The Buccaneers were the worst team in the NFL and have the 1st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. How are we going to put together a "Top 10 Exciting Moments of 2014?" We'll do it with a lot of patience and research.
Here we go with the countdown...
10. Gerald McCoy Signs 7-tear Extension Worth $98 Million
In the middle of one of the worst years in Bucs history, which is saying a lot, Gerald McCoy became the league's highest paid defensive tackle. He received $51.5 million in guaranteed money. The deal would keep McCoy in Tampa through the 2021 season.
9. Bucs Unveil New Logo and Uniforms
Any time change is made to the way a team looks, it will be very polarizing. When the Bucs announced changes were on the way, the ideas were wild as to what the changes might look like. While the changes weren't as drastic as some of the ideas that were floating out there, they were enough to frustrate a large number of Bucs fans. Personally, I like the new look and believe that look will explode if the Bucs ever have success on the field.
8. Mike Evans is Selected with the 7th Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft
The way the draft played out, the Bucs had a decision between taking the obvious pick in Evans or reaching on a QB. Perhaps even more important than selecting Mike Evans was the team passing on Johnny Manziel. It's still early, but Manziel has a long way to go on and off the field. Evans has the potential of being a top 10 receiver for 10 years.
7. Bucs Defeat the Steelers for Their 1st Victory
Lovie Smith might have said all season that Josh McCown gave the Bucs the best chance to win, but it was Mike Glennon who led the Bucs back to beat the Steelers on the road with just seconds remaining.
6. Lovie Smith Hired as Head Coach
It's not so pretty now, but at the time Lovie Smith was supposed to clean up the mess Greg Schiano had left behind.
5. Mike Evans Set Record
No receiver in the NFL was as good as Mike Evans was over a 3 game stretch in November when Evans scorched the Browns, Falcons, and Redskins for 21 catches, totaling 458 yards, and 4 touchdowns.
4. Bucs are Big Spenders in Free Agency
The Bucs might have only won two games this season, but they were the big winners of last off-season! In the first few days of free agency, the Bucs signed OT Anthony Collins, DE Michael Johnson, CB Alterraun Verner, DT Clinton McDonald, CB Mike Jenkins, OT Oniel Cousins, LB Dane Fletcher, QB Josh McCown, TE Brandon Myers, WR Louis Murphy, and center Evan Dietrich-Smith. Unfortunately, McDonald and Verner were probably the only players worthy of even grinning about.
3. Bucs Fever!!!
There was a new coach, the Bucs were big spenders in free agency, and hyped up an offensive heavy draft! What more would you possibly need to have this "Bucs Fever?" This year was supposed to bring Bucs fans back to the Dungy days. Was Bucs fever contagious? You bet your ass it was, and now we're all looking for the cure!
2. The Bye Week
This might be the oldest joke for bad NFL teams, but at least the Bucs didn't lose on their bye week. The Bucs were 1-5 on the season and coming off a 48-17 beat down by the Baltimore Ravens. Trust me, the bye week was much needed at the time and one of the big highlights of 2014.
1. Bucs Get the 1st Pick in the 2015 NFL Draft
Folks, if you're going to lose, you might as well lose the best and get rewarded the most. For a team in desperate need for a quarterback, the Bucs will now be able to choose the player they feel will change the franchise forever. You might not realize how special a moment this could be right now, but if the pick turns into an elite franchise quarterback, we'll look to the week 17 loss to the Saints as potentially the most important game in Buccaneers' history. Yes, even more important than the first Super Bowl win.
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