So, as the offseason has begun for the Bucs, let’s talk about some of the big-name players on defense and what’s going on with them. First up, Justin Evans.
In a recent interview, when asked about the progress of Justin Evans, Bruce Arians stated: “It’s still too early to tell. The second surgery went fine. He’s still a few months away.” I feel bad for Justin Evans because I had high hopes for him when the Bucs drafted him in the second round of the 2017 draft, but so far, he has never been able to stay healthy. I hope his recovery from surgery and rehab continues to go well and that this latest surgery finally fixes the problem that has been ailing him. Honestly, I know that getting hurt is not his fault and he has no control over getting hurt, if the decision were up to me, I’d say it’s time to cut our losses and move on from him.
Secondly, let’s talk about Shaq “Sack” Barrett. Bruce Arians was recently asked about whether or not franchise tagging Barrett would be a possibility. Arians is quoted as saying: “Well, hopefully, we can get a deal done, we’ve got some very important free agents that I think want to be here and we’ll have a lot of long, hard discussions this week. Jason Licht, myself, the owners, and see what we can iron out because I want to keep this defense together.” Personally, I really want to see Barrett back with the Bucs in 2020. I hope they sign him to a long term deal. Arians is right, this defense stepped up, gelled and played well together this season, let’s have some consistency and keep them together. Barrett has also said that he would like to stay in Tampa.
When it comes to Jason Pierre-Paul being a priority, Arians said: “huge, one of the highest.” I would love for JPP to come back. He certainly beat the odds after a car wreck that very well could have ended his career. He is a leader on this defense, a great veteran presence to have around.
Lastly, let’s talk about Ndamukong Suh. On trying to keep Suh, Arians stated: “He’s one of the top three. You can start with Barrett, JPP, either one, and Suh. I want to keep this front seven together. They’ve proven to be pretty dominant”.
The Bucs front office certainly has some very important decisions to make. It’s a good thing that they’ll have a lot more money to play around with than last year due to the salary cap going up.