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It's officially the offseason for the Buccaneers and while this offseason has a different feel than last, the mechanics and the goals are still the same. 

Tampa Bay enters this offseason with another long list of free agents to re-sign. And many of them are either starters or key contributors to this team, which means the upcoming decisions won't be easy. 

So, of the 26 in-house free agents, which ones should the Bucs prioritize? Per Over The Cap, the Bucs currently have a tick over $18 million in cap space for 2022 and 36 rostered players for 2022, so it's hard to imagine everyone returning like last year, but at the same time - never say never. 

Keep in mind this exercise assumes both Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh will avoid retirement and play in 2022. 


10. QB Blaine Gabbert

Spotrac market value: N/A

This may seem a bit odd on the surface, but just ask yourself this: Would I feel comfortable with Kyle Trask or Ryan Griffin starting at quarterback if Tom Brady were to get seriously hurt?

Gabbert isn't the solution in terms of the future at quarterback, but he knows Bruce Arians' system better than almost any other quarterback out there and he's cheap. He can do enough to win some games, as well. 

9. DL Will Gholston

Spotrac market value: N/A

Of all Tampa Bay's starting defenders, Gholston is the least talked about, but that doesn't mean he's unimportant. The guy is a great run defender and he finished 2021 with a career-high 4.5 sacks. He's a sneaky-good player that has thrived in this defense.

8. RB Leonard Fournette

Spotrac market value: Two-years, $12.3 million ($6.1 AAV)

It may be a surprise to see Fournette this low on the list, but free agent running backs are tricky. It won't be a surprise if there's a big, wealthy market out there for Fournette, so his prioritization will come down to cost at the end of the day. The Bucs can't overspend, here, but it would be nice to retain a three-down back, wouldn't it?

7. DL Ndamukong Suh

Spotrac market value: N/A

Suh just keeps playing at high level, no matter his age. He is still effective at stopping the run and rushing the quarterback and is the perfect complementary piece to Vita Vea.

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6. G Alex Cappa

Spotrac market value: N/A

The Bucs have put four years into developing Cappa into a quality starter, so it'd be a shame to let him walk. Keeping Brady protected should always be the No. 1 goal when he's around, but the Bucs will have to prioritize other guys, which could lead to a new home for Cappa in 2022.

5. S Jordan Whitehead

Spotrac market value: N/A

Todd Bowles recently spoke on how much Whitehead means to the defense. He's one of the league's more underrated safeties and should certainly be considered a top-5 priority.

4. TE Rob Gronkowski

Spotrac market value: One-year, $8.1 million ($8.1 AAV)

Just imagine what 2021 would've looked like without the Week 3 injury that caused him to essentially miss six games. Gronk's chemistry with Brady is enough to re-sign him, in itself. 

3. CB Carlton Davis III

Spotrac market value: Five-years, $98.3 million ($19.6 AAV)

Davis is top-10 or top-12 corner in this league. He's perfect for Bowles' scheme and said scheme needs a good corner to rely on. The fifth-year CB is easily the Bucs' No. 1, in-house free agent on defense.

2. C Ryan Jensen

Spotrac market value: N/A

Jensen's place on this list dips a bit if Brady doesn't return. If he does return, then you can't allow the center that he's played with him for two years walk. Plus, Jensen has great chemistry with the other offensive linemen and he knows the offense in-and-out. He's also top-3 at his position.

Bringing in a new center or promoting Robert Hainsey would not only require Brady to rework his chemistry, but the offensive line would also have to do the same. And then there's the whole calling out protections, recognizing defensive player roles for specific plays, etc.. We just don't know how quickly a new center would acclimate in this situation.

1. WR Chris Godwin

Spotrac market value: Five-years, $90.9 million ($18.1 AAV)

This one is a no-brainer. There's zero doubt the Bucs want Godwin on this roster for the long-term. His role on offense is the second-most important behind Brady and said role may be the second-most important role on the entire team. He's the top priority for the Bucs this offseason.

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