The Bucs were dealt major blows to the continuity of the offensive line this offseason. Left guard Ali Marpet abruptly retired, and right guard Alex Cappa left in free agency to join the Bengals. However, it didn’t take long for general manager Jason Licht to fill the void at right guard. Tampa Bay traded a 2022 fifth-round pick to New England for veteran Shaq Mason.

Mason moved down to Florida after the trade, and has been attending the team’s offseason workouts. Bucs offensive line coach Joe Gilbert and assistant head coach Harold Goodwin have been impressed with what they’ve seen from Mason.

“Shaq’s been awesome so far, really smart football player,” Gilbert said. “It’s hard to tell physicality [right now]. But when you watch him on tape from the Patriots – has that physicality size to him. Good pass blocker, good in the run game. I really feel great, and I know ‘Goody’ (Goodwin) does too, about where he is – really good in the room. [He] has picked things up really, really sharp so far. I think [he’s] a positive addition to the group.”

The seven-year starter has graded out as one of the top players at his position over the last six seasons. In fact in five of those years Mason finished with an 81.6 overall blocking grade or higher, per Pro Football Focus. Mason is not just a replacement for Cappa, he’s an upgrade.

Another key aspect to Mason’s arrival in Tampa Bay is his familiarity with quarterback Tom Brady. Mason spent the first five seasons of his career blocking for Brady.

There will be an intense battle at the left guard position this summer. Rookie Luke Goedeke will compete with Aaron Stinnie, Nick Leverett and Robert Hainsey for the right to start. But the addition of Mason on the right side ensure the Bucs will still have one of the stronger offensive lines in the NFL.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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1 month ago

Why is it that New England let him go for a 5th rounder if he’s so good? I was wondering that. Was it salary cap purposes?