Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton proposed that the Ravens send the Bucs a 2023 fifth-round draft pick for Miller, who had a down year in 2021. Miller previously shined as a deep-ball threat for quarterback Tom Brady in 2020 and caught 33 passes for 501 yards and three touchdowns. A turf toe injury limited Miller for most of 2021 as he never regained his 2020 form and finished with five receptions for 38 yards.
“Miller’s lack of impact was shocking, considering the success he found with Tom Brady in their first year together,” Wharton wrote. “The speedy 5-foot-9, 174-pounder averaged 15.2 yards per catch and totaled 501 yards and three scores in 2020. He’s stuck behind the deepest receiving corps in the league, but would catch on in Baltimore with his ability to get open quickly.”
Shipping Miller would clear $996,960 in salary cap space for the Bucs according to Over The Cap. Miller will become a free agent in 2023, which means he could end up asking the Bucs for much more than $996,960 depending on how 2022 goes.
The free agent receiver market exploded in 2022 as 13 wideouts signed or re-signed for $3 million or better annually per Spotrac. Another eight receivers inked $1.5-$2.5 million annually per Spotrac.
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A Little More Room for Gronk?
Clearing a little cap space couldn’t hurt the Bucs in having more available to pay tight end Rob Gronkowski if he decides to return to football. The Bucs have $10.4 million in cap space per Over The Cap, and Gronkowski could command a huge chunk of the remaining cap space.
Gronkowski made $8 million in 2021 per Over The Cap, but his free agent signing value is projected at $9.5 million annually per Spotrac. That number would still rank Gronkowski below 10 other NFL tight ends for annual salaries per Spotrac.
“He should have a ceiling below which he won’t play,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote. “Maybe he does. And maybe the Bucs just haven’t gotten there yet.”
Florio added that Gronkowski “should be done playing for anything less than $15 million per year” based on this year’s free agency market for receivers.
Shipping Miller Hurts Bucs in Short Term?
Tampa Bay plans to go all-in on the 2022 season with it potentially being Brady’s last, but adding a draft pick for 2023 could help building for the future.
While the Bucs have depth at receiver, injuries hurt that depth last season, and it remained a problem this offseason, too. Moving on from Miller could impact the Bucs passing game in 2022.
Chris Godwin has more recovery ahead for an ACL tear from December 2021, and free agent acquisition Russell Gage hasn’t seen the field due to an undisclosed injury. The Bucs have limited experience after Mike Evans without Godwin and Gage in the picture. Only Cyril Grayson and Breshad Perriman caught touchdowns outside of the Bucs’ big three of Evans, Godwin, and Brown last season. Miller and Tyler Johnson both had touchdowns for the Bucs in 2020 but didn’t catch any in 2021.
Bucs Wideout Named in Proposed Trade With Ravens