‘We want them back’: Bruce Arians remains hopeful on keeping many free agents ahead of next season


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bruce Arians, hopped on Zoom Thursday morning to discuss an upcoming fundraising event for the Arians Family Foundation.

However, as you would expect, he received a handful of questions in regards to free agency.

“In your experience, how much will the Brady aura, the Brady effect, be a factor in keeping free agents and acquiring free agents or does it usually come down to the money?” one reporter asked.

“It is usually the money. If it is close, I think our guys really want to stay and they know they have something special. I do not think any of them want to leave and I do not get involved in the dollars,” Arians said. “I just let them know that we want them back and they want to be back so, hopefully, we can get everything done and keep our guys.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ current roster is covered in free agents so, in the simplest of terms, this organization will be busy in the offseason.

The top offensive free agents include Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, and Ryan Succop.

Arians answered a question about the likelihood of keeping Godwin in Tampa. He has complimented Mike Evans beautifully over the past four seasons.

“He loves it here,” said Arians. “It is hard to leave and go to another system just for money but it is not bad paying two number one receivers – that is for sure – when they are as good as our two number ones.”

The top defensive free agents include Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, and Ndamukong Suh.

Does Arians think the desire to win another Super Bowl would trump the size of the salary for Gronkowski and Suh?

“I do not think it would trump it much,” admitted Arians, “but, hopefully, we can keep them within the framework of the team because I know they both want to be back. That is one thing I stay away from. I do not get involved in the dollars but I would hope that they would both be structurally in the ballpark where we can get it done.”

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