It wasn't easy for the Buccaneers, what with Chris Godwin, Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches all being free agents this offseason. The Buccaneers, though, re-signed every one of them, along with Antonio Brown, Ryan Succop, Steve McLendon, and among others.
It took a different strategy from the Bucs, who for the first time in recent memory restructured contracts, pushing guaranteed money into the future and potentially taking on dead money cap hits somewhere down the line. (By way of perspective, the Bucs have ranked 32nd, 28th, 28th, 29th, and 28th in dead money over the last five seasons.) Why were they willing to do that? Well, general manager Jason Licht had a pretty simple explanation.
"We feel like we have a window here of, I don't know if it's two, three, four, five more years?" Licht said, per NFL.com. "But we got a window here. Might as well go for it."
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It makes sense. When you win the Super Bowl, have one of the most talented offenses and defenses in the league, and you're able to bring all of them back, why not just do it? Licht claims not to have known about the "it hasn't been done since the 1970s" part of this whole thing, which was apparently a good thing for him.
"I didn't know if we were going to be able to do it," Licht said. "And at the time, I didn't know it hadn't been done since 1977 -- I'm glad I didn't know that at the time because I would have been even more stressed out about it."
The Bucs are among the favorites as they attempt to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the New England Patriots won Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX. Of course, Tom Brady was the quarterback of those teams, which gives this Tampa squad something in common with that group. Clearly, the Bucs will be aiming for the same result.