WHAT'S NEXT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

WHAT'S NEXT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers head into a tumultuous offseason, current estimated to hold the worst cap situation (-$55M) in all of football, due in large part to the voiding contract and uncertainty of QB Tom Brady. We’ll dive into each position group, breaking down contract statuses, potential restructures, extensions, cuts, & more.


The Quarterback Room

It’s Complicated

Instead of predicting what might happen with Tom Brady, we’ll just quickly lay out a few possibilities - because they offer varying results for Tampa Bay financially speaking.

Worst Case Scenario: Brady signs with a new team this March. Not only does this leave the Bucs without a viable QB1 (barring a Carr trade), but it also means his previous contract has officially voided, leaving the full $35.1M of dead cap on their 2023 books. For now, this feels like the most likely scenario.

Best Case Scenario: Brady agrees to a 1 year, $1.165M extension that stops his current contract from automatically voiding. The two sides agree to keep his $11.9M cap hit on the books through June 1st, after which he can officially process his retirement. The move splits his dead cap up into $10.776M for 2023, $24.3M for 2024. 

Potentially Bester Case Scenario: Brady re-signs with the Bucs, assumedly to another 1 year $30M contract, that also includes a $30M “option” for 2024. It’s a minimum base salary with an offsetting roster bonus (treated as a signing bonus, but protects Brady from having to pay it back in any instance). This drops his 2023 cap hit from $35.1M to $17.7M.

After 2023, the Bucs can go a number of ways with the contract, but assuming he retires, they can drop the $30M salary down to a minimum $1.21M, carry his $17.7M cap hit through June 1st, then process his retirement as a Post 6/1 move. This splits up his dead cap into $16.5M for 2024, $30.8M for 2025.

Elsewhere, backup QB Blaine Gabbert is also a pending free agent, while 2021 2nd rounder Kyle Trask enters Year 3 of his rookie contract.

The Running Back Room

Another White/Fournette Split Season

$2M of Leonard Fournette’s 2023 salary is already fully guaranteed. Another $2M locks in March 19th, which should mean his roster spot is secured. A full base salary conversion + void years can free up $4.3M of space for the Bucs. If the Bucs can find a buyer on an essential 1 year, $7M deal for Fournette, they can open up $5.4M of space by trading him, but that seems unlikely.

2022 3rd rounder Rachaad White enters Year 2 of his rookie deal, set to earn a non-guaranteed $938k next season. He caught 50 passes in 2022 and is a fringe breakout candidate heading into the offseason (especially if Fournette is moved). 2020 3rd rounder Ke'Shawn Vaughn enters a contract year, set to earn a non-guaranteed $1.2M. He saw 21 snaps last season and should be considered a cut candidate for now ($1.2M to be saved).

The Wide Receiver Room

Extending or Ending the Evans Tenure

29-year-old Mike Evans enters a contract year in Tampa, set to earn $14.5M on a $23.6M cap hit. He posted another strong campaign in 2022 but reeled in only 6 TDs, a 6 year low. There’s a world where the Bucs field trade calls for their long-time WR1, though doing so early in the offseason would only free up $2.3M of cap space. A strong haul of draft picks still might make it worth their time. Contractually, Evans projects to a 4 year, $92M extension in our system.

Chris Godwin enters Year 2 of his 3 year, $60M deal, set to earn $20M on a $23.75M cap hit next season. Tampa can free up $15.1M of space with a base salary conversion + void years.

$5M of Russell Gage’s $10M salary for 2023 is already fully guaranteed. The 27 year old continues to recover from a scary neck/head injury in the Wild Card round game against Dallas, but should be back in the fold this offseason. Tampa can free up $7.1M of cap with a base salary conversion + void years.

Julio Jones, Breshad Perriman, & Scotty Miller are all slated for unrestricted free agency this March, with the former leaving behind a $3.4M dead cap hit per voidable years.

The Tight End Room

Young & Cheap

2022 4th rounder Cade Otton jumped to the top of the depth chart in his inaugural campaign, finishing 2022 with 42 catches, 2 of them scores. With 3 years, $2.95M non-guaranteed left on his rookie deal, the Bucs are hoping for strong value out of this relationship for a few more seasons.

Cameron Brate has been a bubble player each of the past 3 offseasons, opting to restructure or take a pay cut in order to remain in the fold. Moving on from him this March only frees up $2M of space, but the Bucs need every dollar they can ascertain right now.

2022 6th rounder Ko Kieft will compete for the TE2 spot, while vet Kyle Rudolph is off to free agency again.

The Offensive Line

Get Healthy Get Right

Left Tackle Donovan Smith missed 4 games in 2022 - an unfortunate theme for the Bucs last season. He enters a contract year in 2023, set to earn $15.25M on a $17.9M cap hit. If Tampa trusts him to settle back into 2021 form, a restructured contract extension makes sense for both sides. The 29 year old carries a $19.5M valuation in our system.


Left Guard remains a bit of a mystery for the Bucs, as 2022 2nd rounder Luke Goedeke was drafted to slot immediately into the role, but failed to maintain it. UDFA Nick Leverett took the reins and held the spot until the injury bug hit him too. It’s a major area of need going forward.

Ryan Jensen missed the entire regular season with a nasty knee injury, starting the domino effect of Bucs’ injury woes. $9M of his 2023 compensation is already fully guaranteed, and another $3.5M locks in March 19th.

Right Guard Shaq Mason enters a contract year in 2023, set to earn $8.5M on a $9.5M cap hit. Mason struggled to help the run game last season, but held his own as a pass blocker. There’s $5.2M of cap to be freed up by moving on, but the Bucs may opt to restructure and keep him in the mix through 2023.

Right Tackle Tristan Wirfs is the obvious bright star of this group, posting outstanding numbers across the board as he becomes extension eligible for the first time. The 24-year-old projects to a 5 year, $116M deal in our system, but may have to wait a year for his payday. 

The Defensive Line

Vita & Crickets

In Vita Vea enters Year 3 of a 6 year $81M deal, set to earn $13M on a $15.6M cap hit in 2023. His $12.5M salary is already fully guaranteed for the upcoming season, and $9.1M of his cap hit can be freed up with a salary conversion.

On the outside, 2022 2nd rounder Logan Hall enters Year 2 of his rookie deal, while Akiem Hicks, William Gholston, Pat O'Connor, & Rakeem Nunez-Roches are all pending free agents.

The Linebackers

The Future of Devin White

30-year-old Shaquil Barrett enters Year 3 of a 4 year, $68M deal, and while none of his $15M to be earned is guaranteed, $23.1M of dead cap set against it likely keeps him in the fold. He’s recovering from a torn achilles and should be a full go come the 2023 season.

2021 1st rounder Joe Tryon enters Year 3 of his rookie deal, coming off of another 4 sack season for the Bucs. He’s under contract through 2025 including his 5th year option.

On the inside, Devin White enters his fully guaranteed 5th year option season, set to earn $11.7M in 2023. He remained productive in 2022, posting 5.5 sacks, 124 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, but his coverage numbers and side to side analytics continue to grade out poorly. There may be a team that views White as a near top of the market $17M+ player, but I’m not sure the Bucs are that team. With that said, Tampa Bay can restructure his $11.7M salary with 4 void years, freeing up $9.3M this season. Vet Lavonte David is slated for free agency this March.

The Secondary


LCB Jamel Dean is slated for free agency, valuing toward a 3 year, $350M contract in our system, while his counterpart Carlton Davis enters Year 2 of his 3 year, $44.5M deal, set to earn $15M for the upcoming season, $14.5M of which will be fully guaranteed by March 19th. $10.7M of cap space can be opened up by converting that $14.5M into bonus.

2022 5th rounder Zyon McCollum might be asked to step into Dean’s departing role, as  Sean Bunting is also a pending free agent.

Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. enters a contract year in 2023, projected to earn near $3M with a performance bonus built into his salary. Marcus Williams’ 5 year, $70M deal in Baltimore is a strong comp for Winfield’s next payday. Mike Edwards, Logan Ryan, & Keanu Neal making the secondary a serious priority this March & April.

The Special Teamers

Bubble Kicker

K Ryan Succop enters a contract year in 2023, set to carry a  $4.5M cap hit. Having missed almost 20% of his field goals last season, the Bucs could opt for the $3.75M of cap space to be freed up here.

2022 4th round punter Jake Camarda enters Year 2 of his rookie deal, while veteran LS Zach Triner enters a contract year on a minimum $1M salary.