PFF Praises Buccaneers For Re-Signing Core Players, Addressing Needs in Draft

The Bucs did a lot of good work this offseason to keep the train rolling.
Mar 1, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot to be excited about for 2024.

The team devoted its offseason to returning key players, and it did just that, bringing back the likes of Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Lavonte David on contract extensions. Additionally, the team addressed its needs in the draft, grabbing center Graham Barton for the trenches and edge rusher Chris Braswell for some pass rush, among other things.

READ MORE: WATCH: Rookie WR Jalen McMillan Flaunts Route Running Skills During Buccaneers OTAs

PFF released an article naming one reason for optimism for every NFL team heading into next season, and that was exactly the angle they focused on — writer Dalton Wasserman titled Tampa Bay's section "They kept the core together and added to it with an excellent draft" and wrote about general manager Jason Licht's ability to get the band back together.

Here's what Wasserman had to say about the Bucs:

"Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht managed to do the impossible by retaining Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans and Antoine Winfield Jr. Those three, along with left tackle Tristan Wirfs, comprise the core of the 2023 NFC South champions. The goal this offseason, aside from retention, was to add talent despite having little salary cap room to work with.

Tampa Bay accomplished that task by having an excellent draft. First-round pick Graham Barton should immediately start at center. Tykee Smith and Chris Braswell will contribute on defense. Jalen McMillan is another weapon in a loaded wide receiver room. Even fourth-round running back Bucky Irving should contribute early on passing downs. The Buccaneers acquired young talent at key positions, which should help keep them in NFC South contention."

READ MORE: Buccaneers Rookie Teases Return of Creamsicle Uniform in 2024

Some Buccaneers fans (and plenty of national pundits) have questioned the Bucs' willingness to get the core team back together after winning just nine games last year, but the draft Jason Licht had should hopefully plug some holes. If the interior line and edge rushing gets better and the core of the team plays the same, Tampa Bay could certainly increase its win total for 2024.

Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the offseason.

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River Wells

RIVER WELLS

River Wells is a sports journalist from St. Petersburg, Florida, who has covered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 2023. He graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Florida in 2021. You can follow him on Twitter @riverhwells.