With the exhilarating rush provided by this year's NFL Draft and free agency frenzy, it appears as though the bulk of the drama is more or less in the rearview, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' roster continues to creep closer and closer toward its final form.
That said, there is still room on paper for Bucs' General Manager, Jason Licht, to add a few more pieces to the puzzle.
Ndamukong Suh and Rob Gronkowski are the players whose names have been mentioned most frequently. But maybe it's time to consider the possibility that the next domino to fall for the Bucs might just be a player who has never before dawned the pewter and red.
Two players, in particular, both of whom possess an impressive resume of elite NFL production, remain available on the open market.
The first is a player that Bucs fans are very well acquainted with.
After spending ten seasons in the NFC South playing for the Atlanta Falcons, and one underwhelming year with the Titans, Julio Jones has amassed 13,330 receiving yards, and 61 receiving touchdowns in his career. His body of work speaks for itself.
Prior to reoccurring hamstring injuries which brought a decade's worth of consistently elite production to a screeching halt, Jones was viewed by many as a unicorn in the league, at least as far as wide receivers go. His size, speed, hands, and polished route-running made him an unstoppable weapon for the Falcons' offense over the years.
To put it lightly, Julio was a major thorn in the side of the underwhelming Buccaneers' teams that existed between the years of 2011-2020. With the tables having now turned within the division, could he finally be at a point in his career where he would seriously consider latching on to a legitimate title contender to rejuvenate his career?
Julio's role within the Buccaneers' offense would be tough to predict. What are his goals for himself? To contribute on a championship roster? Or to be the focal point of an offense? It would need to be the former if the Bucs have any chance, or desire, to bring him into their wide receiver room.
The other player who could be considered a possibility for the Bucs is one whose performance in the league may be less prolific than Julio Jones', but he's definitely a player whose impact has always received the respect it deserves.
I'm talking about Jarvis Landry.
He's a do-it-all slot receiver, with exceptional hands, and pristine route-running, despite a more modest physical profile. Landry is a player whose fit may be more in line with what the team would actually consider adding at the receiver position, especially with Mike Evans, Russell Gage, and eventually Chris Godwin, all in the fold.
Jarvis Landry is a tough, gritty receiver—similar to Godwin—one who isn't afraid to chip a defensive end, or lay out in traffic to haul in a 7-yard pass in order to convert a third down.
Just like Julio, he doesn't address a glaring need on the roster, but you can't argue that his presence on the team wouldn't assist the Buccaneers in winning more games this season. Also similar to Julio Jones, he's a player whose name has been associated with the Buccaneers, as they work to put the final touches on what they expect to be a Super Bowl contending roster.
The question of whether or not the Buccaneers have any real interest in adding a wide receiver to the roster remains to be seen. But with Godwin's return date unknown, the team looking to compete for a Lombardi trophy this year, and the fact that the Bucs didn't add a wide receiver in the draft, one could be led to believe that they may have intentions of adding one by way of a different avenue.
Should the Buccaneers have interest in bringing in another wide receiver to contribute to their offense, Julio Jones or Jarvis Landry would certainly fit the bill. If either of those guys were willing to swallow their pride and chase a ring, then the bill might just be worth paying.
Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the offseason.