Now that Super Bowl 54 is complete, fans of all teams not named the Chiefs have already turned their attention to the off-season, which includes free agency beginning soon. And, there continues to be a juicy-speculative rumor making the rounds that could have Hall of Fame to be quarterback Tom Brady of the Pats on the radar of the Buccaneers.
More on the speculation in a bit.
First, there is full understanding that Brady will most likely re-sign with the Patriots, the team that he has built an Empire with over the course of the last 19 years. And, it is a fact that he’s an unrestricted free agent, if the Patriots don’t get a deal done coming up.
Brady has made it clear that he wants to continue to play and it would be hard to believe that New England owner Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick would not bring him back, even though he will be 43 years old later this season.
Next, as for the Bucs, they are at a crossroads of what to do at their own quarterback position? Former number one overall pick, Jameis Winston, clearly hasn’t gotten any better at not throwing interceptions, as he became the first player in NFL history to have 30 of them in a season where he also threw 30 touchdown passes.
His record as a starter is 28-42 overall and in the past three seasons it’s 13-25.
And, another overriding factor is: Winston has repeatedly lost critical game after critical game, at the end of the year in every season he played in the NFL.
This was no different in 2019 under first-year coach Bruce Arians, where Winston played poorly in a November home loss to the Saints with four interceptions that all but dashed the Bucs playoff hopes dropping them to 3-7.
Then, after the team had gotten their record to 7-7 against bad competition late in the year, Winston failed, when he had a chance to potentially solidify his standing as a starter.
He threw four interceptions in a loss at home to the Texans in week 16 and then, the game losing walk-off interception to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime to end the season at 7-9.
You can’t blame the Buccaneers, if they’re going to look elsewhere to try another quarterback after Winston has produced four losing seasons in five years in Tampa Bay.
And further, coach Bruce Arians has a tremendous track record of working with Super Bowl caliber quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger in the past. Throw in his successes as interim coach for one year in Indy with Andrew Luck and two years with veteran Carson Palmer going to the playoffs and it’s obvious that Arians knows how to get the most out of veteran QBs.
And, that plays very much into the Brady speculation.
Former longtime Sports Illustrated columnist and insider Peter King, who’s now with NBC Sports and Pro Football Talk, gave an interview to Boston’s WEEI radio during Super Bowl radio row coverage.
In that interview, King made it clear that he believes Brady will likely end up back in New England. However, King named the Buccaneers as “sleeping giant” to land Brady theorizing it would be a great match with weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard and the rest of their passing attack.
Then, on Wednesday on the popular “Good Morning Football “weekday show on NFL Network, the subject of the Buccaneers and what they need to do to “make over” their team came up.
1. Offer the world to Tom Brady. Sell him on Arians and two 1,000 yard WRs under the age of 26.
2. Re-Sign JPP, Suh, and Shaq.
3. Draft De'Andre Swift. pic.twitter.com/nGpVXK6K0G
— GMFB (@gmfb) February 5, 2020
While Schrager isn’t reporting that Brady we’ll end up in red and pewter, he did make a compelling case for the six-time Super Bowl winner to end up in Tampa Bay.
Of course, all of the outlets, “talking heads,” and websites (including this one) have to have something to “kick around” now that the games are over with for a while. And, it is interesting that the Brady to the Buccaneers rumors are out there from prominent NFL people.
Then again, the distance between a rumor of Tom Brady actually leaving New England and then, ending up with the Bucs, might be the same as the Gulf of Mexico, too.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.