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BucDad's prediction on who won't be returning

Well it's been just over two whole weeks without football since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the world by beating the Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV. For the record, the Lombardi looks really nice with a Florida tan.


With the new league year beginning March 11th, teams are figuring out what to do with their expiring contracts while others are waiting to see what other teams are doing with some players; I'm going to play "couch GM" for a moment and predict how things are going to unfold here for the Bucs.


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OJ Howard: Since being drafted in the first round in 2015, Howard hasn't completed a full season due to injuries. Not to say he wasn't productive prior to his injuries, but I feel his time in Tampa has come to an end. Teams have expressed interest in trading for Howard over the last few seasons, while the Bucs haven't pulled the trigger on any obviously. At this juncture, with Rob Gronkowski expressing his interest to return to Tampa to play with his buddy, Tom Brady, and Cameron Brate continuing to solidify his role in the offense (along with a wonderful catch of a thrown Lombardi from boat to boat from Brady during the Bucs Super Bowl Boat Parade), it's difficult to believe the Bucs would hesitate to shop Howard if they can atleast obtain a mid-2nd or 3rd round selection.


Jack Cichy: Cichy has been a decent back-up when he hasn't been injured the last few seasons, but if the Bucs are hoping to keep the core of the defense intact, it's going to end up with Cichy being the odd man out unfortunately. If the Bucs are able to secure JPP, Shaq, Suh and Lavonte David, they are going to have to part ways with players such as Cichy amongst others. This doesn't mean he won't return to Tampa as a member of the practice squad if he isn't picked up by another team, I just wouldn't expect to see him on the active roster.


Leonard Fournette: When Fournette signed with the Bucs after being released by Jacksonville, many fans including myself were happy to have a solid RB2 to compliment Ronald Jones. Although he didn't truly live up to expectations full throughout the season, he did step up when it was needed while Jones missed a couple games with injury and being placed on the COVID list along with adapting the nicknames "Playoff Lenny" and "Super Bowl Lenny". So why would the Bucs part ways with Fournette if he did what was expected? Simple math; Fournette who is a prior 1st round draft pick with expectations of being a starter. With news of Fournette and Coach Bruce Arians conversation after he was a healthy scratch during the team's Week 14 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings and with Fournette expressing interest in returning to Tampa but not wanting to split carries with Jones, it's difficult to see Fournette being retained. Not saying Fournette won't land on another roster, it just won't be in Tampa. If I had to make a prediction, I'd say possibly New York Giants or New England Patriots as the featured back.


LeSean McCoy: He may very well be hanging it up and calling it a career after winning back-to-back Super Bowls while doing literally nothing but suiting up in both. This isn't a dig at McCoy one bit as many people who look at that stat and wouldn't mind one bit being in that position. McCoy has had a very productive career while in Philadelphia and Buffalo, so being towards the end of your career and hoisting the Lombardi two years in a row is for sure a way to go out "on top" of the game. If McCoy doesn't retire, I doubt he ends up back here in Tampa unless he's willing to come back for the price of a pack of gum to play insurance as a third string, mentor type player which even still is highly unlikely the Bucs waste money in that manner given the current cap situation.


The Bucs aren't in cap hell much like other teams in the league, but they have to play smart with their money in order to do what's needed. We shall see in the next few weeks how things shake out for the 2-time Super Bowl Champions.

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