3 Moves the Buccaneers Need to Make to Get Under the Salary Cap by March 15
The roster of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is likely going to look a lot different when the 2023 season kicks off and that isn't just because starting quarterback Tom Brady has retired. A few key veterans are set to hit the open market and the team needs to make moves to better its salary cap situation.
The Buccaneers check in a whopping $55 million over the salary cap limit, which is the largest mark of any NFL team. It's important to work on getting that total as low as possible before the new league year officially begins on March 15. Here are three cost-saving moves Tampa Bay can make right now to do so.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Roster Moves
1. Give Mike Evans a One-Year Extension
This is a move that could apply to wide receiver Mike Evans or Chris Godwin, but let's stick to Evans considering he only has one year left on his current contract. The four-time Pro Bowler is the only player in NFL history to start a career with nine 1,000-yard seasons, which would make it surprising to see him turn down a one- or two-year extension to stay in Tampa Bay. Giving up cap space in 2024 to reduce Evan's 2023 cap space hit from $23.7 million to a more reasonable amount would be smart. The front office could make a chunk of that into a bonus that can be prorated, which is one way to improve the situation without losing the player.
2. Cut Tackle Donovan Smith
Getting under the salary cap is not going to be easy for Tampa Bay and it'll likely take a drastic move like cutting tackle Donovan Smith to do so. Smith took a step back from a great 2021 season as he allowed 6 sacks and drew 12 penalties across 908 snaps this past fall. He was fighting through an elbow injury, but that doesn't change the fact that the Buccaneers could free up just under $10 million in cap space by cutting ties. Keep in mind Smith is set to be 30 when the next NFL season kicks off, too. Tampa Bay has seven draft picks to use in April and could find Smith's replacement in a prospect.
3. Cut Ryan Succop
While kicker Ryan Succop's $4.5 million cap hit may not seem like a major expense, every little bit counts when it comes time to bring in free agents or sign draft picks. The Buccaneers can save $3.75 million by cutting Succop loose and picking up a kicker closer to training camp. After all, the 36-year-old proved to only be reliable from under 50 yards this past season as he went 2-of-7 from beyond that range. That is not going to get the job done when there is a number of young kickers out there looking to prove they have what it takes to play in the NFL. They would sign a cheap deal in a heartbeat.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.