Inside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It wasn't too long ago that the Buccaneers were Super Bowl champions. But since that magical 2002 season, they haven't made the playoffs. With that being the case, they're looking to get back on top.

Still, it's been a tough free agency period for the team as they didn't have a lot of cap space to begin with. With limited cap funds, the team has been unable to make any real impact signings. While that may be the case, part of free agency is also re-signing your own free agents and they were able to keep a solid veteran in the fold. Wide receiver Joey Galloway did well last season despite suffering through a myriad of injuries. Getting him back in the fold for another season should really help their passing game to continue to improve. The other key re-signing was outside linebacker Ryan Nece who will be competing for a starting job. He has untapped talent and could be a diamond in the rough.

As the Buccaneers head in to this month's draft and to the rest of free agency, they'll need to find depth at several areas and if they can fill those holes, that will go a long way to improve over the last two less than stellar seasons.


RUNNING BACK: Despite coming off of a solid season, head coach Jon Gruden wasn't satisfied from the performance of Michael Pittman. He's not a back that will break a lot of tackles and isn't one that can get a lot of yards on his own. With that being the case, they're looking for a younger back to take over the starting role.

WIDE RECEIVER: After veteran Joey Galloway, who turns 34 this coming season and second-year receiver Michael Clayton, the team has next to nothing in regard to depth. They could use at least one veteran to serve as the third receiver and they could also use a few young receivers to round out the depth chart.

GUARD: With veteran guard Cosey Coleman signing with Cleveland, the Buccaneers don't have a proven starter left at either guard spot. They'll need to look to add at least one veteran and a younger player for depth.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE: With veteran tackle Todd Steussie's future with the team up in the air, they have no experience in back of starters Derrick Deese and Kenyatta Walker.

LINEBACKER: After projected starters Derrick Brooks, Shelton Quarles, and Ryan Nece, the team has little depth at any of the positions.


KEY ACQUISITIONS: K Matt Bryant: UFA Dolphins; TE Anthony Becht: UFA Jets; DT Chris Hovan: UFA Vikings; CB Juran Bolden: UFA Jaguars; CB Rod Babers: UFA Lions.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: FB Jameel Cook: UFA; WR Joey Galloway: UFA; TE Dave Moore: UFA; OLB Ryan Nece: RFA; S Dexter Jackson: UFA.

KEY DEPARTURES: QB Brad Johnson (Released. Signed with Saints); WR Joe Jurevicius; UFA Seahawks; G Matt O'Dwyer; UFA Packers; G Cosey Coleman; UFA Browns; DT Chartric Darby: UFA Seahawks; OLB Ian Gold (Released. Signed with Broncos); LB Keith Burns; UFA Broncos; CB Mario Edwards (Released. Signed with Dolphins); S Dwight Smith: UFA Saints.



UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FB Greg Comella; WR Tim Brown; WR Charles Lee; WR Frank Murphy; TE Ken Dilger; TE Rickey Dudley; DE Chidi Ahanotu; S John Howell.



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