The Bucs lost 30-27 to the Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs on Sunday, ending their season. Tampa Bay has a long list of players that will be free agents in 2022. While last season they were miraculously able to bring back all of their key starters and role players, they may not be able to do so this time.

Let’s take a look at the pending free agents on the Bucs roster for this upcoming offseason.

Quarterback

Blaine Gabbert
Ryan Griffin

The only people that may love Gabbert more than Pewter Report’s own Scott Reynolds is the Bucs coaching staff. Bruce Arians has been on record as saying that he’d be confident in Gabbert as a starting quarterback if that situation were to arise. Unless he retires, Gabbert is in a very comfortable situation here in Tampa as one of the top backups in the league. Griffin is one of the longest tenured Bucs despite playing 10 career snaps. He’ll get an invite to training camp and can compete to make the team. But with Kyle Trask as a second round pick, Griffin’s path to this team is on the practice squad.

Running Back

Leonard Fournette
Ronald Jones II
Giovani Bernard
Le’Veon Bell

The Bucs want Fournette back after a great season of 812 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, 454 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. It’s just a matter of whether another team will overpay for Lombardi Lenny after two strong seasons. Jones is as good as gone after his unhappiness due to a lack of playing time.

Bernard could be back on a similar deal next year. He was solid in the passing game before he got injured. It feels like there’s ability in his game that we didn’t get to see. Bell was a late signing out of necessity. He’ll most likely retire and focus on boxing.

Wide Receiver

Chris Godwin
Breshad Perriman
Justin Watson

We’ve talked a ton about the importance of re-signing Godwin this offseason. He’ll be the Bucs No. 1 priority in free agency. His torn ACL could play a factor in negotiations, but I’d be surprised if he’s not in a Bucs uniform next season. Perriman could get a chance in camp next season, but the Bucs will be looking for another option at the No. 3 receiver. Watson is a special teams player at this point, who was injured for the majority of the season.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski
O.J. Howard

Obviously Gronk is the big question here. The Bucs hope he wants to play another season. Tom Brady’s future is certainly a factor in that. Gronk had his best season with the Bucs, recording 802 receiving yards and six touchdowns. It looks like the Howard era is over in Tampa Bay. Injuries have plagued his progression and he was seldom used in the offense.

Offensive Line

C Ryan Jensen
G Alex Cappa
G Aaron Stinnie
T Josh Wells

A lot of big names are on this list and no more important than Jensen. Even at 31 years old, he’s playing at a very high level and is considered one of the best centers in the league. Brady will want him back without question, and Jensen loves playing in Tampa. Between starters Jensen and Cappa, Jensen is more of a priority. Cappa is solid at guard, but Stinnie is a cheaper option and showed in the 2020 playoffs that he is a solid starter. Wells is an important backup that they’ll need for depth.

Defensive Line

Ndamukong Suh
Will Gholston
Steve McLendon
Pat O’Connor

For Suh and McLendon, it’s possible they both retire this offseason. Suh plays a huge role as a starter and would need to be replaced if he were to finish his career. Gholston is the most likely to return. He had another great year in his role with 36 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits. O’Connor is an important special teams player and was developing as a defensive lineman. He had a season-ending knee injury that could keep him out for awhile, but I’d bet he’ll be part of the organization next season.

Outside Linebacker

Jason Pierre-Paul

JPP toughed it out playing all season with a rotator cuff injury that needs surgery. But he didn’t produce much, recording 2.5 sacks in 12 games. The Bucs have a replacement in waiting with first round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. Tampa Bay could re-sign JPP late in the summer before training camp if he doesn’t have other offers and wants to play.

Inside Linebacker

Kevin Minter

Minter was a special teams captain and started in five games at linebacker when Lavonte David was out. There were mixed results in that area. The Bucs will have to decide whether they want to keep Minter or expand the roles of K.J. Britt and Grant Stuard.

Cornerback

Carlton Davis III
Richard Sherman
Dee Delaney
Pierre Desir

Outside of Godwin, Davis is another huge piece of the puzzle. Tampa Bay will most likely bring him back on the franchise tag. He’s their top corner, and the Bucs can’t afford to lose him. It’s mostly backups on the list outside of that, so it could be a different cast on the roster beyond Davis, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting. Sherman’s playing days are likely over. Delaney showed some flashes and could be back next season.

Safety

Jordan Whitehead
Andrew Adams
Curtis Riley

In a contract year, Whitehead played some of his best football, racking up 73 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. He’s proven how important he is to the Bucs’ defense and has earned himself another contract. But was his performance too good, pricing him out of the Bucs budget? Adams is a veteran with a lot of experience in this defense. He could see a larger role if Whitehead signs elsewhere.

Special Teams

LS Zach Triner

Triner missed eight games with a hand injury this season. Once healthy, Triner returned in Week 11 and was fine the whole year. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be back next season.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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Spitfire
Spitfire
5 months ago

I think Brady plays another season and the Bucs promise to field the best team they can by going all out. We keep Fournette and Bernard and try to bring in another pass catching pass blocking RB. We bring back Godwin and Gronk and Suh while Drafting a TE and CB. Brate used to be my favorite along with Evans and could pluck fastballs out of the air with ease but he has just lost whatever he had that made him great. Brady will chase the season pass yards record and we will see the best out of both sides… Read more »

warren
warren
Reply to  Spitfire
5 months ago

I think it’s less than a 50-50 chance that Brady is coming back, although I sure hope he does. One thing he said was that another season as a “farewell tour” would be too distracting & he doesn’t want that. 

Horse
Horse
5 months ago

It would be nuts not to sign Cappa; Stinnie is no where near the talen of Cappa. He too in a pinch could play RT or LG.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Horse
5 months ago

I think the Cappa resigning is in peril due to his potential salary demands, not lack of interest. Godwin or Cappa type money decisions. Bucs usually r able to fit in those salaries if they really desire to. But when someone gets paid, it usually means someone lower down the totem pole goes elsewhere. I share ur opinion on Cappa.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Horse
5 months ago

I feel the same way about Whitehead! How can u not resign that guy?! He’s physical, plays pass well, and gives excellent run support as well!

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
5 months ago

Please do not break the bank for Davis. Like Barrett, he is not a top 10 player at his position. They overpaid to keep Barrett, considering FL has no income tax and he showed decline after his breakout season.

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 months ago

Why keep a QB over 30 with no starts on the PS? Griffin is garbage leave that spot for a young player that might have a future in the NFL.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  surferdudes
5 months ago

Agree! Not the best use of a roster spot or for developing young talent. To keep Grif is a wasted roster spot with zero upside

scubog
scubog
4 months ago

First, LeVeon Bell has already been released. Second, there is no Curtis Riley on the roster, practice squad or IR. I also suspect WR John Brown and the players currently on the practice squad who weren’t already given futures contracts are also free agents.

It’s going to be an interesting off-season in Bucville. I’m just grateful that we aren’t the absolute worst team in the league with the # 1 Draft pick that we already traded away so we could select some guy named Booker a year early. Ahhhhh, those were the days.