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Tampa Bay Bucs: 2014 Playoff Contenders?

Many NFL teams had impressive offseason signings. Many teams also let some big-name players go, such as the Eagles with wide receiver Desean Jackson and the Titans releasing running back Chris Johnson. However, one team has gone a bit under the radar and made some essential signings that may improve their chances to contend in this upcoming NFL regular season.

That team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs had a disappointing season in which their star player, running back Doug Martin, only played a few games before being placed on injured reserve and missing the rest of the season. The Bucs’ 2013 season revolved around quarterback Josh Freeman’s release from the team, which got a lot of media attention. The team relied on rookie quarterback Mike Glennon to take the reigns as starter. The NC State alum had a decent season, but nothing extraordinary. The Bucs finished the season at 4-12, tied for last in the NFC South division.

A team that had a solid defense in 2013 only added to that this offseason. Even though they lost star cornerback Darrelle Revis, the team made up for his loss with some big signings. They signed former Tennessee Titan cornerback Alterraun Verner to a four-year deal.  They then made another free agency splash by signing former Cincinnati Bengal defensive end, Michael Johnson to a five-year deal. These two defensive starts could help the Bucs’ defense mightily in 2014. The team also signed cornerbacks Major Wright and Mike Jenkins to help out their secondary.

Possibly the biggest free agent that the Bucs signed in the offseason was, in fact, quarterback Josh McCown, formerly of the Chicago Bears. McCown took over for the injured Jay Cutler in the middle of the season and did a suitable job. After Cutler returned from his injury, the Bears kicked McCown to the curb and decided to go back to Cutler to start the rest of the season. With this signing, the Bucs have an experienced quarterback who can definitely play the position well.

The Bucs also agreed to terms with a new head coach, Lovie Smith. They will also have a new look this season, as they debuted their new uniforms a few months ago. This team has done everything they need to do to compete in a tough NFC South division. Doug Martin will be ready to go for the start of the season and wide receiver Vincent Jackson is one of the top players at his position in the league. Keep an eye on this team when September comes because they may be a force to be reckoned with.

[Photo Credit: news.sportslogos.net]