There is no question about it, the Bucs are going all in for another Super Bowl run. According to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson and multiple reports, the Bucs are trading for Patriots right guard Shaq Mason. In the trade, the Bucs surrendered only a fifth round pick. Mason is widely considered one of the top guards in the NFL.
As part of the trade, the Bucs will assume the last two years of Mason’s contract. Tampa Bay will owe the 28-year old and average of $8 million per year over each of the next two seasons. Mason will step right into the starting right guard spot occupied by Alex Cappa. Few would argue that Mason is a superior player than Cappa. He’s been more dominant as a run blocker, but still excels in pass protection.
Per Pro Football Focus, Mason was the fourth-highest graded guard in the NFL last season. He surrendered just two sacks and 16 pressures in over 1,100 snaps last season. He’s a veteran leader who has been respected in the Patriots locker room as a 7-year starter. Mason should fit easily into the Bucs offense with former teammate Tom Brady.
The Bucs offensive line might be set in stone now. Left tackle Donovan Smith and right tackle Tristan Wirfs will return as the bookends, with Ryan Jensen at the pivot. Mason will slot in at right guard, while left guard remains a slight question mark. But the Bucs re-signed Aaron Stinnie, and will give him a chance to compete for the spot. Second-year lineman Robert Hainsey and third-year player Nick Leverett will provide competition too.