The 2022 NFL commerce deadline has come and gone, and Bucs basic supervisor Jason Licht didn’t make a deal.
So what does it imply? It in the end signifies that Tampa Bay’s entrance workplace and training workers believes within the roster it has and the coaches – regardless of a disappointing 3-5 document. The Bucs are two video games beneath .500 however nonetheless within the thick of the hunt for the NFC South title – and an automated house playoff recreation – with a 2-1 document within the division.
Licht didn’t pull the set off on a commerce for a participant like Denver edge rusher Bradley Chubb regardless of shedding Professional Bowl exterior linebacker Shaq Barrett to a season-ending Achilles damage in a 27-22 loss to Baltimore on Thursday Night time Soccer. Chubb, who has 5.5 sacks and was traded to Miami on Tuesday, is within the last yr of his contract and can want a brand new deal in 2023.
The Bucs weren’t going to spend a 2023 first-round choose to lease a participant like Chubb. Barrett has a wage cap cost north of $21 million in 2023, and the Bucs spent a first-round choose on Joe Tryon-Shoyinka only a yr in the past. Buying and selling for Chubb would imply committing a big sum of money to him subsequent yr, and the place would that depart Tryon-Shoyinka’s growth?
Tampa Bay might have additionally used assist at tight finish, however Detroit traded T.J. Hockenson to Minnesota. Actually, a slew of gamers – some large names – had been dealt on the buying and selling deadline, however the Bucs weren’t takers. The workforce didn’t really feel that the value was proper for any of the gamers that had been acquired by way of commerce.
Bucs Banking On Present Gamers, Coaches To Flip The Crew Round
So, now what?
The Bucs didn’t make any adjustments to their teaching workers, regardless of an ineffective offense that ranks twenty fifth and is averaging simply 18.3 factors per recreation. Byron Leftwich will stay because the offensive coordinator and play-caller regardless of overseeing a unit that has struggled all season in level manufacturing, pink zone scoring, third downs and brief yardage.
The Bucs are relying on doing the 2 issues head coach Todd Bowles has demanded of his workforce – taking part in higher and training higher. Up to now, that strategy hasn’t paid dividends as Tampa Bay has misplaced three straight video games and 5 of its final six.
Tampa Bay is wanting on the schedule and seeing many struggling groups on the horizon, beginning with a 3-4 Rams squad that simply misplaced, 31-14, to the 49ers. Star large receiver Cooper Kupp is coping with an ankle sprain, however is predicted to play. The defending Tremendous Bowl champions are averaging simply 16.9 factors per recreation this season and struggling on offense identical to the Bucs.
After that recreation, the Bucs journey to Germany to play the 5-3 Seahawks, adopted by a bye week. Then, Tampa Bay travels to Cleveland to play the 3-5 Browns earlier than internet hosting New Orleans (3-5) on Monday Night time Soccer. The Bucs then journey to San Francisco (4-4) and host Cincinnati (4-4) forward of a Christmas night time recreation at Arizona (3-5). The Bucs will end up with two all-important divisional video games at house towards Carolina (2-6) and at Atlanta (4-4).
With a schedule that options only one workforce with a profitable document – Seattle – down the stretch, Tampa Bay is banking on beating groups with comparable information. The one drawback with that rationale is that the Bucs misplaced to 2 one-win groups – Pittsburgh and Carolina – in back-to-back weeks in October. Tampa Bay will probably have to complete 9-8 – maybe 8-9 – to win the NFC South. Which means going 6-3 down the stretch with the identical roster and coaches that obtained off to a 3-5 begin to the 2022 season.
It’s a daring transfer to face pat and never make any trades to assist the workforce. However actually, the Bucs want to assist themselves by merely executing higher – with some higher play calls thrown in.