How will the Bucs depth chart look in 2018?
A lot of NFL teams are hoping the injuries to Jameis Winston and Mike Evans will keep the depth of their rosters from being too depleted for them to make significant moves at the top of the draft.
If the Bucs are to remain in the playoffs, however, it will need to address their offensive line, the depth at defensive end, the need for a cornerback and a receiver and at least one offensive tackle.
The Bucs’ starting quarterback, Jameel McClain, has been ruled out for the season with a fractured tibia and fibula.
That will be followed by the return of veteran quarterback Josh Freeman, who was placed on the physically unable to perform list in December.
With Freeman out, the Bucs will likely need to add a backup quarterback or an upgrade at wide receiver.
The Bucs’ quarterback situation is one of the most intriguing parts of the offseason.
With Jamey Stegman and Josh McCown sidelined with injuries, the organization has been searching for a quarterback to take over for Winston, who struggled mightily last season and was sacked 49 times.
McClain, 28, was the team’s leading rusher last season with 1,025 yards and 16 touchdowns.
He is a two-time Pro Bowler and has been the leader of the secondary in both years of his career, but the Bucs have also been looking for a pass-catcher.
The team has also been linked to former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has not been on the market since the start of the season.
The Buccaneers are also reportedly looking to add another receiver in free agency, but those efforts could take time.
McClain is a long shot to break the $8 million-per-year cap, but if he signs a contract, it could be as early as next week.
The team has not announced any other players it is pursuing, though the team is reportedly looking for an upgrade in its offensive line.
McClains absence and the injury to Evans may leave Tampa Bay with a pair of big holes at the position, but it is not clear what position the Bucs would target.
They have struggled to fill both the tackle and guard positions this offseason, and the team has been rumored to be looking at multiple offensive tackles and guards, including former Oregon Ducks guard Jake Long.