The Buccaneers are a rising team that will mostly grow from within. But they have a number of issues that need to be addressed in free agency.
1. Re-sign Davin Joseph.
We said earlier this offseason that the Bucs could probably only afford to re-sign Joseph or middle linebacker Barrett Ruud. Joseph is more important, especially after the team didn’t address the offensive line in the draft. He won’t come cheaply.
2. Find a middle linebacker, re-sign Quincy Black.
If Ruud leaves, the Bucs potentially have two starting linebacker jobs to fill. Black is an underrated player that should be easy enough to bring back. Mason Foster is a rookie third-rounder that could start in the middle, but that’s asking a lot. A veteran is also needed.
3. Address the backup running back spot.
Cadillac Williams is a terrific third-down back, so he could return if the price is right. If not, the Bucs need a complement to LeGarrette Blount that can handle a lot of passing down duties.
4. Add secondary depth, sniff around Nnamdi Asomugha.
The Bucs are a sleeper team in the Asomugha sweepstakes. They showed they aren’t afraid to go after top free agents when they bid heavily on Albert Haynesworth, and Asomugha fits what they do well.
Even if the Bucs wanted to keep Aqib Talib, he may not be available. The team likes E.J. Biggers and Myron Lewis, but getting Asomugha could help push this defense to another level. If the Bucs don’t go big at cornerback, they need to sign some veteran depth there and at safety. (There are numbers at safety but a lot of questions.)
5. Make sure Raheem Morris re-connects with his players.