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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Black Friday shopping list includes body armor

Some body armor to protect improving rookie quarterback Jameis Winston could provide a boost to the Bucs' playoff hopes. Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

Body armor for Jameis Winston: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie continues to impress, so something that guarantees he’ll stay on the field should be at the top of the Bucs’ wish list. Remember when he struggled in the opener against the Tennessee Titans by throwing two interceptions? How about that time he tossed four picks in a loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 4? Winston looks like a more mature player now. He grew substantially during a four-game span from Weeks 5-9 in which he threw four touchdowns and no interceptions. He reached another level when he had five touchdown passes in blowing out the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11. As long as he stays healthy, the Bucs should be encouraged by his potential.

A box of strong rubber bands: The Bucs allowed just 23 combined points in wins over the Dallas Cowboys and the Eagles the past two weeks. Sterling Moore and Jude Adjei-Barimah have provided needed stability at cornerback. Linebacker Lavonte David (two interceptions) and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (1.5 sacks) also broke out with strong individual efforts in Philadelphia. This defense is vulnerable, ranking 26th in the NFL in scoring by allowing 25.4 points per game, but the unit is trending upward. It’s OK to be stretched as long as they don’t snap.

Extra cash to stuff Doug Martin’s stocking: Coach Lovie Smith has said re-signing the running back will be a priority, but it might cost the Bucs a pretty penny to do so. After all, the team declined Martin’s $5.6 million fifth-year option in May, meaning he can become a free agent after this season. What has Martin done in response? He has rushed for 941 yards and three touchdowns on 188 carries. He should receive a big payday sometime soon. Time will show if the good tidings will come from the Bucs.