There has been plenty of turnover on the Buccaneers’ team over the last four years – 97 percent of the entire roster since Jason Licht’s arrival, to be exact. But, where a lot of turnover like that can sometimes be seen as inconsistencies, most would say they were changes that had to be made in order to get this team to where it wanted to go.
The Bucs have started to even out how much they gain and lose from year-to-year with their players, setting up more of a core to build around now, but that didn’t mean this past offseason went without saying goodbye to some big-name Bucs players who contributed quite a bit over the last three or four years.
The three most notable absences from last year’s team are wide receiver Vincent Jackson, cornerback Alterraun Verner and tight end Brandon Myers. Each of these three players have yet to be signed, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t potential fits and even leads for each of these players.
WR Vincent Jackson
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Jackson signed with the Buccaneers back in 2012 from the, then, San Diego Chargers. In his first three years in Tampa Bay, he recorded three 1,000-yard seasons. He was well worth his five-year, 55.5 million dollar contract until the last two seasons where injuries limited his time on the field – but also made the way for Mike Evans to become the team’s No. 1.
Jackson is now 34 years old. Back in March, Jackson said that he has no plans to retire, and nothing has come out, as of late, that would change that. He’s still one of the top free agents available at wide receiver along with Stevie Johnson and Anquan Boldin. Though there aren’t any confirmed workouts from him yet, teams that could use his services would include the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Jets and even his old team, the, now, Los Angeles Chargers, if their first round pick, Mike Williams, is going to miss time with his back injury.
As for the Bucs, Jackson returning could be a possibility (nothing should ever be completely off the table), but, as of right now, the team is moving forward with a younger group of players. If Jackson remains unsigned and injuries mount up for that unit, it could happen, but it’s not likely, at this time.
CB Alterraun Verner
Verner signed a four-year, 25 million dollar deal with the Buccaneers in 2014 following his only Pro Bowl season in 2013 with the Tennessee Titans. Verner was a three-year starter for the Bucs during his time in Tampa Bay, but faded to more of a situational player with the emergence of rookie cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves, in 2016. That led to Verner’s release in February of this past offseason.
Verner is now 28 years old. He hasn’t made it to a Pro Bowl since 2013, and his production has diminished since that time. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any interest for his services. It’s been conformed that Verner had a workout with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and according to Verner himself, he’s worked out with a few other teams, too. A couple more teams that could use Verner as a depth player or situational veteran starter would be the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals.
TE Brandon Myers
Myers played for the Buccaneers from 2014 to 2016. During that time he appeared in 41 games where he caught 41 total passes. Myers is much more of an old-school tight end than he is a dynamic one, and for that, the interest levels on him will likely be low enough to keep him as a free agent until some injuries happen in camp. At 31 years old, Myers is a true vet at the tight end position, and though he’s not overly athletic, he has a well-rounded game – low ceiling, high floor.
Myers doesn’t have any confirmed workouts public, but a few teams that Myers may fit on as a good depth player are the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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