It seems the Bucs are between a rock and a hard place, the very worst position to be in.
That’s the word from Jeremy Fowler of BSPN. The NFL columnist decided to pigeonhole teams into various categories. With the Bucs, Fowler thinks they are worse than in salary cap hell. They are in “QB Purgatory.”
What is quarterback purgatory? No proven quarterback and the team is just bad enough to miss the playoffs but too good to have a decent draft pick to land a franchise quarterback.
What’s next: With the three-year Tom Brady window now closed, the Bucs could take calculated risks in efforts to remain a contender. Answers at quarterback are not clear-cut, but they could inquire about Derek Carr, Aaron Rodgers and others — or roll with Kyle Trask, a second-round pick in 2021. The sense I get from Tampa Bay players is that Trask is the favorite as of now.
The team might not want to break up the nucleus, but cap hits for wideout Mike Evans ($23.7 million), pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett ($21.2 million) and offensive tackle Donovan Smith ($17.9 million) will need to be addressed somehow. A tough decision looms on linebacker Devin White, a supreme talent who had an uneven year and is a free agent in 2024. Do the Bucs want to extend his contract now?
To put this in more simple terms as Joe read on the Pro Football Network site, without unloading their top-shelf players, the Bucs aren’t (yet) bad enough to get in position to draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in 2024. A top-five draft pick likely would be needed for a shot at either quarterback.
There is just no way to believe anyone would trade for Shaq Barrett. The dude is damaged goods. Anyone trading for an edge rusher who is turning 30 and coming off a blown Achilles should be drug-tested by his team.
Donovan Smith sure picked the wrong time to have his worst year in terms of missed games with injuries and poor overall play.
This content was originally published here.