The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not made the playoffs since 2007. However, there's genuine optimism around the franchise this offseason.
Much of that has to do with the acquisition of Tom Brady. Signing Brady immediately added some gravitas to the team and indicated the Bucs are in win-now mode.
While Brady has been the main addition this offseason, the Bucs also added tight end Rob Gronkowski and drafted potential cornerstone offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs and safety Antoine Winfield. Despite finishing 7-9 last year, Pro Football Focus considers Tampa Bay the most improved team in the NFC.
“The Tampa Bay Bucs are the most improved team in the NFC,” PFF analyst Steve Palazzolo said. “It obviously starts with Tom Brady at quarterback and just having some weapons to throw to this year. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard, Cameron Brate and the return of Gronk. Brady’s going to look so much better, even at age 43. Then you add that improving defense from last year, the investment in the secondary. The Bucs: most improved in the NFC.”
Of course, it's easy to win the offseason. The hard part is securing a playoff berth this fall.
On paper though, Tampa Bay seems to be in good position to get back to the postseason, especially in an expanded field.
If they do that, it will be tough to argue with PFF's assessment of how far they've come.