The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will embark on a new era in the 2020 NFL season with plenty of question marks hanging over them.
The Bucs last won the Super Bowl in 2020, but hopes are high that the team can make a major splash this time around.
Their 7-9 record in NFC South last term doesn’t scream ‘future title winners’, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic after an exciting off-season.
Read on as we assess the latest state-of-play in Tampa Bay and take a look at some of the players who could make a difference during the upcoming campaign.
Brady Arrival Ramps up Expectations
The addition of legendary quarterback Tom Brady to the Bucs’ roster sparked a flurry of activity in the outright betting to win the Super Bowl.
The Bucs’ odds were slashed as fans clamoured to back the team to claim the NFL’s ultimate prize.
Many pundits have questioned whether putting their faith in a 43-year-old is a sensible move by the Bucs, but Brady is confident he can lead the team to glory.
“My opinion is the only one that matters to me,” he told NBC Sports. “In the end, you can prove them wrong or prove them right.
“I’ve got the opportunity to go out there and play and I’m going to make the most of it and do what I’ve always done. I’m just gonna have to go out there and do it.”
Gronkowski Signing Could be Shrewd
Brady played a key role in Rob Gronkowski’s decision to come out of retirement and his signing could prove to be a shrewd move by the owners of the franchise.
The Glazer family, who also own Premier League club Manchester United, signed off on a deal that will see Gronkowski earn $10 million in 2020.
That makes him the fourth highest paid tight end in the NFL, but his understanding with Brady should mean that he is worth every dollar.
He has looked impressive in training, although head coach Bruce Arians admitted that he still has work to do to get into ‘Florida shape’.
Gronkowski can be expected to be fully up-to-speed by the time the action starts and he will be eager to prove his value on the field this season.
Wide Receivers Set for a Stellar Year
In addition to having Gronkowski to aim at, Brady will also be able to utilise the talents of two hugely talented wide receivers this term.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both had over 1,100 receiving yards last year, but they can be expected to increase their output with Brady firing the bullets.
Evans is one of just two players with 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of his first six seasons in the NFL – Hall of Famer Randy Moss was the other.
Godwin was tipped for big things after being drafted in the third round in 2017, but it took him a couple of seasons to find his feet.
The duo appear certain to be an integral part of the Bucs’ offense and are expected to cause mayhem throughout the 2020 season.