The reigning Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off an amazing feat in the 2021 offseason.
They followed up their 2020 championship win by retaining 22 starters on their roster for the 2021 season.
After re-signing Leonard Fournette, the Bucs now have all 22 starters from last season's Super Bowl win returning in 2021 👀
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2021
Many restructured contracts, took less money, and employed other creative techniques to accomplish this in the existing NFL salary cap crunch.
In addition to likely making a run for back-to-back titles, the Buccaneers roster likely has candidates for this season’s NFL MVP.
Here are just two of the Bucs who could win NFL MVP by playing a lights out season this year.
1. Tom Brady – Quarterback
Tom Brady on throws 20+ yards in 2020 (playoffs included):
🔸45 completions (1st)
🔸1,515 yards (1st)
🔸15 TDs (1st) pic.twitter.com/9GxVG2DQDq
— PFF (@PFF) May 18, 2021
Tom Brady is the Super Bowl MVP and has been given a lot of the credit for leading the team to last season’s Super Bowl so putting him at the top of this list should not be a surprise to anyone.
He has won the NFL MVP award three times, in 2007, 2010, and 2017.
Winning the award at his age would be shocking.
Brady will be 44 when the season starts, and there are outstanding quarterbacks in the league who are nearly half of his age that could compete with him for this honor.
However, Brady is molded different than most mortal NFL quarterbacks.
He preserves his physical and mental health and trains very intelligently.
Besides that, he has a lot of offensive weapons to throw to which makes his life easier.
Even though Brady seems like a sure bet, there are question marks.
One is still his age; he is defying it, but sooner or later, age will win.
The other is the impact of a 17-game regular season; the Bucs had a lot of ups and downs last year and peaked at the perfect time.
To win the NFL MVP award, it has to be a wire-to-wire excellent performance.
With this logic in mind, the second Buccaneer who could win NFL MVP makes perfect sense.
2. Leonard Fournette – Running Back
In recent years, the NFL MVP award has gone to quarterbacks and prior to that running backs.
The Bucs have too many good wide receivers to choose from, and wide receivers have not won in recent years so that leaves Leonard Fournette as the likely possibility.
Fournette peaked at the right time last season and was instrumental in the postseason successes.
A quick word on Leonard Fournette: In Bucs history, before this season, no player had more than one playoff game with 100+ yards from scrimmage. Fournette did it three times in this postseason, including 135 in tonight's Super Bowl win. Huge for their balance in the playoffs.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 8, 2021
If Brady falls below expectations and the Bucs continue to win, Fournette will be one of the main reasons for it.
He has rushed for over 1,000 yards in his career; it seems to fall in an every other year pattern.
The last time he did it was in 2019.
Fournette can also rescue a slumping passing game by catching short passes to keep the chains moving.
Both Brady and Fournette are potential candidates for NFL MVP, but there are multiple candidates on each of the 32 teams based on previous years’ performances.
There are also younger, emerging players who haven’t played their best football yet that could come out and surprise all of us and win the NFL MVP award.