Tampa Bay Bucs Should Be On Our Radar

This may be much to do about nothing, but it's possible the salary cap situation the Bucs are in could prove to be of interest to the Lions as they look to make certain changes.

As things sit now the Bucs are $57M over the cap. $35.1M of that is a cap charge for Tom Brady. If Tom Brady re-signs a new contract for the minimum $1.1M and then officially retires after June 1, they can mitigate this year's cap charge by about $23.2M. Will Brady do this? There is a good discussion of this subject written by Mike Florino, and found on Yahoo Sports as a reprint from Pro Football Talk.

If Brady doesn't re-sign the Bucs will need to decide to either scrap other large salary contract players one-way-or-another. A full rebuild might even be on the table. Probably compounding the question of what to do is that the Bucs only have Kyle Trask currently under contract to be their QB. It would seem unlikely that the team would keep their current roster intact without trying to get a much more proven QB to lead the team. However, pursuing another QB would likely cause the cap situation to worsen.

Although the Bucs would seem to have a very good roster, they also have 26 free agents of their own to figure out how to address. Abandoning most of these players would signal the team is likely to begin a rebuild. Even this however still would mean the team would need to clear additional money off the ledger.

Why the Bucs situation should be on every NFL team's radar is based on wondering who on the team might be available. Free agent CB Jamel Dean, just 26, would seem to be an interesting target. Moreover, NT Vita Vea, 27, is a well regarded player that is under a reasonable contract through 2026. Although he is going to be 33 All-Pro LB Lavonte David might garner interest by several teams in the league. Perhaps more of a priority to move and even offer a draft incentive to take him off their books is WR Mike Evans, 29, who has a cap hit of $23.7M in 2023. I've read others suggest that the Bucs might relinquish their first-round draft pick to a team willing to absorb Evans contract, if future draft assets were offered to promote a faster rebuild.

Dean, Vea, Evans, and a first-round draft pick might be a very interesting package to consider. A seasoned CB, top-tier NT, and a star WR limited to a one-year rental might be an intriguing opportunity for the Lions. It's obvious that a CB like Dean would be of interest. Vea might be, or should be, since he's a proven yet still relatively young player to add to our interior line rotation. Evans is a bit more complex, but if DJ Chark's contract would be longer and nearly as expensive the trade off to have a commitment to Evans for just one year, might be worth considering. Of course, getting the 19th overall pick would also be nice to help the team build up its roster even more.

To get this kind of deal done, what would the Lions have to offer? I would imagine that at least two future first-round picks would be the price that would need to be paid - say 2024's and 2025's. Is this too steep a price to position the team closer to the Super Bowl?

Obviously there will be more developments ahead. The Bucs may find another way to keep their winning window open. Or, they may find better offers elsewhere.

I can't help but wonder though if Brad Holmes is on the phone right now.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.