Sunday, June 26, 2022

Bucs called wideout in proposed trade with Ravens

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could part ways with wide receiver Scotty Miller in a proposed trade with the Baltimore Ravens.

Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton suggested the Ravens send the Bucs a 2023 fifth-round draft pick for Miller, who had a bad year in 2021. Miller previously shone as a deep ball threat for quarterback Tom Brady in 2020, catching 33 passes for 501 yards and three touchdowns. A turf toe injury limited Miller for most of 2021 as he never regained his 2020 form and finished with five receptions for 38 yards.

“Miller’s lack of impact was shocking given the success he had with Tom Brady in their first year together,” Wharton wrote. “The fast 5-foot-9, 174-pounder averaged 15.2 yards per catch and totaled 501 yards and three points in 2020. He’s stuck behind the league’s deepest receiving corps but would prevail in Baltimore with his ability to open up quickly.”

The Ravens notably traded ex-Bucs Antonio Brown’s cousin, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason. Baltimore needs a new reception threat for quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Shipping Miller would free up $996,960 in salary caps for the Bucs, according to Over The Cap. Miller will become a free agent in 2023, which means he could end up asking the Bucs for a lot more than $996,960 depending on how 2022 goes.

The free-agent receiver market exploded in 2022, with 13 wideouts signing or re-signing annually for $3 million or more per Spotrac. Another eight recipients have inked $1.5 to $2.5 million per Spotrac annually.

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Clearing a small Cap space might not hurt the Bucs with more available to pay Rob Gronkowski on the tight end if he decides to return to football. The Bucs have $10.4 million in cap space per over the cap, and Gronkowski could rule a huge chunk of the remaining cap space.

Gronkowski made $8 million with Over The Cap in 2021, but his free agent signing value is estimated at $9.5 million annually per Spotrac. That number would still rank Gronkowski among 10 other NFL tight ends for annual salaries per Spotrac.

“He should have a cap under which he won’t play,” wrote Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “Maybe he does. And maybe the Bucs just aren’t here yet.”

Florio added that Gronkowski “should play for less than $15 million a year” based on this year’s receiver free agency market.

Tampa Bay plans to go all-in in the 2022 season as it may be Brady’s last, but adding a 2023 draft pick could help build for the future.

While the Bucs have depth at receiver, injuries hurt that depth last season, and it remained an issue this offseason as well. Miller’s move could impact the Bucs’ passing game in 2022.

Chris Godwin has more recovery ahead of him after tearing his ACL as of December 2021, and Russell Gage, who was acquired from free agent, has not seen the field due to an undisclosed injury. The Bucs have limited experience after Mike Evans pictured without Godwin and Gage. Only Cyril Grayson and Breshad Perriman caught touchdowns outside of the Bucs’ big three of Evans, Godwin and Brown last season. Miller and Tyler Johnson both had touchdowns for the Bucs in 2020 but didn’t catch any in 2021.

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