Skip to main content

Pro Bowler Keanu Neal signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two more moves team should make

Former Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal has found himself a new home after playing linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys a season ago.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Neal has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and plans to move back to his natural safety position.

This is a darn good get for a championship-contending Buccaneers team that has had itself a great offseason.

  • Keanu Neal stats (2021): 72 tackles (44 solo), two QB hits, one sack

While Neal’s numbers were not great a season ago, he seems better suited to play safety. Remember, the former first-round pick out of Florida earned Pro Bowl honors with Atlanta back in 2017. That season saw him record 116 tackles with six passes defended, three forced fumbles and an interception.

Keanu Neal figures to play free safety for the Buccaneers next season. He yielded a 79% completion percentage and 97.1 QB rating when targeted from the linebacker spot for Dallas a season ago.

Below, we look at two more moves the Buccaneers should still make after signing Keanu Neal away from the conference-rival Cowboys.

Related: Tampa Bay Buccaneers mock draft

Tampa Bay Buccanees re-sign Rob Gronkowski

Tampa Bay buccaneers re-sign Rob Gronkowsi after signing Keanu Neal
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Once Tom Brady came out of retirement to return to Tampa Bay, most figured Gronkowski would follow suit and re-sign with the team.

Now that we’re deep into the second wave of free agency, that has not happened. In fact, there’s no telling whether Gronkowski plans to even play next season.

As for the Buccaneers, they must do everything possible to retain the future Hall of Fame tight end. In two seasons with the team, Gronk has recorded 100 receptions for 1,425 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 60% of his targets from Mr. Brady.

Former first-round pick O.J. Howard signed with the Buffalo Bills in free agency. Fellow tight end Cameron Brate has taken a step back in recent seasons. Sure Tampa will likely add a tight end in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it needs to retain Gronkowski.

Related: Keanu Neal and the top-200 NFL free agents of 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign David Johnson

NFL: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs were able to retain Leonard Fournette in free agency. However, the team did lose Ronald Jones to the Kansas City Chiefs. There’s definitely a concern over depth in the offensive backfield.

Why not team Johnson up with former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich? Currently in the same role with Tampa Bay, Leftwich teamed up with Johnson in Arizona from 2016-18.

  • David Johnson stats (2016-18): 3,594 total yards, 5.1 yards per touch, 30 TD in 33 games

Despite missing all but one game of the 2017 season, Johnson enjoyed his most success when Leftwich coached him as an assistant in Arizona. Why not run it back?