While we’re talking about free agency, let’s take a look at Tampa Bay’s restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents for 2018. There are quite a few key contributors on these lists and I would expect the Bucs to keep several of them.
Bucs’ 2018 Restricted Free Agents
TE Cameron Brate – $690,000
CB Jude Adjei-Barimah – $615,000
WR Adam Humphries – $615,000
DE Ryan Russell – $585,000
LB Cameron Lynch – $570,000
Restricted free agents are players that have three or fewer accrued seasons in the NFL and whose contracts have expired. An accrued season means that a player has been on an active roster for at least six games in a season.
Teams can offer first-round tenders, second-round tenders and original round tenders to players that can give the team draft pick compensation – first- or second-round picks – if another team signs a restricted free agent to an offer sheet. Or a team can sign an original round or low-level tender (for previously undrafted free agents).
Bucs TE Cam Brate – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
First-round tenders were valued at $3.91 million in 2017, while second-round tenders were $2.746 million. Original-round and low-level tenders were $1.797 million.
Brate has turned into a star tight end in the NFL, catching a total of 12 touchdowns over the past 24 games. He just missed out on being a restricted free agent this year by one game during the 2014 season as he didn’t play in enough games for that year to count as an accrued season.
Brate is open to a long-term deal next year as long as it’s the right length and amount, but will also sign a one-year tender offer if that’s what the Bucs choose to do. It’s likely that Tampa Bay would sign him to an offer sheet with first-round draft pick compensation if the team doesn’t elect to sign him to extension.
Humphries, Lynch and Adjei-Barimah could be signed to one-year tender offers next year, depending on who is coaching the team. Russell hasn’t been effective as a pass rusher and it would not be surprising to see the Bucs pass on offering him a one-year tender.
Bucs’ 2018 Exclusive Rights Free Agents
LB Adarius Glanton – $690,000
RB Peyton Barber – $540,000
K Patrick Murray – $540,000
CB Javien Elliott – $495,000
WR Bernard Reedy – $495,000
Exclusive rights free agents are players that have only one or two accrued seasons. They are not allowed to negotiate with any other team as their rights exclusively belong the team they were previously signed to. If the team elects not to offer the exclusive rights free agent a tender, he then becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Glanton, Barber, Murray, Elliott and Reedy are all exclusive rights free agents and there is a good chance all will be offered one-year deals as exclusive rights free agents – depending on who is coaching the team in 2018 – to come in and compete for a roster spot next year.
Glanton is a quality special teams player and shows promise as an up-and-coming linebacker. He’s fast and he’s made a few splash plays, including sacking New England quarterback Tom Brady and forcing a fumble.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and RB Peyton Barber – Photo by: Getty Images
Barber also plays special teams and offers the Bucs a power back for short-yardage situations. He’s shown improvement in pass protection and in catching the ball and reminds some of former Tampa Bay running back Earnest Graham.
Murray has solidified Tampa Bay’s kicking situation – for now. The Bucs are still monitoring the health of former Kansas City kicker Cairo Santos, so Murray better remain perfect (or close to it) from inside 50 yards.
Elliott has played nickel cornerback in a reserve role. If Vernon Hargreaves, a former first-round pick, moves inside to the slot full time, Elliott may be expendable.
Reedy is the team’s kick and punt returner and has had little success. He’s averaged 20.7 yards per kick return with a long of 50, and 8.6 yards per punt return with a long of 17.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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