Saints Free Agency

Evaluating the NFC South’s Early Free Agency Moves

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

-Acquired/Reacquired: WR DeSean Jackson, DE Chris Baker, FS J.J. Wilcox, CB Josh Robinson, FS Chris Conte, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, DT Sealver Siliga, K Nick Folk, C Joe Hawley, LS Garrison Sanborn

-Relinquished: QB Mike Glennon, WR Russell Shepard, DT Akeem Spence

What does a well-managed, young and explosive team do? They get younger and more explosive. The Buccaneers will be a tough matchup for the Saints this season (as they usually are). QB Jameis Winston is entering just his 3rd NFL season, and he’s already one of the premier passers in the league. The addition of Jackson makes Winston even more deadly, especially alongside standout (and enormous) WR Mike Evans. Jackson might not be young in NFL-years, but he plays like a early-20-something receiver who can beat you down the field at any given moment.

Retaining Conte ensures a nice, hard-hitting safety for that always-underrated Tampa Bay defense. Which still features Gerald McCoy, by the way. Wilcox, a former-Cowboy, brings in a centerfield-type safety depth the Bucs have missed over the years, bolstering up their pass defense. And, of course, Rodgers can be electrifying, and he’s still so young that some experience may bring out some more great performances out of the little (but very quick) running back.

New Orleans will need to game plan double-time in order to beat Tampa Bay in 2017. All aspects of the ball seem to be shaping up very nicely for the Bucs, possibly making them a threat to Atlanta for the NFC South crown. The Saints will have to sign or draft a lengthy and/or very speedy cornerback to combat the deadly duo of receivers. There’s a silver lining for New Orleans: the only weak spot immediately seen for Tampa Bay is their offensive line, which could be exploited to disrupt Winston. Let’s hope for the best, but don’t forget about the Bucs.