The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to a large number of players become free agents once we reach the beginning of the new league year on March 17.
While AllBucs.com continues to profile various free agents for the Bucs, one of the largest online sports teams and player contract resources has released its predictions for notable players across the entire league.
Spotrac's Michael Ginnitti shared the media organization's predictions for key Tampa Bay free agents and shared his thoughts on potential deals and landing spots. Let's go player by player and see who might stay with the Bucs and who might look to play elsewhere next season:
OLB Shaquill Barrett
Barrett came up huge in the playoffs for the Bucs recording five sacks between the NFC Championship vs. the Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 28-year old edge rusher wants to stay in Tampa Bay, but it won't be cheap. Still, he has made it clear he is going after a long-term deal.
"I'm most definitely looking forward to getting a long-term deal done," Barrett recently told Adam Schein on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio. "I feel like it's time for me to break the bank now, and I most definitely want to do that to be able to set my family up better and most definitely going to keep producing, so it's not like anything is going to fall off. I still think I got a lot left in the tank."
With that in mind, Spotrac predicts Barrett will end up staying with the Bucs and could potentially sign a 4-year, $75 million deal. Here's what Spotrac thinks about Barrett and his looming free agency:
"It only takes one team to decide that Barrett is a $20M+ edge rusher, but a reunion with the Bucs on a slightly smaller payday seems to be the right move for both sides."
LB Lavonte David
The 31-year-old inside linebacker continued to be productive throughout the season for the Bucs this season.
David recorded 117 tackles, 12 tackles for loss 1.5 sacks, an interception, six pass break-ups, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. During the postseason, he added another 26 tackles, recorded one sack, and broke up four passes.
David has been an absolute playmaker for Tampa Bay and similar to Barrett, he too is looking to remain with the Bucs. Spotrac thinks David will likely re-sign and is predicting him to sign a 3-year, $39 million deal. Here's what Spotrac thinks about the situation:
"David has done enough to warrant a raise that puts him in line with the highest-paid minimal-rush OLBs in the league. Of all the notable free agents TB holds, paying David the right price makes the most sense."
WR Chris Godwin
While David and Barrett are predicted to stay with the Bucs, Spotrac predicts a change for Godwin.
Godwin has been a contributor on offense for Tampa Bay since the Bucs drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. This past season, Godwin hauled in 81 receptions for 1,072 yards while catching eight touchdowns.
The Penn State product played on his year final year of his rookie contract so it's expected he'll get a nice payday, and Spotrac agrees. Godwin is predicted to receive a 5-year, $90 million deal... But not from the Bucs. Instead with the Indianapolis Colts. Here's what Spotrac thinks:
"The age, production, intangibles, and skillset are all extremely favorable for Godwin, which almost always means that someone overpays to pull him out of his current situation."
WR Antonio Brown
One of the Buccaneers' two remaining free agent wide receivers entering the offseason, Brown has shared an interest in returning to the team for another season.
Brown joined the team late this season about halfway through but quickly became a favorite target of quarterback Tom Brady. Despite playing in only 11 games, including the playoffs, Brown recorded 52 receptions for 564 yards while grabbing six touchdowns.
While he wasn't the type of receiver he used to be during the prime time of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's become clear Brady really likes him. With Brown turning 33 this offseason, it's likely the Bucs can re-sign him for cheap.
Spotrac predicts Brown will stay in Tampa Bay signing a 1-year, $2.5 million deal. Here's what Spotrac thinks about Brown and the Bucs:
"AB's major paydays are behind him, but it's clear that his relationship with Tom Brady benefits him both on and off the field right now. A return seems imminent along with a contract that starts low but can build with incentives and team success."
TE Rob Gronkowski
What else did you expect from Gronk? One of, if not the, greatest tight ends of all time, the veteran who came out of retirement to join his buddy Brady in Tampa caught two touchdowns vs. the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.
Gronk was able to stay healthy throughout this entire season, which is something he was really proud about, and for good reason. Gronk caught 45 passes for 623 yards and hauled in seven touchdowns.
The legendary tight end made it clear before the Super Bowl he wants to play another season with the Bucs and Spotrac expects Gronkowski to re-sign with Tampa Bay. The prediction for Gronk is a 1-year, $8.5 million deal. Here's what Spotrac thinks:
"He's only 31, but his body likely feels like it's 38 right now. There's no question Gronk is only available for a reduced role where he can be used as needed, but it seems ill-advised to go against Tom Brady's wishes at this point."
RB Leonard Fournette
After an impressive rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, things quickly fell apart and it was clear the marriage between the two wasn't going to end well.
So after being waived in August, Fournette signed a one-year deal with the Bucs. Playing behind Ronald Jones II, Fournette eventually embraced his role and it worked well for everyone involved.
Fournette earned a couple of starts when Jones was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list towards the end of the season and was critical to Tampa Bay's playoff run. Fournette rushed for 367 yards and six touchdowns while catching 36 passes for 233 yards.
While Fournette showed why his nickname is Playoff Lenny, Spotrac predicts the running back will not return and instead sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a 2-year, $16 million deal. Here's what Spotrac thinks will happen:
"A return to Tampa Bay would be a nice story, but the truth is the Bucs have a lot of mouths to feed, and Ronald Jones, who's made big strides, is still on a team-friendly contract. Fournette once had aspirations of eclipsing the top RB AAV price tag, but that seems unlikely after his tumultuous 2020."