How PFF has graded the Bucs’ free agency so far

It’s almost been a week since free agency’s negotiation window began, and since then, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been busy.

Perhaps not as busy as teams bringing in new free agents en masse, but Tampa Bay has done much to retain some of its key free agents that could have left for other teams in free agency such as Jamel Dean, Lavonte David and Anthony Nelson. Even still, the team has managed to pick up some free agents on the market for cheap, such as the Rams’ Baker Mayfield and Greg Gaines.

Pro Football Focus has noticed the efforts, and they assigned the Bucs a “B” grade in their grades for all 32 teams thus far in free agency. Here is a little of what they had to say about the biggest Tampa Bay signings so far:

QB Baker Mayfield

(AP Photo/David Richard)

Tampa Bay is the latest destination for the Baker Mayfield reclamation project after failed stints with the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams that saw him earn a career-low 50.6 overall grade that ranked 37th among quarterbacks in 2022.

Between 2018 and 2020, Mayfield’s 87.5 PFF grade was the ninth-best at the position, but it’s been so long since then that it’s fair to wonder whether he can get his career back on track as a starting quarterback.

CB Jamel Dean

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

This is one of the surprises of the entire free agency period. Dean was benched for Tampa’s playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, and reports indicated that he could sign a really big deal outside of Tampa. It was reported that Dean had a broken toe for the game, but he played 17 special teams snaps, so the whole situation is a bit bizarre.

Nonetheless, Dean was the top young cornerback available on the free-agent market, and Tampa gets exceptional value with this re-signing. Over the last three seasons, Dean ranks behind only Jaire Alexander and Jalen Ramsey in PFF coverage grade at the position. He’s also earned a top-15 coverage grade on press coverage snaps, where he thrives as a big, physical corner who can bump the top outside wide receivers off their routes.

LB Lavonte David

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

David is up there in age, but he is still one of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL and has earned coverage grades above 80.0 in each of the last four seasons.

Whether that’s a lack of physical decline or just remarkable instincts and football IQ, David is a great value on a one-year flier and could perhaps spend his entire career.

David has missed less than 10% of tackle opportunities in each of the last two seasons and had 57 defensive stops to go along with five pass breakups in 2022. Tampa will not be as good on offense in 2023, but their defense should still cause a lot of problems in a weak NFC South.

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire