The Buccaneers hope not many of their free agents move on, but they know some will. The 2021 Buccaneers will not be the 2020 Buccaneers.
That team is history.
That’s what Bruce Arians said he told his team in their final team meeting following their Super Bowl LV victory over the Chiefs.
“When I said goodbye, we said goodbye to this season, this team,” Arians said during a conference call Wednesday, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “Next year is a different team. When we come back, we’re not Super Bowl champions. We’re just the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s for everyone to find their role, whatever that might be and then embrace it.
“We did learn this year to embrace those roles and know that at any one time they could change and be bigger or smaller and the team is still the main thing. We had a long talk about that when we broke up as a team. We said, ‘Congratulations, but this team is history. Next year is a whole new ballclub, man. We ain’t done s—.’”
Tom Brady will return, which is a good starting point, but outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, receiver Chris Godwin, linebacker Lavonte David, tight end Rob Gronkowski, kicker Ryan Succop and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh are among the team’s free agents.
Winning this year was hard. Repeating is harder, as the Chiefs found out last month.