NFL Free Agency, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agency 2021: Top 5 targets

Sheldon Rankins, New Orleans Saints

Sheldon Rankins, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

After winning the Super Bowl, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be in line for a big time repeat season. 

Tom Brady really did it. He fixed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers overnight.

Some believed that the Buccaneers would be a year away from contending Instead, they made history for their city. Not only was Raymond James Stadium the host for Super Bowl LV. They also didn’t allow Patrick Mahomes score a touchdown.

How many teams stopped Mahomes from scoring this season? One.

The Buccaneers will head into the offseason as a contender for 2021. The other positive for Jason Licht’s wish list is unlike other teams, Tampa Bay is still over the cap with roughly $29 million to spend on the market. Licht will need to now decide which stars he’ll bring back and which names on the open market could be affordable, yet productive options.

These five names though should be on the high end of replacing talent.

Which five players should the Buccaneers target in free agency?


Sheldon Rankins

DL New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay won’t be able to keep everyone next season, but the defense will need remain at best in-tact. Todd Bowles is looking for a head coaching job and the best way to do is by keeping as many players back as possible.

The Buccaneers ended the 2019 season with the top run defense in the NFL. They saw the same results in 2020 with even better production from Vita Vea, William Gholston and Ndamukong Suh. That run-heavy front seven might be coming to an end in 2021.

Yes, the team will keep Vea. That doesn’t mean they need to keep Suh another season. How much is he truly worth when there’s plenty of names in the NFL Draft that are younger and also cheaper for that matter?

A name like Rankins could fit the bill. When healthy, the former top 15 pick  is a quality defender up the middle. Will he be able to generate a pass rush if moved to a 3-4s system after playing his career in a 4-3?

Tampa Bay needs value over production next season in the trenches. Rankins has skills needed in Tampa for to contend. He’ll also be a much more affordable name that no one is talking about.

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