Tom Brady is staying with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the next two seasons, and in the front office of the Super Bowl champions they "couldn't be happier".

It emerged on Friday that 43-year-old Brady has agreed to stay with the Buccaneers through the 2022 season, after a stellar first year with the team.

The former New England Patriots quarterback landed a seventh Super Bowl ring when the Bucs became the first team in NFL history to lift the Lombardi Trophy at their home stadium, courtesy of a crushing 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brady had 12 months remaining on the deal he signed in March 2020 and has officially signed a four-year extension to that, although three years of the deal are voidable ones included to help spread the cost of the contract.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht said: "When we acquired Tom a year ago, we were extremely excited about the leadership, poise and winning track record that he would bring to our locker room.

"Since that time, he has proven himself to be the ultimate competitor and delivered in every way we had imagined, helping us capture the Lombardi Trophy.

"Year after year, Tom proves that he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in this game and we couldn't be happier to keep him in Tampa Bay as we continue to pursue our goals together."

Brady threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns with 12 interceptions last season. Only Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, with 48 TD passes, threw for more than Brady, who will be 45 when the 2022 season begins.

Tom Brady has signed a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that will keep him with the team through 2022.

Brady agreed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers last offseason after making the stunning decision to end his two-decade spell with the New England Patriots, which saw him win six Super Bowl titles.

Even more staggering was Brady's success in his first year in Tampa, where he won his seventh Lombardi Trophy as the Bucs became the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl at their home stadium, ending the Kansas City Chiefs' hopes of retaining the title in a 31-9 rout.

And he will stay with the Bucs for at least the next two seasons.

Brady has officially signed a four-year extension; however, three years of the deal are voidable ones included to help spread the cost of the contract.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, it is a move that saves the Buccaneers $19million in salary cap space in an offseason where the cap has shrunk from $198.2m to $182.5m because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brady will be 45 when the 2022 season, effectively the final year of this deal, begins. He has previously stated his desire to play until 45, though has also said he is open to continuing further into his forties.

After intially struggling to hit the ground running, Brady enjoyed a stellar maiden season with the Bucs.

He threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, his passer rating of 102.2 his highest since his MVP season of 2017 (102.8).

Only Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes had more completions of 20 yards or more than Brady's 63 as he experienced a revival as a downfield passer in Tampa.

In the playoffs, he helped the Bucs come through a gauntlet, winning three games on the road to get to the Super Bowl. By defeating Mahomes and the Chiefs, the Bucs became the first team to win three games against former Super Bowl MVPs in the same postseason having also seen off Drew Brees and the Saints and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Brady won his fifth Super Bowl MVP at Raymond James Stadium and will hope the extra financial flexibility his extension has given the Bucs can help him add to that tally over the next two seasons.

Tom Brady has signed a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that will keep him with the team through 2022.

Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opted to apply the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin.

Godwin was poised to become one of the top available options at wide receiver when free agency opens next week.

But the Bucs have kept one of Tom Brady's key weapons around by tagging him before Tuesday's deadline, according to widepsread reports.

Godwin caught 65 passes from Brady for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 regular season games last season.

He played all four games in the Bucs' postseason run too, catching 16 passes including nine for 110 yards and a score in the vital NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers.

Godwin, 25, was a third-round draft pick in 2017 and forms part of a formidable group of Bucs receivers that includes Mike Evans and Antonio Brown.

He is expected to earn around $16.4million on the franchise tag, with the decision to apply it on him meaning Bucs pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett, another pending free agent, will hit the open market next week.

The Bucs will try to strike a long-term deal with Godwin, though the cost should be high for a productive receiver who is yet to hit his prime.

It is a busy period for transactions in the NFL, with quarterback Dak Prescott agreeing a new four-year, $160m contract with the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.

Safeties Justin Simmons and Marcus Maye have received the tag from the Denver Broncos and New York Jets respectively, with the New York Giants doing the same for defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Offensive linemen Taylor Moton and Brandon Scherff are expected to be tagged by the Carolina Panthers and Washington Football Team.

Cam Robinson has been tagged by the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the New England Patriots have struck a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders to bring back their former star tackle, Trent Brown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, meanwhile, will reportedly not apply the tag to Bud Dupree, allowing the pass-rusher to test free agency.

A month on from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' triumph in Super Bowl LV, teams across the NFL are preparing to make moves they hope will propel them towards glory.

This year's free agency period is unlikely to see a move as decisive as Tom Brady's decision to swap the New England Patriots for the Buccaneers.

However, with franchises dealing with a likely declining salary cap because of the impact of playing a season largely without fans, the chaos of the league's open market should still be fascinating to watch.

But which teams will be the most active when the NFL opens the window for teams to begin negotiating with free agents next Monday?

Here we look at those likeliest to be busy and the signings they could make.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Cap Space: $85.7million

From having the number one pick in the draft, which they will almost certainly use on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, to having the most salary cap space in the league, the Jaguars are the franchise that holds the keys to the offseason.

New general manager Trent Baalke and first-time NFL head coach Urban Meyer have no shortage of needs to address following a one-win 2020 season.

Lawrence will require much-improved pass protection if he is to thrive and lead Jacksonville to contention. With that in mind, they should be in on the sweepstakes for All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams, who cannot be franchise-tagged by the San Francisco 49ers and is likely to command over $20m a year.

Given the money at their disposal, the Jags will be among the leading candidates to lure edge rusher Shaquil Barrett from the Buccaneers. He could form a formidable tandem with Jacksonville's 2019 first-round pick Josh Allen.

New York Jets

Cap Space: $72.4million

The Jets' offseason will be defined by whether they stick with Sam Darnold at quarterback or use their second overall pick to select one of the top four signal-callers in the draft class.

But beyond that pivotal decision, Jets GM Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh have an arduous task of turning one of the worst rosters in football into one primed to contend in the AFC.

Saleh may look to his old team, the 49ers, for whom he was defensive coordinator from 2017 to 2020, to build up his secondary in New York.

Richard Sherman could be tempted cross country to stay with Saleh, while slot cornerback K'Waun Williams is a New Jersey native who could offer the Jets a dependable presence familiar with the defense.

New England Patriots

Cap Space: $72.6million

Bill Belichick has rarely been one to spend big in his storied tenure as head coach and de-facto GM of the Patriots.

However, possessing a talent-poor roster and in danger of being left behind in the AFC East, this could be the year where he changes course, and Belichick has already made a significant move, bringing back offensive tackle Trent Brown in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders.

New England must make a decision at quarterback after an unconvincing season from Cam Newton as Tom Brady's successor.

Regardless of who is under center, the Patriots will not compete if their quarterback does not have dynamic weapons among their pass-catchers.

Belichick has typically had a blindspot for wide receivers in the draft, so more experienced options with playmaking upside like Corey Davis and Marvin Jones could find a home in New England. Hunter Henry may also be a target if the Los Angeles Chargers decide not to pay the tight end who was franchise-tagged last year.

Indianapolis Colts

Cap Space: $50.5million

The Colts have the man they hope will be the answer at quarterback following Philip Rivers' retirement, backing Carson Wentz to rehabilitate his career under Frank Reich and acquiring him from the Philadelphia Eagles.

In terms of a support system, Wentz is heading into a team with a strong one in place, yet it could still be improved and the Colts have the wiggle room to be aggressive.

They may be an attractive destination for the aforementioned Williams, who would be an upgrade on the retired Anthony Castonzo at left tackle.

Veteran wide receiver T.Y. Hilton could leave in free agency and it would not be wise for the Colts to rely too heavily on Michael Pittman Jr at wideout despite a strong end to his rookie season.

As they look to maximise Wentz's chances of being successful, a move for a high-profile receiver like Allen Robinson could make a great deal of sense for a team looking to challenge the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cap Space: $18.1million

The outlier here in terms of cap space but, having blown out the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, the Buccaneers will surely not be short of players wanting to join them on short-term deals to link up with Brady and make another push for a Lombardi Trophy.

Tampa will be busy enough trying to hold on to as many in-house free agents as possible, but the Bucs will find intriguing potential temporary options in areas of need on the open market.

Reinforcements may well be required on the defensive line given the possibility of Barrett going elsewhere.

The Bucs have seen one veteran, Jason Pierre-Paul, thrive on the edge. Perhaps Justin Houston, who has 19 sacks over his last two seasons with the Colts, could be tempted by the chance to chase a ring in Tampa.

On the interior, the Buccaneers have a monstrous presence in Vita Vea, and their strength in that area could allow them to take a swing on a former first-rounder in Sheldon Rankins, who has seen his career with the New Orleans Saints stall because of injuries but had eight sacks back in 2018.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions. So job done for Tom Brady and company, right?

Wrong.

In the aftermath of their crushing 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, Brady was already speaking on the podium about running it back for another year.

And, having added a seventh Lombardi Trophy to his impressive collection, it's impossible to question the 43-year-old's confidence in pushing for number eight.

However, the reality is that, regardless of how dominant their playoff campaign was, the Bucs have significant issues to resolve if they are to emerge triumphant again next February.

Here we reflect on the season that delivered the Buccaneers' second Super Bowl title and examine the offseason challenges that will be critical to their hopes of successfully defending their crown. 

Offense

Though Brady's first season in Bruce Arians' offense was not without its growing pains, things eventually clicked for the Bucs through the air.

Brady was third in passing yards per game (289.6), behind only Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

Over the last four weeks of the regular season, however, Brady led the league in pass yards per game, racking up 333.3 as they surged into the postseason.

The move from New England to Tampa Bay also revived Brady's fortunes as a deep-ball thrower. Tampa had 67 completions of 20 yards or more, the third-most in the NFL behind the Houston Texans and the Chiefs.

Where they will hope to improve next year is in the explosiveness of the running game.

Leonard Fournette was the top running back in the postseason, rushing for 300 yards and three touchdowns, including one in the Super Bowl. 

He had five rushes of 10 yards or more in the playoffs but, in the regular season, it was a different story.

The Bucs ranked 29th in the NFL with an average of 94.9 yards per game, while their 34 runs of 10 yards or more were tied for second-last in the NFL.

If Tampa can improve in that regard in 2021, it will take a lot of the pressure off Brady's shoulders.

Defense

Brady may have won Super Bowl MVP for the fifth time, but it was the Bucs' defense that ensured the Chiefs had no way of coming back into the contest.

They pressured Mahomes 33 times in an effort that derailed the Chiefs' offensive game plan, with that performance reflective of the dominance the Bucs' defensive front produced throughout the season.

Indeed, Tampa Bay registered 48 sacks in the regular season, with the 366 negative yards those sacks produced second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers (-384).

Given the pressure they consistently generated, it is no surprise that the Bucs produced the fourth-most takeaways in the NFL (25).

A talented young secondary capitalised significantly on the disruption the front seven created, vindicating investment in the defensive backfield that had previously been questioned.

Safety Antoine Winfield enjoyed a stellar rookie year but the star of the show in the secondary was cornerback Carlton Davis, who had four interceptions and 18 pass breakups.

As a result of their ability to create pressure and turnovers, the Bucs ranked eighth in pass yards per play allowed (5.93).

The rush defense was even stronger, Tampa Bay leading the league as they gave up just 3.6 yards per run play.

Excelling at shutting teams down through the air and on the ground, the Bucs were sixth in opponent scoring efficiency and 10th in successful plays allowed.

Todd Bowles' defense was critical to the Bucs emerging from the 2020 season with the Lombardi in their possession, but difficult decisions loom as they attempt to keep the group together for another run in 2021.

The offseason

In a year where the salary cap could fall from $198million to, at the most optimistic estimate, $185m, the Bucs find themselves in a better position than most teams.

Assuming a $185m cap, the Bucs have nearly $28m to spend, yet the sheer number of free agents they have means Tampa will likely be bidding farewell to some key names from their championship team.

Shaquil Barrett, the edge rusher who had 13 pressures of Mahomes, is an unrestricted free agent in line for a monster payday. Veteran linebacker Lavonte David is also set to hit the open market, along with wide receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Fournette.

Gronkowski has already vowed to return and, given that the Bucs triumphed over the Chiefs with Godwin making just two catches, Tampa may be willing to say goodbye to the former third-round pick to facilitate them paying others.

Barrett and David figure to be the toughest players to re-sign, with the former likely to command something at least in the region of Joey Bosa's market-setting contract for edge rushers, which has an average annual value of $27m.

David may be willing to take a discount after nine seasons with Tampa, but the Bucs might have to face up to the possibility of throwing rookies into the mix on the edge and at linebacker, meaning there could be more pressure on that talented defensive backfield to deliver without the same level of play in the front seven.

Having won it all, the Bucs are effectively playing with house money - at least to those outside the building - and have several options with the 32nd overall pick in the draft.

But edge, linebacker and wide receiver all stand as potential areas of focus for a champion team that may have to revise their expectations of keeping the core of the band together.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht revealed they may explore signing Tom Brady to a contract extension.

Brady signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers last offseason following his departure from the New England Patriots after two storied decades in Foxborough.

The quarterback added to the greatest CV in NFL history by proving he can win away from New England and Bill Belichick, claiming his seventh Super Bowl title by leading the Bucs to their second.

Brady will be 44 by the time the 2021 season starts but has previously said he would be open to playing beyond 45.

And Licht appears open to helping Brady fulfil that potential ambition in Tampa.

"That's a possibility," Licht said about extending Brady in an interview on The Rich Eisen Show. 

"He certainly didn't look like he slowed down any this year. So, that's a possibility. We'll have to see how that goes.

"I talk to Tom often. Probably keep that under wraps, right now.

"It appears that he really had a good time this year, winning the Super Bowl. Likes our organisation, likes our coaches, likes our head coach and ownership.

"And we certainly love him. Usually when you have those things going for each ... it's a match made in happen, so we'd like to keep this going."

Former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Vincent Jackson has died aged 38.

Jackson – a three-time NFL Pro Bowler – was found dead in a Tampa-area hotel room on Monday, according to local authorities.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said the 38-year-old Jackson had been staying at the Homewood Suites since checking into the hotel in Brandon, Florida on January 11 before being found dead at approximately 11:30 (local time) Monday.

The sheriff's office had just spoken with Jackson at the hotel on February 12. one day after his family filed a formal missing person's report. The authorities cancelled the report after assessing Jackson's well-being.

Jackson was found by a housekeeper, and there were no signs of trauma, according to the sheriff's office.

"My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.

"Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football aside, he touched countless lives through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation.

"We shared a passion for supporting military families, and three years ago, Jackson was even made an honorary deputy by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office to recognise his dedication to the community.

"He will be sorely missed by not only football fans across the country, but also the people here in Hillsborough County who reaped the benefits of his generous contributions."

Jackson spent 12 seasons in the NFL from 2005-16, playing his first seven with the Chargers before enjoying his final five with the Buccaneers.

He earned trips to the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and finished his career with 9,080 receiving yards and 57 touchdowns.

Jackson ranks fourth in Buccaneers franchise history with 4,326 receiving yards and 10th on the all-time Chargers list with 4,754 yards receiving.

The Chargers said: "We are shocked and deeply saddened by news of Vincent Jackson's sudden passing. Vincent was a fan favourite not only for his Pro Bowl play on the field but for the impact he made on the community off of it.

"The work he has done on behalf of military families through his foundation in the years since his retirement has been an inspiration to all of us.

"We simply cannot believe he's gone, and our hearts go out to his wife, Lindsey, their children, his parents, former team-mates and everyone whose lives were touched by having known Vincent."

Taylor Heinicke has re-signed with Washington for two years after the stand-in quarterback impressed in the team's losing playoff bid.

The 27-year-old has penned an extension worth a reported $8.75 million, marking a remarkable turnaround for a man whose NFL career looked to be heading for an early finish.

Heinicke stepped in after Alex Smith, who steered Washington to the divisional title in Week 17, failed to overcome a calf injury in time to start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He threw for 306 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushing for 46 yards and a further score, in a 31-23 playoff defeat for the NFC East champions to the Bucs.

Having been set for restricted free agency, Heinicke was delighted to be given a new lease of life.

"It's a good feeling," Heinicke, who is studying for an engineering degree, told Washington's website.

"Everyone knows I was at home taking math classes...so for this contact to come, it's a big sigh of relief.

"I'm really excited. This is the place I wanted to be, so everything came together pretty smoothly, and I'm really excited to be back."

It's no secret that Super Bowl windows in the NFL can be notoriously short. Teams that appear poised for a prolonged stay in the ranks of contenders are frequently dismantled and can fall back to the pack within a blink.

In no offseason has the fleeting nature of the opportunities to contend for a championship loomed larger than in the one the 32 teams are about to experience.

The economic pressures of a season in which the in-person audience for most games consisted of coaching staffs, officials and cardboard cut-outs mean NFL franchises will not have the same level of financial flexibility they have experienced in previous years.

With the year-on-year rise in the salary cap, which is expected to drop from $198.2million to around $180m, grinding to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic, front offices around the league will have more complex calculations to make when it comes to re-signing their own free agents and attempting to lure others.

Considering those mitigating circumstances, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' successful gamble to go all-in with a talented roster and bring in Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown - all of whom were responsible for scores in their 31-9 demolition of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, looks increasingly astute.

The Bucs have the luxury of having the championship grace period. Their job, in respect of ending an 18-year wait for a second Super Bowl, is done, and the challenge of immediately winning a third may be complicated by the amount of pending free agents they have on their roster.

Star edge rusher Shaquil Barrett is set to hit the open market, as is linebacker Lavonte David and wide receiver Chris Godwin. They may also have to reconcile themselves with losing one of Gronkowski, Fournette or Brown.

Tampa have just over $38m in available cap space, and head coach Bruce Arians is confident general manager Jason Licht can keep the core together.

"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."

Even if Licht succeeds in doing so, the 2021 season looks likely to be the last in which the Bucs have the bulk of their championship roster and the coaching staff.

Both offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles thrust themselves into the spotlight as potential head coach candidates with excellent gameplans for which the Chiefs had no answers.

Leftwich, who came into the league as a first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars three years after Brady, has taken time to get on the same page as the now seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback.

Yet the precision and efficiency with which Brady moved the ball against the Chiefs was illustrative of an offensive plan perfectly suited to the signal-caller, with Arians heaping praise on Leftwich in Monday's media conference.

"I thought Byron had a great plan, I can't give him enough credit. Byron is a superstar," said Arians. "He had a great plan, we were going to run the football and we were going to max protect and get into one-on-ones. Tom did a great job of getting out of bad plays and getting some good plays. Can't say enough about the gameplan.

"All three phases, Byron, Todd, Keith [Tandy, defensive assistant] they all did such a great job, but Byron's gameplan was outstanding."

It was a plan that enabled Brady to avoid a single turnover for just the second time in 10 Super Bowl appearances, the other coming in his first experience of the grandest stage - Super Bowl XXXVI in the 2001 season.

Leftwich's offense was especially effective in the congested area inside the Chiefs' 20-yard line. The Buccaneers scored on three of their five red-zone trips, while the Chiefs did not find the endzone on any of their three visits inside the Bucs' 20-yard line.

Brady and Leftwich were aided by the brilliance of Bowles' defense, which brutally exposed the deficiencies of an injury-hit Chiefs offensive line to the tune of 33 total pressures.

Bowles was unsuccessful in his first spell as a head coach, which came with the New York Jets.

However, the manner in which he and his defense tore apart the Chiefs' best-laid plans on offense with pressure from the front four and intelligently crafted blitzes should have him in the mix for a second chance.

The Bucs are fortunate that all head coach vacancies for this hiring cycle have been filled but, should Tampa Bay follow up their 2020 glory with another strong season in 2021, both Leftwich and Bowles could be targets for rival franchises.

Arians could avoid a scenario in which the Bucs lose both next year by stepping aside and allowing one to take his place at the end of the 2021 season. Yet retirement does not appear to be in Arians' immediate plans and, though the pressure to end a championship drought has been relieved, the potential future departures of Leftwich and Bowles increase the onus on Licht to ensure this specific staff can have one more run with the Bucs' championship core.

LeBron James was inspired by Tom Brady's latest Super Bowl achievement, but the Los Angeles Lakers star has no timetable regarding how much longer he plans to play in the NBA.

At the age of 43, Brady – considered by many as the greatest of all time – won a seventh ring after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl LV glory against the Kansas City Chiefs.

It means the superstar quarterback now has more rings than any NFL franchise and was particularly impressive given it was his first season with Tampa after a golden era playing for the New England Patriots.

James himself continues to dominate in the twilight years of his NBA career, and recorded a sublime triple-double of 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists as the Lakers earned a 119-112 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

Asked about Brady and his own career, James replied: "I mean he's one of the GOATs. 

"I've been watching him my whole life, or it seems like my whole life. I've been watching him 20 years now or however long he's been in the NFL. 

"I watched him when he was in Michigan, watched him quite a while now, just to see him go out and see the things he's done in his career, for him to win another one in the fashion that he won it was pretty cool. 

"It was very inspiring for a guy like myself. But it's two different sports, two different positions. I don't know how long I'll play the game, how much more I'll be able to give to the game. 

"But the way I feel right now, we'll see what happens. I have no timetable on it. I don't have no year of 30-this or 40-that. The game will let me know, we'll figure it out then."

The Lakers' win over the Thunder came just two days after the double-overtime triumph over the Detroit Pistons, following which James joked "my heart's not sustainable for two overtimes".

"It needed overtime in order for us to win this game," James added. "We did enough things to close in regulation but they forced us to take another five minutes. 

"I'm good with one! I get home a little earlier, my heart don't feel as bad it did the other night."

Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes said the Super Bowl LV defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will motivate him for the rest of his career.

Mahomes and the Chiefs were no match for Tom Brady's Buccaneers, who claimed a comprehensive 31-9 victory in Tampa on Sunday.

The Chiefs were looking to become the first NFL team since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004 to win back-to-back Super Bowls, but the Buccaneers had other ideas following Brady's MVP performance.

Mahomes was stifled by the Buccaneers, overpowered as the quarterback finished 26-of-49 passing for 270 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and three sacks.

"It was a bad feeling in that locker room after the game,'' Mahomes, who was the reigning MVP heading into the showdown, told reporters. "You don't want to have that feeling again.

"It's not the end of something. It's going to be another chapter where we're going to have to continue to drive to make ourselves better so we're back in that game.''

Mahomes - the 2018 NFL MVP - added: "I'm going to look at the film and try to find ways to get better. Obviously with our offense and the success that we've had, when teams see the defensive plan that [the Bucs] had and how well it worked, they're obviously going to try to do the same things.

"So we'll try to find ways to combat that. It's the evolution of our offense where we're going to have to do better things and be more efficient.

"That really goes with me and not always looking for the big play but just finding ways to move the ball down the field.''

"I thought I did a good job toward the end of the season of being more efficient,'' he said. "Obviously I didn't do that in the Super Bowl, but I'm going to try to find ways to better myself that way. Just being more efficient, taking what's there, especially when these teams are playing such deep coverages against us.

"It's something I've got to battle with because I've got such an aggressive nature and want to have the big play. But as I watch the film and really study myself, I'll have to get better at that so I can be a better quarterback at the end of the day.''

The Kansas City Chiefs' offense was the riddle the rest of the NFL had been trying to solve for the past two seasons. 

In Super Bowl LV, the Buccaneers found a simple and time-tested answer: pressure Patrick Mahomes with four pass rushers.

It's hardly a new solution. After all, the San Francisco 49ers held the Chiefs to 10 points through three and a half quarters in Super Bowl LIV largely through the efforts of a stellar defensive line.

While the Niners ran out of gas and surrendered a 10-point lead, the Buccaneers were relentless and their pass rush had a more devastating impact, completely derailing the most feared passing attack in the NFL en route to a 31-9 win.

How did they do it, and what do the Chiefs' struggles in pass protection mean for Kansas City next season and beyond? We examine those questions with the help of Stats Perform data. 

Four-man front delivers five-star performance

The Buccaneers racked up 33 total pressures of Mahomes, with the sight of last season's Super Bowl MVP sprinting from the pocket to avoid swarming Tampa defenders the defining image of almost every Kansas City possession.

Just seven of those pressures came via the blitz, illustrating the dominance the Buccaneers' four-man defensive line had against an undermanned Chiefs offensive line. 

When the blitzes did come, they were well-designed and effective, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles devising a gameplan his counterparts around the league will surely be looking to replicate.

Yet it likely would not have been so effective had the Chiefs entered the field with two key members of the offensive line group that did just enough to keep the Niners at bay a year ago.

Fisher injury a fatal blow

Kansas City had been without three-time second-team All-Pro and 2018 first-team All-Pro Mitchell Schwartz since Week 7 because of a back injury. 

The Chiefs managed to cope minus his services, but the loss of left tackle Eric Fisher to an Achilles issue in the AFC Championship game proved the tipping point on the O-Line.

It forced a reshuffle in the trenches, with Mike Remmers moving over to left tackle and Andrew Wylie playing on the right.

Adapting to new positions at short notice in the biggest game of the season against a defense as talented of that of Tampa Bay is a long way from ideal, and so it proved as the Bucs' edge rushers prospered throughout.

Shaquil Barrett made a strong case for MVP with a remarkable 13 pressures, while veteran Jason Pierre-Paul registered five.

But the Chiefs cannot just point to injuries for their struggles up front, with the Bucs' success up the middle pointing to a larger problem the Chiefs will have to solve in the offseason.

Interior issues

A Week 5 injury to guard Kelechi Osemele loomed large as the interior of the Chiefs' offensive line left Mahomes having to deal with pressure in his face as well as Barrett applying it from the periphery.

Center Austin Reiter and guards Stefen Wisniewski and Nick Allegretti were overmatched in their battle with the Bucs' defensive tackles.

Veteran Ndamukong Suh had eight pressures, Vita Vea logged six and Steve McLendon added four as they took advantage of an area of the Chiefs' roster that looks set for a rebuild.

Reiter, Remmers, Osemele and backup center Daniel Kilgore are all in their 30s and are all unrestricted free agents this offseason.

In a year where the salary cap is set to shrink due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, the Chiefs must determine whether it is worth the outlay to bring any of that quartet back or if they would be better served to trying to upgrade the heart of their O-Line through the draft.

With just over a month to go until teams can negotiate with pending free agents, Kansas City's front office has a relatively quick decision to make about an area that opponents will surely target more readily after it was ruthlessly exposed by Bowles and the Bucs.

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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