The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended their offseason program on June 15. Here's a look at how they fared:
Offseason goals/grade: The Bucs had two clear goals this offseason: get more speed on offense and get more physical on defense. They signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who runs a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash and is one of the fastest players in the league, and they drafted Chris Godwin, who clocked a 4.42 at the NFL combine. They got one of the most impactful safeties in the draft, Justin Evans, and signed a true thumper, J.J. Wilcox. Stopping the run has also been a point of emphasis going back to last season, which is why they re-signed William Gholston, whose 21.5 run stuffs are ninth-most in the NFL among defensive linemen since 2013. Grade: A-
Move I liked: The Bucs made several really solid moves this offseason. Snatching tight end O.J. Howard with the 19th overall pick in the draft and signing Jackson at the start of free agency take the cake. Signing backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was smart. Nick Foles would have been a more attractive option from a sheer talent standpoint, but Jameis Winston hasn't had a true veteran by his side until this point in his career.
Another move that deserves kudos: bringing in veteran kicker Nick Folk to compete with Roberto Aguayo. General manager Jason Licht was criticized heavily around the league for using a second-round draft pick on a kicker, especially one whose accuracy faltered beyond 40 yards in college. In a situation like this, Licht showed he cares less about ego and more about results. It also sent an important message to the locker room: In a bottom-line business, everyone will be held accountable.
Move I didn't like: With two of their best pure pass-rushers -- Jacquies Smith and Noah Spence -- coming off injuries and George Johnson recovering from a fractured hip, it wouldn't have been a bad idea to sign another edge rusher as insurance. The downside to that would have been cost, however. Good pass-rushers don't come cheap, and the Bucs needed to position themselves to sign Mike Evans to a long-term and well-deserved contract extension pretty soon.
Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: The Bucs have several injuries along their defensive line and in the secondary. Aside from Spence and Smith, Wilcox missed most of the offseason due to injury. He did make it on to the field for minicamp and was practicing mostly with the second-team defense. Justin Evans has yet to take the field. Nickelback Jude Adjei-Barimah also remains sidelined, although the Bucs have good depth there with Robert McClain and Javien Elliott both capable of starting. Safety is the biggest concern because that position places such a heavy emphasis on diagnosing and communicating. On-field reps are so valuable this time of year, especially for two players in a new system.
Salary-cap space: $25,554,184 (source: Overthecap.com)
Undrafted rookie free agents signed: TE Antony Auclair, LB Richie Brown, LB Riley Bullough, CB Maurice Fleming, T Gardner Cole, S Alex Gray, T Korren Kirven, QB Sefo Liufau, CB Jonathan Moxey, LB Eric Nzeocha, DE Evan Panfil, WR Thomas Sperbeck, WR Jesus "Bobo" Wilson.
Restricted free agents signed: QB Ryan Griffin, DE Jacquies Smith
Players acquired via trade: None.