Bucs Blitz Breakdown: Wide Receivers

With Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson Returning in 2016, How Desperate are the Bucs to Add Another WR in Free Agency or the Draft?

Over the next few weeks, I will be breaking down each position on the Bucs roster. During this process, I will discuss who stays, who goes, top free agent targets that make sense, and players that fit the position in the draft.

Today, we focus on the Bucs' wide receiver corps.

Current Roster:

Player Under Contract  Current Cap Number


Mike Evans 2016, 2017, 2018 (option) $3.99 million Stays Despite still putting up strong statistics in 2015, Evans struggled mightily with dropped passes. Evans must recommit himself, and must stop complaining about penalty flags on every single play.
Vincent Jackson 2016 $12.2 million Stays Vincent Jackson's value became very apparent once he was injured during 2015. It appears as if he'll be back for 2016 at his large salary, but personally, I'd like to see an extension given to Jackson bringing his cap number down and allowing him to retire as a member of the Bucs.
Louis Murpjhy 2016, 2017 $1.6 million Stays I have no problem bringing Louis Murphy back for 2016, but he can definitely be improved upon. Might a young player like Kenny Bell or Adam Humphries overtake him, or could a free agent be brought in to take his spot during Training Camp.
Kenny Bell 2016, 2017, 2018 $500,000 Stays Bell might be the forgotten man, but he has much to prove in 2016 after missing all of 2015. The natural talent is there for Bell, and the Bucs may have big plans for him, but nothing should be given to him.
Adam Humphries 2016, 2017 $525,000 Stays Humphries had a solid rookie season after going undrafted. I think he has a future on the Bucs roster, but will need to continue to prove his worth and continue to improve.
Donteea Dye 2016, 2017 $525,000 Stays Dye has some nice natural ability, but he seemed a bit overwhelmed at times during 2015. Dye is still eligible for the practice squad, which is the place I think he still needs to be to develop.
Russell Shepard Free Agent $0 Stays I'd like to see the Bucs bring Shepard back. He is excellent on special teams and has been a captain.
Evan Spencer 2016 $450,000 Stays Spencer will likely be just a camp body in next year's Training Camp.
Andre Davis 2016, 2017 $450,000 Stays While Davis is a local player who went to USF, he is not expected to make the Bucs roster out of training camp next year.

Top Free Agent Targets: 

These are the most logical free agent targets that make sense for the Bucs' offense.

Travis Benjamin - Cleveland Browns
Benjamin is likely due a nice pay day during free agency this off-season. He has quietly put up nice numbers in Cleveland with horrible quarterback play. Benjamin is from Miami, so he may be intrigued in retuning to Florida, but I'm not sure the Bucs are willing to spend as much as Benjamin could command on a wide receiver this off-season.

Marvin Jones - Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have some decisions to make with both Marvin Jones and Muhammad Sanu being free agents. I think they'll side with Sanu, and allow Jones to test free agency. Jones is not a top receiver, but he does have speed to stretch the field on the outside. After posting 8 touchdowns in 2013, Jones missed all of 2014 with an injury. He returned with a solid year in 2015. Jones' speed would make him an upgrade over Louis Murphy.

Percy Harvin - Buffalo Bills
For some people, you see Harvin's name and roll your eyes. Harvin has dealt with a lot of injuries and has been accused of having a bad attitude, but he would come at a cheap price, can return kicks and punts, and can still be electric with the ball in his hands.

Jermaine Kearse - Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks seem to be set with Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett at WR. Kearse has the speed to stretch the field, and would be an upgrade over Louis Murphy as the Bucs' 3rd WR. Kearse has made big catches in big games, and that experience could really help boost the young Bucs offense.

Roddy White - Atlanta Falcons (If Released)
Every new coach likes to bring in some players he has ties to. White's best days are behind him, but he can still be a reliable route runner and receiver when needed. White's experience would also be welcomed by the young Bucs offense.

Top Names to Remember for the NFL Draft:

Early Names:
Braxton Miller - Ohio State
Will Fuller - Notre Dame
Tyler Boyd - Pitt
Sterling Shepard - Oklahoma
Michael Thomas - Ohio State

Late Round Sleepers:
Mike Thomas - Southern Miss
Chris Moore - Cincinnati
DeMarcus Ayers - Houston
Byron Marshall - Oregon


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