In some ways, the past three years were a long bender for Bucs fans.
The Bucs had been in the throes of the Lost Decade. No playoffs and kick-in-the-nuts play on the field. It hit a point that going to games was the equivalent of cleaning the bathroom. Something you had to do.
Then came Tom Brady and poof! Let the good times roll.
Well, Garrett Podell of CBS Sports believes the current Bucs quarterback room should sober up Bucs fans. The bender is over. The bar tab needs to be paid.
In grading the Bucs’ free agency season through the first week, Podell gave the Bucs a “C” grade. Good moves on defense and on offense, well, reality is setting in.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C
Key additions: QB Baker Mayfield (Rams), RB Chase Edmonds (Broncos), DT Greg Gaines (Rams)
Key re-signings: CB Jamel Dean, LB Lavonte David, CB Jamel Dean, DE Anthony Nelson
Somehow, they found just enough cap space in their couch cushions to re-sign cornerback Jamel Dean to a four-year, $52 million deal on Monday. It’s a solid retention for a player who has a 49.4% completion percentage allowed when targeted in his career, the third-lowest in the entire league since he was drafted in 2019. Dean trails only 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward (48.2%) and Falcons cornerback Casey Heyward (48.7%) among players with 200 or more targets in that span. Bringing back franchise legend Lavonte David on a one-year, $7 million deal is huge both on and off the field.
However, their QB room could be Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield in 2023 is a stark reminder that the Super Bowl aspirations Tom Brady brought with him from New England have vanished …
That’s probably true but as Joe mentioned, the playoffs are no pipe dream. Let’s think about this:
Slimy Saints: Don’t confuse Derek Carr with Brady. Competent? Yes. Star? No.
Stinking Panthers: Can C.J. Stroud as a rookie really lead the Stinking Panthers to a division title?
Dixie Chicks: Desmond Ridder? LOL. Atlanta was better off with that quitter, runaround quarterback Marcus Mariota.
So yeah, the Brady-less Bucs is a jarring thought. But Joe’s not shoveling dirt on Baker Mayfield’s face. Tampa Bay may be Mayfield’s final chance at NFL redemption. Let’s see what he does with it.
This content was originally published here.