The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended the 2020 NFL season standing on top of the mountain. Their franchise-changing offseason acquisition of Tom Brady paid immediate dividends with the team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in their own stadium following a 31-9 beatdown of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55.
Since that triumphant night in Tampa, the organization has done everything in their power to ensure that a return trip to the big game and a subsequent boat parade does in fact take place next February. Virtually everyone from last year’s Super Bowl winning roster has returned with a few free agent/draft additions providing depth to an already loaded group.
Tampa Bay need more of the same from Tom Brady, who threw for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns, and only 12 picks in 2020 and captured his seventh Super Bowl victory while playing on an apparently torn MCL. While the soon-to-be 44 year-old legend will still be trying to stay ahead of Father Time as a productive QB, he’ll have plenty of help on the offensive side of the ball to help out.
The Bucs managed to re-sign several vital offensive weapons to help the repeat cause, including WR Chris Godwin, WR Antonio Brown, RB Leonard Fournette, TE Rob Gronkowski, and LT Donovan Smith, all of whom contributed big-time during the postseason side-by-side with the likes of WR Mike Evans, WR Scotty Miller, and RB Ronald Jones II. And as if there already wasn’t an embarrassment of riches, they added veteran running back Giovani Bernard to provide an extra pass-catching threat out of the backfield.
Entering the offseason, it seemed unlikely that Tampa would retain all of the stalwarts on its championship defense until GM Jason Licht managed to retain the services of LB Lavonte David, OLB Shaq Barrett coming off the edge, and DT Ndamukong Suh, all of whom combined for 16.5 sacks last season in a defense anchored by a mix of rising stars like ILB Devin White and veterans like OLB Jason Pierre-Paul. Lacking a pressing need entering the 2021 NFL Draft, the Bucs used their first-round pick on Washington LB Joe Tryon to provide added depth and relief for Barrett and JPP.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bucs have the second highest odds behind the aforementioned Chiefs to raise raise the Lombardi Trophy at SoFi Stadium, and with good reason. This offseason, the franchise became the first Super Bowl winning team in the salary cap era (since 1994) to retain all of their starters and considering the group was the only team in the league to finish in the top five in both offensive and defensive DVOA, the opportunity is very much there for them continue their dominance.
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