The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed two of their own before free agency opened by inking CB Brent Grimes to a one-year deal believed to be worth $10 million dollars and TE Cameron Brate to a monster 6 year, $41 million dollar contract with $18 million guaranteed.
What do these two big time signings mean for the Bucs and their free agency options?
While Grimes certainly isn’t the player he was in 2009, the 12 year pro continues to defy father time, leading the team in pass defensed (11) and tied for the team lead in interceptions (3). Grimes has 7 interceptions in 27 games with Tampa Bay and is still considered an above average corner in the league.
Brate is Jameis Winston’s go to guy in the red zone, the two players have combined for 17 touchdowns in the 3 years they’ve played together. Brate tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions with fellow tight end O.J. Howard and is an essential part of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s two tight end formation or “12 personnel”. He led the NFL in touchdown receptions by a tight end in 2016.
How Grimes and Brate Fit
Grimes will retain his number one corner slot as the Bucs have reaffirmed their commitment to 34-year old out of Shippenburg.
Brate has been one of Winston’s favorite target, finishing fourth on the team in targets. Brate will be featured with Howard in multiple formations and as a primary red zone target.
Impact to the Cap
With plenty of cap room to work with (Tampa Bay had the 4th most in the league at $67,945,826 per spotrac.com), the impact will not put the Bucs into dire straights cap-wise. While we await the breakdown of Brate’s contract, the Bucs still have plenty of room to work with in free agency.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay avoids creating a major hole in their already leaky defense by retaining Grimes and keeps an outstanding offensive weapon in it’s arsenal.
While many Bucs fans may shrug their shoulders with these moves, retaining the talent you do have is an important step to building back to relevancy in the NFC.