The Carolina Panthers, a division rival of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, dealt their best player (of an admittedly inferior team) Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers late Thursday night for a slew of draft picks, none of which are first-rounders. This deal still has consequences for the Buccaneers even though they didn’t take part in it.
As we’ve already established, the Panthers are the Bucs’ division rivals. They are also the opponent the Buccaneers will face this coming Sunday in a game that has become crucial despite the (perceived) disparity in skill levels between the two teams. Suddenly, the Bucs have a significant advantage, at least on paper, thanks to this stunning development.
But things change once they enter the postseason. Once the Niners get well, they suddenly look like even bigger title challengers. They, along with the previously mentioned perfect Eagles, pose the greatest challenge to the Buccaneers’ chances of reaching Super Bowl LVII.
Before talking Super Bowl, the Bucs need to get their own house in order. Thankfully, Tom Brady is leading the offense. But then there’s the reality that the club he grew up supporting for just improved offensively, and the cloud of his upcoming unrestricted free agency at the end of the season.
However, let’s take things slowly. The deal for Christian McCaffrey is wonderful news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the near term. Looking ahead, the future holds some promise of further drama.