After winning the Super Bowl last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to do something unprecedented. They found a way to keep all 22 of their starters around for 2021.
That might not be as easy to do this year, and head coach Bruce Arians admitted as much during a press conference on Monday following the team's season-ending playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a reload like it is every year,” Arians said, via the team’s website. “Our [priority] in free agency will be our guys — see how many that we can get back and then build a team from there. I always look forward to that part of it, and then the draft. Each year is so different and so new. Last year, to get everybody back was amazing. I doubt we can do it all again this year, but we’re sure going to give it our best.”
Currently, the Bucs have 24 players whose contracts are set to expire in March. Included in that group are offensive standouts Rob Gronkowski, Ryan Jensen, Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette, as well as defensive starters Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh and Carlton Davis.
That's not even including quarterback Tom Brady, whose NFL future is cloudy after reports surfaced over the weekend saying that the 44-year-old could retire after a superlative career.
“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. So, we’ll just take it day by day and see where we’re at,” Brady said of his impending decision after yesterday's loss.
Arians, meanwhile, made it clear he will be back in 2022 for his fourth season as head coach. The Bucs are 31-18 in the regular season under his guidance.