Jacksonville Jaguars must watch these 2 Buccaneers play in Super Bowl
By now, you might’ve heard that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off in Super Bowl 55. Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be watching in the comfort of their home. Even though it will fun to watch the best two teams in the NFL play against each other, the ‘Jags’ should monitor how a couple of Buccaneers perform in the championship game, as they could end up becoming cap casualties this offseason.
While the Jaguars are projected to have $73 million in cap room, the ‘Bucs’ will have $24 million and may need to cut a few players if they want to have enough wiggle room to make meaningful moves this offseason. Quarterback Tom Brady may want a raise and tight end Rob Gronkowski is set to become hit the open market.
Lavonte David and Shaquil Barret, two of Tampa Bay’s most important defensive players, are also scheduled to become free agents. Even though it’s not feasible to re-sign all of them, the Buccaneers will need as much cap room as they can get to keep one or two of them. That’s why they may end up releasing these two players.
The Jacksonville Jaguars should be interested in these two Buccaneers.
1. Cameron Brate, tight end
An undrafted free agent in 2014, Cameron Brate has spent all his NFL career in Tampa Bay. He signed a six-year $41 million extension in 2018 and has been a key cog in the Buccaneers’ offense even though he’s caught more than 50 passes in a year just once.
In 2020, he hauled in 28 receptions for 282 receptions and two touchdowns. He’s set to count $6.5 million against the cap in this season, and the ‘Bucs’ can save that amount without dead money if they release him this offseason.
Brate may not have had as many targets in recent seasons due to the presence of O.J. Howard and ‘Gronk’ but he showed he can thrive on an expanded role in 2016 when he caught 57 receptions for 660 yards and eight touchdowns. He could be an underrated addition to the Jaguars’ tight end room.
2. Donovan Smith, left tackle
Although Donovan Smith isn’t a top-tier left tackle, he’s been one of the most consistent ones in the league since the Buccaneers used a second-round selection on him in 2015. They liked his performance so much that they gave him a three-year $41.5 million extension in 2019.
Smith will be in the third year of his contract and is set to earn $14.5 million in 2021. Nevertheless, Tampa Bay can cut him and pocket that amount without dead money, which may be necessary if they need additional cap space this offseason.
Smith earned a 72.1 Pro Football Focus grade in 2020 and has missed just two games in his six-year career. The Jaguars could target him this offseason if they aren’t interested in re-signing Cam Robinson but miss out on Trent Williams, who will be the best left tackle in this year’s free-agent class.