The Bucs are set to enter the offseason with a number of free agents needing signing and some holes to plug during the draft, and they’ll have the opportunity to do that for the remaining months until football season starts. There are a few dates coming up that mark important milestones for any football team, and you can see what they are and how exactly they apply to the Bucs in our handy list below:
February 27-March 4: NFL Scouting Combine
Draft season starts here for everyone in the league, and Tampa Bay will be headed to Indianapolis to scout out some future Bucs players. Interior offensive line and EDGE will likely be two areas GM Jason Licht takes a good look at here, especially with the recent retirement of Ryan Jensen.
March 5: Franchise/transition tag deadline
This may be a good date for Bucs fans to mark their calenders for since it’s likely Antoine Winfield Jr. could get the tag. The Bucs can definitely bring everyone back next year, but it’s going to take some shuffling around and Winfield Jr. may unfortunately have to wait until next year to get his long-term deal.
March 7: College pro days begin
College pro days can often be a useful look, since some players will opt to do more work and more drills there than they would at the NFL Combine. The Bucs will definitely have some representatives out at a few college pro days.
March 11-13: Free agency begins
Free agency will begin in the middle of March. While the Bucs are likely to add in small increments, their mission once again this year will be to retain players like Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield, Lavonte David and much more. Just how they could do that will remain to be seen.
March 13: Trading period opens
The Bucs aren’t likely to trade anyone on the roster, nor would they be likely to trade for anyone else, but this is still a date to keep in mind — you never know.
April 15: Offseason program begins
Offseason programs will begin on April 1 for teams with new head coaches, but with the Bucs retaining Todd Bowles, they’ll start later than that on April 15.
April 27-29: NFL draft
With the combine and pro days done, it will finally be time to draft players for GM Jason Licht. The Bucs currently pick No. 26 in the NFL draft’s first round, so they’ll start a bit far back from the field.
May 2: Fifth-year option deadline
The fifth-year option for Tampa Bay is Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, and given how he’s played in his career so far, it would be a surprising move to see the Bucs activate that fifth-year option. If they do, though, this would be the day to do it.
May 3-6 or May 10-13: Rookie minicamp
Teams get a choice between these two set of dates for rookie minicamp, which will be where the Bucs will train their new draft class and subsequent undrafted free agents.