SIKKEMA’S “WAY TOO EARLY” PROJECTED BUCS’ 53-MAN ROSTER
Quarterbacks – 2
QB Jameis Winston
QB Seth Russell
Analysis: Winston goes into the season as the obvious starting guy with a lot of new weapons at his disposal. This year he needs to cut down on the mistakes and bring up the consistency/production. As for Russell, he’ll get to have the familiarity of Cannon on the second string to smooth out his transition and his return from injury.

Toledo RB Kareem Hunt – Photo by: Getty Images

Running Backs – 5
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
RB Kareem Hunt
RB Charles Sims
RB Joe Williams
FB Quayvone Hicks
Analysis: This depth chart would provide an even split between tough yards and explosive plays. I expect Hunt to eventually take over as the lead back, but with the running back position one that takes such a beating, it will be good to have the depth wherever they may need it.

Wide Receivers – 6
WR Mike Evans
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR Josh Gordon
WR Adam Humphries
WR KD Cannon
WR Russell Shepard
Analysis: If Tampa Bay somehow ended up with this receiving corps., they would go from basically the worst in the league in 2016, to Top 5 if not the best in the NFL. Gordon and Evans are both Top 10 receivers in the league when healthy, Smith-Schuster is an ideal WR3 or sub in for those two and Cannon can give you a home run play at any time.

Tight Ends – 4
TE Cameron Brate
TE Trey Burton
TE Luke Stocker
TE Tevin Westbrook
Analysis: The addition of Burton should serve as good depth and good production when the Buccaneers go two TE personnel with Brate like Koetter wanted to do with Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Offensive Line – 9
LT Donovan Smith
LG Kevin Pamphile
C Joe Hawley
RG Ali Marpet
RT Demar Dotson
G JR Sweezy
C Evan Smith
OL Caleb Benenoch
OT Leonard Wester
Analysis: No new additions along the offensive line – as the fans roll their eyes. However, getting Sweezy back and healthy is like having a new addition. Here’s the thing. I get that the offensive line may need some help, and I am an advocate of strong offensive line pay as a priority. But I’m not going to tie up cap space when Donovan Smith is still young and improving and Demar Dotson already has his big contract to play RT. You’re not going to draft an offensive lineman early over getting top weapons or skills players in a deep skill player and shallow offensive lineman draft. And drafting an offensive lineman in the later rounds is nothing more than having Wester and Benenoch who are already there. I get that fans want better play from their offensive line; everyone does. But it doesn’t make sense to bring a big name FA in this year, draft a top one or draft a late one. It just doesn’t. If they don’t improve after this season, yes, you hit it hard with young weapons already in place next offseason.

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy and DE Noah Spence – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Defensive Line – 9
DE Robert Ayers
DE Melvin Ingram
DT Gerald McCoy
DT Clinton McDonald
DE Noah Spence
DE Derek Rivers
DT Akeem Spence
DT Dominique Easley
DE Jacquies Smith
Analysis: This would be one of the strongest defensive line rotations in the NFL. I would expect Ingram, McDonald, McCoy and Spence to be the starters, with top notch players behind them in Rivers, Easley, Ayers and Spence. That’s a very deep and talented group.

Linebackers – 5
WLB Lavonte David
MLB Kwon Alexander
SLB Devante Bond
OLB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
OLB Adarius Glanton
Analysis: I would give the starting SAM linebacker role to Bond for the time being, knowing that Revees-Maybin could develop into an even better option. Until then, he’d be a very strong special teams player, and that is key. When you acquire depth like I have done in this plan, you’re filling your roster with good football players. These aren’t just backups who won’t see the field. You’re building a good, deep football team on all three phases.

Cornerbacks – 6
CB Brent Grimes
CB Vernon Hargreaves III
CB Micah Hyde
CB Ryan Smith
CB Jude Adjei-Barimah
CB Josh Robinson
Analysis: Hargreaves would get the start outside opposite Grimes and Hyde would be the middle man since the Buccaneers play nickel formation so often. This would be an upgrade over Verner rotating in on only outside duties and a separate player rotating in on nickel duties wherever Hargreaves was not. Not having specific roles I think hurt this secondary last season.

Safeties – 4
FS Keith Tandy
FS Marcus Maye
SS Jahleel Addae
SS Bradley McDougald
Analysis: These four safeties are not only talented but also pretty interchangeable. All four at one point have played both coverage roles and strong safety help in the box. I would be very happy with any of these four players starting, but would assume Tandy and Addae would be starting in Week 1.

Bucs P Bryan Anger and K Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Special Teams – 3
K Roberto Aguayo
P Bryan Anger
LS Dax Dellenbach
Analysis: The only area of need I really didn’t address was kicker, and honestly, if Aguayo continues to struggle early into 2017, I would have no problem moving on and getting someone else in there. Anger was one of the best punters in the league last year, and with an even better special teams unit with him for 2017, I’d expect much of the same.

So there it is, my official personalized Battle Plan for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 offseason.

If at any point during your reading you went, “this guy’s an idiot” make sure to let me know in the comments below. I grew up on Madden and fantasy football drafts, so this was a lot of fun for me. I would love to hear your thoughts and some tweaks of your own on what you would do if you could make a blue print for Tampa Bay’s upcoming offseason.

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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: [email protected]
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Hank Scorpio

I think this plan makes us a more complete team than Cook’s and Reynolds’ plans. I love the idea of taking a shot on Josh Gordon. I think wherever he goes, his contract will be structured in a way that negates most of the risk, making it a low risk/high reward scenario. I also like your draft a lot. While it lacks an elite playmaker on offense, there’s only a handful of those every year and they’ll all probably be gone by the time we would pick at 19 anyway. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please… Read more »

nitey

I’m not sure that I’d say that I love this plan, but I like it the best of the three presented. I really like the draft trade back and selections. I’m not all that familiar with all the players, but the analysis and logic behind the picks all make sense to me and helps to solidify a decent roster. I honestly like the selection of JuJu and Hunt though. I also like the flyer on Josh Gordon. I know some folks here have touted grabbing Mixon, but if I had to take some PR flak, I might as well take… Read more »

e

Hi Trevor, pretty wholesale changes to the team, no? Would you worry that it might alter the chemistry with so many new faces? As it stands, the Bucs are a winning team and I’d wonder if they would want to be more conservative with their additions and subtractions? Great indepth work, by the way on the personnel side of things. PR just keeps getting better and better!

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big serious

i like everything but the drafting of Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers in the 3rd. Why not another young WR like Taywan Taylor or Josh Reynolds JUST IN CASE the Josh Gordon experiment does not work out. i really like trading back for more picks. I hope someone makes the call to grab the #19 pick

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big serious

do you think that Derek Rivers is a 3rd DE. I don’t think so from looking at his film but that is just my opinion.

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SaskBucs

I agree with your 1st round analysis. If those 4 skill players are gone trade back or I am ok with drafting a Dlineman if they grade to that value. I would also love to see Gordon opposite Evans, who wouldn’t, instantly becomes best duo in the league if Josh can stay in the game. I have my doubts about that considering he could have came back last year (one of my fantasy squads banked on it) and instead he went to rehab. How can a guy, after screwing up a couple times already, have millions on the table as… Read more »

Iowabucfan

Of the three Plans, this is my favorite. I love it! Go Bucs!

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seat26

Trevor, I like this idea. Trade down get another pick. Maybe even two. This is a deep draft, and if the bucs are patient they could really make changes that will pay off two, three years down the road. The question is, are they that patient ?

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stlbucsfan

Trevor I smiled from ear to ear watching you bring so many of our Gators home lol. Dominique Easley would be an excellent fit here and give us an explosive DT to pair with or spell GMC. Not a fan of losing Goldston while retaining Spence but I will live. Josh Gordon is definitely an intriguing name that would be cost effective and COULD be a homerun signing IF his head of on straight. I’m in the minority but I think McDougald will be fine as a starter alongside Tandy. Still no OL addressed in this draft and considering everyone… Read more »

buccaneerNW

A couple of the ideas are interesting, but letting Ryan Griffin go as the only QB outside of Winston with system experience sounds a little dumb… Resigning him in no way prevents you from drafting that QB, by the way. There’s a lot of working parts in this one, and I’m not sure it’s realistic. It’s more of a fantasy-plan. I also think Josh Gordon isn’t a guy we (or any team) should count on. If we find a guy that we know will stick around as #2, then Gordon would be a bonus, and you cross your fingers and… Read more »

chetthevette

Hey TS, Battle plan #3 is more interesting than the veterans are. PR rookie looking to upset Mark and Scott. Josh Gordon – YES Never considered him before this. Melvin Gordon – YES Micha Hyde – YES YES YES Dominique Easley – NO he is not an upgrade over Gohlson, who we should re-sign. Ditch Chris Conte? Okay we know he screwed up a lot. but he got better as the season went on. I never thought I would say this, re-sign him also. Your draft is interesting. We can draft Hunt but, there is always a but. Dougie will… Read more »

chetthevette

TS Is it just business? I have not paid any attention to Josh Gordon but he seems troubled to me. If we had a decent guard to replace Mankins Doug and the rest of our RB’s can do the job.
You can make an argument Doug is a top five talent also. Lets see what he can do running behind Sweezy.
Yes draft a replacement, Hunt works for me. 28 is not a death knell for an RB.
GO BUCS

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chetthevette

THIS IS THE OFFICIAL KEEP DOUG PETITION
All in favor say HELL YEAH
GO BUCS

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Destino102

I am OK with signing Josh Gordon if the Browns release him but I wouldn’t give him any guaranteed money. Trevor, what I am more interested in is some of these new FA’s Overall Madden numbers because we all know that’s what really matters.

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FilmBuc

Easily the best plan IMO. My main concern – and it is a concern with all the plans – is the lack of attention to arguably the most important position group in football… the offensive line. We have subpar tackles and other than Marpet no one on the line that is inarguably above average. The Bucs need another monster on the offensive line. The best thing the Bucs could do is find someone to seriously challenge and supplant D. Smith at LT. He will never be a Pro Bowl level talent on the outside. When you have a 23 year… Read more »

Bucmeister

FilmBuc I agree with you wholeheartedly. Look at the Buc offensive line: a second round pick who is struggling at LT, they don’t have a left guard (Sweezy has been out for a full year with an undisclosed back, and back issues usually don’t go away, and the Bucs expect him to step back in to a new position, left guard as opposed to his natural position right guard and play a full 16 game schedule), 2 centers neither of which should be starting,a solid right guard, and a right tackle who is past his prime and nothing more than… Read more »

Julian Jordan

It’s a weak draft and offensive lineman are hard to find especially at tackle.

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David DeLeon

I like this battle plan, I like it a lot! Trading back for another 2nd and 3rd round this year would be really good too.

I would like to see Doug but life is life.

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kram0789

Are you crazy, Seth Russell as our back up QB? Sorry, I can’t go with that. Put him on the practice squad. Hopefully Ryan Griffin is ready to be our back up. Otherwise I am not sure I like trading down and if I did I would be more inclined to take Kupp. My prediction on the OL is that Sweezy comes back, he is better than Pamphile but not the player we thought we were getting. The running game gets stuffed and the offense becomes one dimensional. Dotson deals with injuries all year and misses 8 games and Donovan… Read more »

bEubanks11

There’s going to a great nfl player for us at 19. Trading back for a couple extra maybe players I don’t like. Smith Schuster does nothing to excite me. Hunt the more I watch, the more I like. Reminds me of LT a little bit. All in all I’d take any of the battle plans and tweak each one but I like your go get em approach Trevor. I’m just excited for another influx of talent. Just like in madden my favorite part of the season is adding talent to the roster. We’ll be better in 2 months. Go Bucs… Read more »

seat26

I don’t necessarily agree with the choices, but Trevor you got the core of what this team needs. And trading down is smart. There is lots of talent in this draft. We need to cash in because we have so many holes to fill. I disagree with the criticism about taking a QB. Griffin is not a proven back up, we are definitely going to need to pick up one. If not the draft then in free agency. My disagreement would be with not taking a Corner in a draft that is so deep in quality cornerbacks. I also think… Read more »

scubog

It’s obvious that all three of you put in a lot of work and thought to offer up such interesting “battle plans”. Each one had a bit of, as someone once said, “Hope and Change”. Each had valid justification for the respective moves. Both Mark and Trevor could be called “homers” for their lean toward their alma mater. Scott refrained from pimping a K-State prospect since he has not fared so well in the past. I must say I thought each one could improve our favorite team and each one had some degree of risk that could reverse the progress… Read more »

Naplesfan

Trevor, it appears you are the PW compensatory picker … designed to counter Mark Cook’s Nole love with your Gator love! Aside from homer biases, I am not opposed to trading down for extra picks in this draft … but from no. 19 I am not sure there’s going to be any buyers for what the Bucs will be selling. These “trade down for picks” strategies usually turn out to be fan fantasies unless the pick to be traded is a top five pick overall. Besides, I don’t believe that there will be no quality players left on the board… Read more »

Naplesfan

darn .. “PR” not “PW”

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jshumaker

I had not realized that Josh Gordon is realistic because nobody had mentioned him. I think he would be a better gamble than Desaun Jackson.

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Naplesfan

Gordon started only 19 of 64 games with the Browns … that’s less than 30% availability … he’s only produced an average of 688 yards per season (including his one year of suspension … since that was clearly his fault, that season belongs in the denominator. DeSean Jackson, however, started in 123 of his possible 144 games, that’s over 85% available, and his average production over his 9 seasons in the league is 980 yards per season, including over 1008 yards per season over the last four seasons, including 1,005 yards this past season. It’s impossible to justify Gordon over… Read more »

jshumaker

Impossible? I don’t think you can ever go that far in regards to an opinion. There is a statistical correlation between age of a player and the number of games a player is healthy for. Gordon’s problem has been drug tests/attitude. Which is a personal decision. Age is not. You also have to remember that drug issues can go away with a change of scenery. Chris Carter being the ultimate example. The ceiling for Gordon is much higher than Jackson’s and therefore a bigger payoff if you are right.

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Naplesfan

It’s all a matter of assessing risk … and the risk of Gordon is vastly higher, incomparably higher, than the very low risk acquisition of Jackson’s services. Gordon has produced at a high level only a single season in his four year NFL career. Heck, Doug Martin did better than that, and the entire PR crew and near half the commenters here want to fire Martin after a low production season! And DM’s best year he outproduced, by nearly 300 all purpose yards, Gordon in his best season.

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Nick

Love the vast majority of this scenario. This is the first time I’ve seen Melvin Ingram’s name come up with regards to the Bucs by someone in the media and I had been wondering why. It makes so much sense. He is a freaky athlete who has had back to back great years and is well worth the money IMO. Charger fans will miss him dearly next year. My one reservation is the Smith-Schuster pick. I’m surprised that nobody else commented on that but I think where you have him picked is a massive reach. There are no less than… Read more »

jme0151

I think cooks was the more steady of picks and signings. I am a fan of trading back for extra picks though.

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cgmaster27

I love the re-signings you did, with WIlliam being the one I would resign differently. I also wouldn’t resign Hawley. I also like the gamble on Gordon, It wouldn’t cost you anything if he messes up as it would be a heavily incentive laden deal. As for DB, I would like us to take a look at Trufant from the Rams. They won’t franchise him again and he’s a taller DB, which we need badly. As for the draft, if those guys are all gone, I am all for trading back as you did and if we can get an… Read more »

mtbruning

I love the moves back and taking a chance in Gordon. The one place I think you neglected is the O-line. No additions in either free agency or the draft is just criminal. Hawley is a quality but average center. I would like to see a upgrade there either in free agency or the draft (or both). We should make a strong push Mangold (who got cut after this article came) and use on of those extra picks on Pocic or another quality center for the future. We neglected the O-line in the past and cost us, we should learn… Read more »

owlykat

I prefer Cook, Campbell, keeping Gholston, Pryor, Humphries, and building an Offensive Line that is strong up the middle. A new LT from free agency, move Smith from LT to LG, Marpet at Center (Hawley his backup), Sweezy at RG and Pamhile at RT (with Dotson as backup at both Tackle Positions)!

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76Buc

Although I don’t always agree, you are not an idiot. I love the way you think things through and use critical thinking to support your analysis.

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Mr. Incredible

How about a scanerio where we get Gordon and McCafree? Now that would be an offense if we can keep Gordon out of trouble. I think Gholston is fine but the real issue there is showing existing players the Bucs will pay performers. He’s pretty replaceable.

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Bschucher

Giving Gordon 4m a year sounds like a great idea… NOT.

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Julian Jordan

One thing we have to consider that none of you guys considered, as you guys are building a battle plan there’s someone that actually is game planning and I believe his contract is going to be up soon. As I’m sure Lovie Smith signed a 4 year deal maybe even a 5 year I don’t remember but more importantly this is year 3 going into year 4. Do you extend the contract of Jason Licht? The thing I like most about your battle plan here Tre is there’s risk taken yes but there’s a security in the risk. Your not… Read more »

drdneast

I really can’t take anyone’s plan seriously when they advocate someone be cut for nothing in return due in part to a minor drug altercation and then turn around and advocate signing a pothead who could star along side Cheech and Chong in one of their movies in the same story. Martin missed games because he was legitimately injured giving up his body for the team while Gordon missed entire seasons because he couldn’t keep his head out of a gas mask filled with the burning green. I mean how much lunacy is involved here. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit… Read more »

Julian Jordan

Gordon is a generational talent whereas Doug is not. Gordon call go another 5 years-can Doug?

Plus I learned a while ago with the Josh Freeman/Mike Williams/ASJ story lines-

There may be more out there then what’s being said at this time.

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EastEndBoy

The thing I appreciate the most Trevor is that your plan is well thought out, from start to finish….and includes a year-over-year draft philosophy for the later rounds (i.e., always draft a QB). It’s not my personal late round draft philosophy (which is always take a chance on a guy late that others are passing over for non-talent reasons – e.g., injury, threats of sitting out, may have to switch positions, etc.), but I feel like our GMs have never had a late-round strategy and it has cost us. In FA – I love the idea of Ingram…it’s really a… Read more »

drdneast

Hey, the Ravens just released tjeie safety for a pot issue.
Lets pick him up so at least Gordon will have a supplier he can share a bong with.
Jshumakee, it takes a lot more than a change in scenery to overcome an addiction.
Geesh, if life was only as simple as yoir mind.

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wnb0395

This battle plan is better than Mark Cooks. Trading up to get a Rb and giving up 2 high draft picks in this years draft is just crazy. This draft is too deep to give up so much. I love the idea of Gordon.

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XpfcWintergreen

As I have been frequently, I am late to the party. I loved all three plans and all of the discussion generated. Much to digest. Regarding SASKBUCS, (24th; 3:24 PM) comments on Josh Gordon and subsequent discussion … “Stay clean” … That is what Sapp did until he was through playing. He was surly at times but, fans loved him. He played his guts out! We lost ASJ and he apparently did not have any “red flags”, at least that I knew of, when he came out of college. Go figure! How Licht and staff can out-guess some of these… Read more »

David DeLeon

Well Melvin’s gone, do you think Richardson would be a good pick up by maybe a trade for a 2nd Rnder?

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