Could we see the Buccaneers use the “other tag” this year? The Transition Tag may come in clutch. Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians has stated there are 5-6 players hes looking to keep in this years free agent class. While some will willingly take less money for another run, some may take a little maneuvering.
One of these options could be utilizing multiple tags. The three tag candidates for me are Godwin, Barrett and David. Assuming David signs a multi year contract, the best use of the tags would be Franchise tagging Godwin, while using the transition tag on Barrett. You may not know the difference. The Franchise tag pays the average salary of the top 5 players at the position. The Transition tag pays the average salary of the top 10 players at the position.
Doing it this way would pay Godwin 16M and Barrett 13M. Saves around 2.5M in total cost. No matter how it happens, lets hope this team stays together and makes a run at a repeat.
Theres also the possibility that David doesn’t agree to a contract and will have to be tagged. Restructures and cuts are almost inevitable to keep the main guys. Currently sitting at around 28M in cap space, The Buccaneers need to get to around 40M to feel comfortable going into free agency.
Losing a player like David can change the entire scheme. We’ve seen this recently in Carolina after losing Thomas Davis, Followed by Luke Kuechly. Shaq Barretts numbers didnt wow the average fan the way they did in his first year with the organization, but he was top 5 in QB pressures and really disrupted opposing offenses in the playoffs. Losing Barrett would put a strain on the young secondary.
With what appears to be an abundance in the receiver room, Chris Godwin may have to make a decision. Does he try to push the Buccaneers into paying him a top 5 salary after an injury riddled season and many uncharacteristic drops in the playoffs, or will he take a 1 year deal and raise his value for next offseason? With an almost certain cap increase in 2022, Godwin could push himself into the 20M a year range. With free agency looming, the Buccaneers have many decisions to make.