Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, but the legal tampering period has let the cat of the NFL bag over the last few days for many players.
Teams have until the 4 p.m. deadline to be compliant and be under the cap, and while it appears the Bucs are already there, as of now, there are precious few dollars to add any more players. Some drastic measures will need to be made to free up money if the Bucs plan to add anymore talent in the near future.
Tampa Bay started free agency off with approximately $3-4 million in cap space. The team traded DeSean Jackson to free up $10 million and also released punter Bryan Anger which provided another $3 million in space, for an approximate total of $16 million in salary cap room.
But the team has agreed to terms in principal with a number of players over the last two days. They are listed below with their estimated 2019 salary, as most terms haven’t been disclosed.
QB Ryan Griffin($1.5 million)
P Bradley Pinion ($2.5 million)
K Cairo Santos($2 million)
S Deone Bucannon($4.5 million)
WR Breshad Perriman($4 million)
LB Kevin Minter ($1.5 million)
These signings would leave the Buccaneers with around $2 million in cap space with the 4 p.m. opening of free agency. That isn’t even enough to sign their rookies next April, much less add any more significant players in free agency.
And that is before Peyton Barber is either tendered or signed to a multi-year deal that is expected to be in the $2-3 million per season range.
The team has some options to increase their cap space including restructuring of some larger contracts like Mike Evans, Ryan Jensen and a few others.
They could also release more players as Scott Reynolds suggested last Saturday.
DT Gerald McCoy – $13 million
DE Will Gholston – $3.75 million
G Evan Smith – $2 million
DT Beau Allen – $1.5 million roster bonus, $3.5 million base salary
DT Mitch Unrein – $1 million roster bonus, $2.75 million base salary
No matter how they approach it, the Buccaneers won’t be overly active in free agency, at least with high profile players commanding large salaries. And while the team has been vocal in their praise for a player like Gerald McCoy, $13 million would be a nice windfall moving forward, and provide some instant relief moving forward.
Stick with PewterReport.com this week as we watch and report ow it all unfolds.