Why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should make trade offer for Alshon Jeffery

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in win-now mode with Tom Brady, and here's why they should make a trade offer for Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery, Colts
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The pursuit and ultimate signing of Tom Brady to a two-year deal put the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into win-now mode. They will try to end a long playoff drought, and win a Super Bowl with an older head coach in Bruce Arians.

Getting Brady is the centerpiece of the Buccaneers’ offseason, and otherwise they’ve mostly made moves to keep guys they had (Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, etc.). But there’s an opportunity out there to add a piece to the offense in a vein of win-now moves.

Breshad Perriman got an increased opportunity with the Buccaneers late last season when Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were out, and took advantage. He could have come back to Tampa Bay as the No. 3 wide receiver, but he has signed with the New York Jets in free agency.

The list of available free agent wide receivers is dismal-looking now. And while the draft is deep at the position, the Buccaneers may address other needs with their first couple picks.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a very significant need at wide receiver, but Alshon Jeffery would reportedly welcome a change of scenery.

Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman has acknowledged the Jeffery situation.

Jeffery’s 2019 campaign was shortened by a Lisfranc injury, which required surgery. In the 10 games he did play he was not great (43 catches for 490 yards and four touchdowns, with a career-worst 11.4 yards per catch). There is also the small matter of the money he’s due, with $11.5 million guaranteed to him this year to go with a $15.4 million cap hit.

Jeffery has played all 16 games just once in the last five seasons, and now at 30 years old he’s unlikely to suddenly become an iron man. But 9.6 percent of his career catches have gone for touchdowns. He has also converted at least 40 percent of his red zone targets to touchdowns in each of the last three seasons.

Tampa Bay entered free agency toward the top of the league in cap space, which they of course have spent down considerably now. But they could offer a mid or late-round draft pick for Jeffery, and the Eagles might bite just to get his money off their books.

The Buccaneers would also have to get Jeffery to restructure his contract on the back end of a trade (that’s code for take a pay cut). But he may be willing to do that if he’s as unhappy with the Eagles as it seems he is. The idea of catching passes from Brady will also help.

Some additional maneuvering will be needed to make it happen. But at this point, the Buccaneers should have more than enough interest in Jeffery to make a trade offer for him.