NFL

Super Bowl LV: Bruce Arians confident of keeping Buccaneers together despite financially challenging offseason

By Sports Desk February 08, 2021

Bruce Arians is "very, very confident" the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be able to keep together the core that inspired them to Super Bowl LV glory.

Arians won his first Super Bowl as a head coach on Sunday as his Bucs crushed the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9.

In the process, they became the first team to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium, having added Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown to a talented team that underperformed in 2019, finishing with a 7-9 record.

The Bucs will face the same challenge as the rest of the league this offseason, trying to hang on to free agents and improve the team in a year where the salary cap is due to shrink as a result of the economic issues caused by playing a season largely without fans.

Fournette, Gronkowski and Brown are all scheduled to enter unrestricted free agency, as is pass rusher Shaquil Barrett, who had 13 pressures of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Linebacker Lavonte David, wide receiver Chris Godwin and veteran defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh are also poised to hit the open market.

However, Arians has faith that general manager Jason Licht can maintain one of the most complete rosters in the NFL.

"I'm very, very confident," he told reporters on Monday. "I have all the trust in the world in Jason and what he will do.

"These guys, they have a bond. There will be dollars involved, but I think this group is so, so close that sometimes dollars don't matter.

"But we're going to do everything we can to get the dollars right, too, because they earned it."

Arians is excited about the possibility of getting a full offseason with Brady and his offense, something they were not afforded in 2020 because of the pandemic.

And he believes that group could average 35 points a game in 2021, having finished the regular season third in points per game with 30.8.

"I don't think there's any doubt about that," he added. "I was pissed because we really had about 40 or 45 [points] out there last night. We left a few out there.

"This group of guys, they're so, so, so special. Hopefully, we can keep this band together and have an offseason where we actually know what the hell we're doing and all on the same page. Yeah, I think the sky's the limit for this group."

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