 2020.