The Bucs’ near-perfect offseason continues. They have now re-signed RB Leonard Fournette, who was crucial in the team’s Super Bowl run, to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million.
I never pick teams to repeat as Super Bowl champions — just ask all the angry Chiefs fans who laughed when I predicted their team’s ending back in September. And though I won’t make my official Super Bowl pick in March, all signs point toward a Bucs repeat.
After the Bucs beat down, crushed, and embarrassed the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, the team immediately turned its focus toward a long list of free agents. The expectation was that the team would lose at least a few starters — instead Tampa Bay will now become the first team in the salary cap era (since 1994) to bring back all 22 starters from their Super Bowl victory.
Tampa Bay has somehow managed to bring back Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Chris Godwin, Ndamukong Suh, Rob Gronkowski, Ryan Succop, and now Fournette. That is a nightmare-scenario-come-to-life for the other 31 NFL teams. And, of course, Bill Belichick.
With that pass-rush, those outside weapons, and that running back, one might forget to mention that the team’s QB may also be the G.O.A.T.
What’s more, QB and coaches often don’t click until Year 2 — see Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur. In the scariest of thoughts, the Bucs should be even better next season, giving Tom Brady the most talented roster he has had yet. Not bad for a guy with seven — 7! — Super Bowls.
Oh, and just for giggles, Antonio Brown could still return. Tampa has backups who are better than other teams’ starters.
As for the competition, the final two teams the Bucs eliminated, the Packers and Chiefs, got worse this offseason. Green Bay lost Corey Linsley, and the Chiefs — already with the worst offensive line in the NFL — let go of both starting tackles. Tampa’s pass rush mauled Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes last season. Should they just take the L next season?
“What about Tom Brady’s age?” Twitter guys will yell. We’ve been asking that question for five years, and he has since been to four Super Bowls.
Just remember, if you think you have it good, Tom Brady has it better.