About the author

Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. 1


    Pretty good start to free agency so far. Looks like we bid a little too much for Sweezy based on the Analytics based websites, but Grimes and Ayers came at the right price. All three fill starting roles and open up the draft to take best player available. Glad Tampa stayed out of the front page signings with guys like Olivier and none of these contracts are guaranteed for longer than two years.

  2. 2


    I thought Ayers was the strongest pick up but I get the feeling that PR doesn’t feel the same way. Am I missing something ?

    1. 2.1


      Maybe that the guy who has under 30 sacks over the course of his 5 year career got 8.5 of those just in the last 7 games of last season? That in the 89 games over 5.5 seasons prior to that, he pulled a total of 17.5 stats? That’s all of that’s true, AND he’s going to be 31 years old starting this year? I dunno, crazy stuff like that…

    2. 2.2


      Don’t get me wrong – I’m okay with the Ayers signing. But there are plenty of good reasons not to love the deal. I think it would be silly for anyone to be surprised if he has 4 sacks or something like that next year, since that’s about what he was pulling in every season prior to last year. The majority of our sample suggests that he’s not the player he looked like he was over the last half of last season.

  3. 3


    Great Analysis Mark. I think the Bucs are off to a good start and agree that these signings take pressure off the Bucs to draft for position. I do want us to take the highest rated player on the board, regardless of position. Even if that’s a WR where the Bucs think they are set. My hope is the that a REALLY good D-lineman is available in the 1st round. In the 2nd round, I hope Braxton Miller is still there and that we take him. Think of all of the explosive plays he can be a part of. He can throw it, run it and catch it. In rounds 3-7 draft position need. I would love that draft.

  4. 4


    So it looks like there’s just one hole to fill and that is at linebacker. Since it would be the strong side LB who typically comes off the field in nickel, I can’t see the Bucs making it a priority in the draft. They will probably add a veteran after the draft or during camp.

  5. 5


    I’m happy with our FA moves so far. While I was a fan of going after Vernon, Ayers is a much more fiscally responsible move and didn’t hurt our cap too much. Sweezy and Grimes are both solid, starting quality, yet affordable pickups. Tandy may not be a starter but showed good enough consistency to warrant an extension and of course the Dougernaught was a given!

    I hope to see Conte resigned as he was the most consistent presence we had in the secondary last year. Although he came in with concussion concerns, he proved he could stay in there most of the season.

    The only big hole left is at Sam so hopefully we address that, then we can draft BPA without worrying about position. Id still love to see another solid CB drafted, but the situation will dictate if there is one worthy of the #9 pick.

    Things are looking up and I look forward to another year of improvement.

  6. 6


    Old coaches never change. They seem to prefer their old players. Yesterday, the Raiders cut LB Curtis Lofton who played well for DC Smith before going to the Saints. Reason stated for cut was failed physical, but was 1 year into 3 year contract at 6mil/yr. For the right money, something to keep an eye on.

    If not, Kwon Alexander is campaigning for his old buddy at LSU, LB Deion Jones, likely a 3rd or 4th rounder, to play the strong side. Jones is 6-1, 222, 4.59. The Bucs are supposedly (WalterFootball) taking a hard look at LBs Cassanova Mckinzy/Auburn and Antoine Williams/Georgia Southern for the later rounds or possibly UDFA.

    The Bucs are still chasing FS Chris Conte. What I’m reading is that it;s between the Bucs and the Giants. Greg Auman say the Bucs have shown no interest in FS Reggie Nelson who will be 33 this year. And FS Eric Weddle has shown no interest in the Bucs – wants to play for a contender – talking with 4 other teams now and will choose on Monday.

    Th-Th-Th-That’s all folks!

    1. 6.1


      Sorry, Actually there’s a 3 team race for FS Chris Conte – Bucs, Giants, and Saints. Who knew?

      1. 6.1.1


        Wow! That was quick. The Bucs have agreed to terms on a deal with FS Chris Conte, per a league source

  7. 7


    Well I believe Tampa may now trade down. I like that Louisville Cardinal DE and player could play, plus if GM trades down additional 2nd or 3rd rd would be great I like that CB wm Jackson 3 from Houston would be a perfect fit. I for some reason Robeert Stanley was available at no.9 would be the steal of the draft and the offensive line would greately improve. I can’t wait if Tampa makes more moves this week.Go Bucs

  8. 8


    Good Article Mark. There is no such thing as too many good DL or OL.

  9. 9


    — Post Conte signing: Let’s see now.
    — Of the three, Joey Bosa, Jalen Ramsey or Myles Jack who would the Bucs like most to see fall to 9? Which would the fans most prefer? If the Bucs chose Bosa or Jack how upset would some fans be? How loud would they scream? Would the Bucs be better off trading down (assuming someone wanted to trade up)?
    — What if Laquon Treadwell, Ronnie Stanley and DeForest Buckner were all available (and there was no team wanting to trade up)?
    — My draft fantasies continue. I cannot be anything but optimistic based on last year and this year’s off season so far! – Go Bucs!!!

  10. 10


    Good synopsis.
    I’m with you seat26, of the DE;s who were available I think Ayres was the best available one.
    Player most of the year without JPP and even when he came back he was playing handicapped.
    Oliver, on the other hand, was playing with Suh and Cameron Wake and only managed 7.5 sacks. Oliver does have the upside of younger, but the Bucs signed Ayers as a stop gap solution, not a long term one.
    The same goes for Grimes at 32.
    So far, so good and the Bucs have signed the four of their top five FA’s and have tendered an offer to another one so he remains in the fold.

  11. 11


    I think DE is our most necessary spot, even IF Ayers is good, would love to move Smith to the bench. But not sure DE makes sense at 9 (Bosa is not slipping that far) and I am not sure if we can move down…So Hargreaves or Treadwell for me (maybe Stanley if he falls)

  12. 12


    The Bucs have done better in free agency than I ever expected. Instead of trading down trade off Glennon. He will leave us next year anyway. Take the quick DT in the first round. Best DE in the second round, and BPA the rest of the way. Start Conte and Tandy at Safety. This is going to be a fun season to watch!!!

  13. 13


    Hard to get really excited about any signing besides Martin’s. Two of these other guys are either in their 30s at positions where most players don’t do well at that age. Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins have been to the Pro Bowl, too. It’s not an overly exclusive club. The guard has to rely on his team’s accomplishments (Seahawks won Super Bowl) to spruce up his resume rather than his unit’s (one of the worst pass blocking units around) or his own (Pro Football Focus thinks he’s a dud). These guys provide average help at above average pay, with asterisks, over a very short period of time. That is generally what you get from the second tier of free agents.

  14. 14


    Mark, if you follow your own reporting then Brent Grimes signing will have no impact on the plans to draft a corner. Why is that? Because Licht looks 3 years out when making those decisions. Licht would be going against his own plan if he altered his draft strategy after giving a 33 year old corner a 2 year contract. CB is as much a priority in the draft to the organization post-Grimes signing as it was before.

  15. 15


    I’ve learned over the years to keep any skepticism and enthusiasm in check. Glad we are looking to keep our own players who warrant being retained.

  16. 16


    This is a very good start to FA. I suspect there will be a couple of mid-ranger LB’s signed to give experience to that group as well, along with another OL and DT later. But what I like most of all is how the Glazer haters have tempered their venting for the time being. Seems that they want to win after all, eh?

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