COURTESY OF THE BUCCANEERS
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked many NFL fans as they finished the long and grueling season with a 9-7 record under first-year Head Coach Dirk Koetter.
Koetter and star quarterback Jameis Winston led the up and coming squad to their first winning record since the 2010 season.
Now, with the Bucs just missing the playoffs, their offseason starts and all eyes shift to the cur-rent roster, free agency, and NFL Draft.
Koetter came out and said “We need to add more speed and guys that can make explosive plays. You know, our run after the catch is not where it needs to be.”
The current roster is strong and will most likely remain the same with just a couple of new faces.
Three other members of the current roster that stood out this year are Mike Evans, William Gholston, and Chris Conte.
Evans will be entering a contract year and is expected to receive that big paycheck from the Buccaneers, especially after becoming the fourth player in NFL history with 1,000 plus receiving yards in each of his first three seasons.
The Buccaneers will most likely exercise Evan’s fifth-year option and then extend him.
Gholston is the best run stopper on the defensive line and he brings versatility by also playing defensive tackle.
Chris Conte has also improved as a safety with 69 combined tackles and 2 interceptions.
Doug Martin received a lot of heat from the Buccaneer fan base after he received a new deal and averaged 2.9 yards per carrying, which is a career low.
He also received a four-week suspension at the end of the regular season.
According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Martin’s contract could be voided to allow the team to save some money. General manager Jason Licht pitched in on the topic by saying “our primary concern is that Martin takes this time to focus on getting the help that he needs in order to move forward with his personal and professional life.”
A potential free agent the Bucs may try to acquire based on their needs is a wide receiver, Robert Woods. Woods is a steady receiver that has put up solid numbers without a proven NFL quarterback throwing him the rock. His production will increase with Winston throwing the football to him and Evans.
After considering what the Bucs could do with their current roster and potential free agency moves, the NFL Draft is up next.
In the first round, the Buccaneers hold the 19th pick. With their first round pick, many fans want a running back.
On Day Two, expect the Bucs to address the offensive line and defensive line. Also, the offensive line was a big concern and ranked one of the worst (23rd), according to Pro Football Focus.
In the third round, the Bucs may attack the defensive tackle area. In subsequent rounds, the Buccaneers could add another wide receiver, safety, running back, linebacker or a veteran quarterback.
All in all, the Bucs should be better in 2017.