Tampa Bay Bucs Free Agents 2023
It was an up-and-down NFL season for the Buccaneers. They won the NFC South despite their 8-9 record. In the playoffs, the Cowboys handed them a 31-14 loss to end the season. The team has several NFL free agents with expiring contracts that need to be addressed. Here is what you need to know about Tampa Bay Bucs free agency in 2023.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free Agents Overview
The big news surrounds the retirement of Tom Brady. He is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and brought the franchise a Super Bowl title. Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert is a free agent. This leaves Kyle Trask in Tampa. The offseason is full of decisions about the quarterback position.
The defense is taking a big blow and losing depth with several key players headed for free agency. Cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting will become free agents. Tack on linebacker Lavonte David, defensive end Akiem Hicks, and safety Mike Edwards. David led the team with 124 tackles during the 2022 season while Dean and Murphy-Bunting each had two interceptions.
Buccaneers Unrestricted Free Agents in 2023
To be an unrestricted free agent, there are a couple of qualifications. An NFL player must have four or more years of experience. On top of that, their contract has to have expired or been voided. They can negotiate with any team without any restrictions or draft-choice compensation. Here’s a list of 2023 Bucs free agents who are unrestricted.
Blaine Gabbert – QB
Giovani Bernard – RB
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Julio Jones – WR
Kyle Rudolph – TE
Breshad Perriman – WR
Scotty Miller – WR
Centers, Guards, and Tackles
Aaron Stinnie – G
Josh Wells – RT
Defensive Tackles, Defensive Ends, and Edge Rushers
Akiem Hicks – DE
William Gholston – DE
Rakeem Nunez-Roches – DT
Pat O’Connor – DE
Carl Nassib – DE
Genard Avery – DE
Deadrin Senat – DT
Lavonte David – ILB
Anthony Nelson – OLB
Cornerback and Safety
Sean Murphy-Bunting – CB
Logan Ryan – CB
Jamel Dean – CB
Mike Edwards – S
Keanu Neal – SS
Restricted Free Agents
A restricted free agent is a player who has played for three or fewer accrued seasons and has an expiring contract. The team can assign a tender to the player, which allows them to match any offer the player receives from other teams. The team receives draft compensation if the player signs elsewhere.
Tampa Bay Bucs restricted free agents in 2023:
Dee Delaney – CB
Cam Gill – LB
Nick Leverett – G (exclusive restricted free agent)
Salary Cap and Bucs Roster
The Tampa Bay Bucs 2023 salary cap situation is not looking pretty at the moment. Projections have them well over the cap. This will have a massive impact on their ability to sign 2023 NFL free agents, especially at quarterback. The salary cap is $224.8 million for the 2023 NFL season.
The Bucs started their 2023 offseason by parting ways with running back Leonard Fournette and releasing offensive tackle Donovan Smith. More of these moves have to be made for them to get under the cap. Even though he retired, the Bucs have to deal with Tom Brady’s $35 million cap hit.
This makes it difficult to address the situation at quarterback. Also, the team selects 19th in the 2023 NFL Draft. Not the best place to draft a top quarterback. Difficult decisions lie ahead for the Bucs.
Tampa Bay Bucs Free Agents 2023 FAQs
NFL free agency will commence on March 15, 2023. It begins at 4 p.m. eastern time. The date signifies the start of the new league year and the end of all player contracts. Many players are set to hit the market and gain free agency status.
An unrestricted free agent is a player whose contract has expired, and they have no ties to their former team. Starting on March 15, they are free to negotiate with any team in the league without restrictions.
A restricted free agent can be extended what is called a qualifying offer. If offered, they are still allowed to negotiate with other teams around the league. Their current team is allowed to match any offer.
There is a “legal tampering” period that begins on March 13. Teams can talk to certified agents but no signings can be made until free agency is official.