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Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds answers your questions from the @PewterReport Twitter account each week in the Bucs Monday Mailbag  Submit your question to the Bucs Monday Mailbag each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag. Here are the questions we chose to answer for this week’s edition.

QUESTION: Will “win now” mode hurt Chris Godwin’s chances to sign a long-term deal next year? With Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski playing so well, I wonder if the front office decides to invest in them even if for short term.

ANSWER: I don’t think Chris Godwin’s chances to sign a long-term deal next year have been impacted thus far. Godwin, the team’s franchise player, has a team-high 34 receptions for 409 yards and two touchdowns. He’s just 11 yards and two scores behind Mike Evans (31-420-4) and trails Antonio Brown (29-418-4) by nine receiving yards and two TDs. I think what the Bucs are looking for from Godwin is for him to stay healthy this season and hit 1,000 yards again.

Godwin missed two games in 2019 and four games last season due to injury. He had his first and only 1,000-yard season in 2019, making the Pro Bowl after leading the Bucs with 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. He regressed statistically last season due to injury and finished with 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven TDs.

Bucs WRs Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin NFL

Bucs WRs Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Godwin is playing on a one-year, $15.9 million franchise tag this year. Should he hit free agency, he would likely be the most sought after wide receiver in free agency because of his ability to play in the slot or line up wide. Godwin plays a very valuable role in Bruce Arians’ offense due to his physicality as a blocker in the run game and would be hard to replace. Tyler Johnson is the type of receiver as Godwin – just not as polished or experienced, and maybe not as good.

The biggest question will be how to afford Godwin and the other two players you mentioned – wide receiver Antonio Brown and tight end Rob Gronkowski. It’s doubtful Brown returns to Tampa Bay on a one-year, $3.1 million deal given how well he’s playing this season – even at age 33. Gronkowski re-signed with the Bucs on a one-year, $8 million contract. With reserve tight end O.J. Howard in a contract year, as well as free agent-to-be Leonard Fournette, who is playing well, it will be impossible to retain all of the Bucs’ pending free agents on offense.

But given his age (25), productivity and value in Tampa Bay’s offense, I don’t see the Bucs letting Godwin go. He’ll likely get a long-term deal in Tampa Bay worth an excess of $16 million per year.

QUESTION: How do you think Kyle Trask will progress? With Blaine Gabbert being a Bruce Arians guy, it seems like he will be the backup for a while, so Trask just sits as the third-string QB for the next four years?

ANSWER: It’s too early to really say how Kyle Trask, the team’s second-round pick, will develop. Although I think he ended the preseason on a high note at Houston and showed promise, completing 12-of-14 passes for 146 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Given his draft status, the Bucs would like him to develop into a position where he could really challenge Blaine Gabbert for the backup role behind Tom Brady next year.

Bucs QBs Blaine Gabbert and Tom Brady

Bucs QBs Blaine Gabbert and Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Next offseason will be key for Trask, because it will be the next time he’ll really be immersed in Bruce Arians’ offense. Right now he is getting scout team reps running the Bucs’ opponents’ offenses in practice – not Tampa Bay’s offense. Quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen is working on his fundamentals more than anything. Trask needs to get the ball out of his hands quicker and have better pocket presence as he fumbled in the preseason by hanging on to the ball too long at times.

As for Gabbert, the Bucs love him, especially Arians, who called him the most underrated player in the NFL. Due to his experience in Arians offense, which is in its fourth season dating back to Arizona in 2017, he’ll have the first shot at eventually replacing Tom Brady as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback – if he doesn’t leave for another starting opportunity elsewhere first. I don’t see that happening though, and I do foresee Gabbert and Trask battling it out in a few years to be the Bucs’ starter – and for the backup duties next training camp.

QUESTION: The Bucs remaining home opponents are Chicago, Giants, Bills, Saints and Panthers. A two-part question; have the Bucs ever gone undefeated at home, and will this be the year they do it/do it again?

ANSWER: Tampa Bay has never gone undefeated at home since the inception of the franchise in 1976. The best home record came in 1999, when the Bucs went 7-1 under Tony Dungy. The lone home loss that year was at the hands of the New York Giants, 17-13, in the season opener. That was one of the worst losses in franchise history, as the Bucs defense held the Giants to just 107 total yards, but lost due to Trent Dilfer’s three interceptions and a fumble, which was returned for a touchdown.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs have had six seasons in which the team has finished 6-2 at home. The first of which was in 1981 and the most recent was in 2007 in Jon Gruden’s final season. Tampa Bay also went 6-2 at home in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005.

The Bucs actually went 3-5 at home and 4-4 on the road in Bruce Arians’ first season as head coach in 2019. Last year en route to winning Super Bowl LV, Tampa Bay was just 5-3 at Raymond James Stadium during the regular season and 6-2 on the road. The Bucs are currently 3-0 and with teams like the Bears, Giants, Bills, Saints and Panthers on the horizon, it is possible for this year’s squad to finally go undefeated at home. The next two home games against Chicago and New York seem the most winnable, but Tampa Bay will have a real fight on its hands with Buffalo, New Orleans and Carolina.

QUESTION: Will the Bucs take a cornerback in next year’s NFL Draft?

ANSWER: Yes. With Tampa Bay having to hit the streets to sign three free agent cornerbacks in Pierre Desir, Rashard Robinson and Richard Sherman in short order to help when starters Sean Murphy-Bunting, Carlton Davis III and Jamel Dean went down with injury, you can bet that general manager Jason Licht wants to have another young, talented cornerback waiting in the wings to develop. I could see the Bucs draft one in the first three rounds for sure. Davis and Murphy-Bunting were second-round picks. Dean was a third-rounder.

It’s a safe bet that the trio of Davis, Murphy-Bunting and Dean won’t be together past 2022. Davis is in a contract year this season and the Bucs would like him back. But due to the salary cap, Tampa Bay likely can’t afford big contracts for Murphy-Bunting and Dean, too. Even if they are second tier deals while Davis is paid like a top starting cornerback.

The Bucs would be wise to select a cornerback in next year’s draft and groom that player to eventually replace either Murphy-Bunting or Dean in 2023. We saw Licht draft wide receiver Tyler Johnson in the fifth round the year after Tampa Bay lost Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller to season-ending hamstring injuries at the end of the 2019 season. It was a reactionary move and a wise one despite the tremendous depth the Bucs had at wide receiver (which became even deeper after Antonio Brown was signed). I could see Licht do the same thing in 2022 at cornerback.

QUESTION: My question is probably the same as most weeks this season, what’s the status of the secondary and are there plans for a trade before the deadline?

ANSWER: The short answer is the Bucs are set in the secondary right now and I don’t see the team trading for anyone prior to the deadline unless a major unexpected injury occurs. I discussed the status of the secondary at length in last week’s Bucs Monday Mailbag, so I won’t go in depth here again. With Carlton Davis III and Sean Murphy-Bunting expected back some time following the bye week, I think the Bucs will stand pat with their secondary right now.

QUESTION: If you could magically bring one player back from injury this week who would it be?

ANSWER: If I could clap my hands and rub them together like Mr. Myagi did in Karate Kid when he magically healed Daniel’s ailing knee, the quick, easy answer is cornerback Carlton Davis III. I would magically heal Davis’ ailing quadriceps injury, which thankfully didn’t need surgery to repair.

Davis is Tampa Bay’s best cover cornerback and he’s in a contract year. The Bucs would love to see him play as many games as possible this year to accurately gauge his market value in 2022. With him missing likely at least a quarter of the season, I could see Tampa Bay use the franchise tag on Davis in 2022 unless a reasonable, long-term deal could be worked out prior to free agency in March.

QUESTION: Todd Bowles will probably get another chance at the season’s end for a head coaching job. What team – if they change coaches – will be best for him? If he departs, who could replace him?

ANSWER: That’s a tough question to answer right now with 11 games remaining on the schedule. Detroit is 0-6, but just hired Dan Campbell. Do the Lions pull the plug on him after one year? They did after Rod Marinelli went 0-16 in 2008. The New York Giants are 1-5 and the Joe Judge experiment doesn’t seem to be working out. Atlanta (2-3), Houston (1-5), Jacksonville (1-5), and the New York Jets (1-5) all have new coaches in Arthur Smith, David Culley, Urban Meyer and Robert Saleh, respectively.

Detroit seems like a coaching wasteland, as does Houston. Neither team has an ideal quarterback situation. Bowles has already had one head coaching job in New York with the Jets, and it didn’t go so well, as he produced a record of 24-40 (.375). So he wouldn’t go back to the Jets, and would he want round 2 in the tough New York media market as head coach of the Giants?

DC Todd Bowles

Bucs DC Todd Bowles – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Jaguars could be appealing if Meyer doesn’t survive his first season, but only if Trevor Lawrence shows promise as an NFL star quarterback. Getting a win over Miami was a step in the right direction for Lawrence. With the Dolphins now at 1-5 the seat is getting a little hotter for Brian Flores, so Miami could be an option for Bowles.

But his best bet might be to stay on as defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay and eventually replace Bruce Arians. I believe the Bucs would opt for Bowles rather than offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to become Arians’ heir apparent, and the market for Leftwich will be heating up after this year. If Bowles were to stay on as head coach with Leftwich leaving, look for the Bucs to possibly turn to wide receivers coach Kevin Garver to replace Leftwich as offensive coordinator. Outside linebackers coach Larry Foote could replace Bowles as defensive coordinator for the Bucs.

QUESTION: Why is Bruce Arians so adamant about Jason Pierre-Paul playing all these snaps when he us clearly not 100 percent? Joe Tryon-Shoyinka needs to play more.

ANSWER: This is a very good question, and one I discussed at length in my recent 2-Point Conversion following Tampa Bay’s 28-22 win at Philadelphia. So I’ll reference you to read that column for the answer. I really admire and respect Jason Pierre-Paul’s game when healthy, but there is no way an ailing JPP should play 41 snaps just five days after playing a heavy workload at home against Miami, while promising rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka played just 19. Although Bruce Arians disagrees with that line of thinking despite Tryon-Shoyinka having two sacks to Pierre-Paul’s half sack this season.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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1 month ago

The Bucs should have drafted a DB with the second round pick last year instead of that quarter pounder running the scout team for gods sake. And winning against the hapless Texans in preseason is really nothing to brag about. Now we are stuck with a high second round pick who is in a bare knuckles fight to win a back up position. As I have said before, can you say Roberto Aguayo.

Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

You mean those CB’s who have held up the last three games by giving up an average of 19 points a game? You act like whoever we got would be an all pro or something? Most CB’s struggle the first few years. Take someone like Diggs from Dallas for example. Rarely do they step right in to become starters. You’re like a jealous ex who can’t let go of the past. And Trask just being in the NFL is more then you can say with your quarter pounder eating ass. Let it go already

Last edited 1 month ago by chefboho
Reply to  chefboho
1 month ago

Also if you’re going to draft a corner, do it in the first round making sure he’s a stud from a big time program. Any corner taken where Trask was wouldn’t have helped much anyway. Obviously the Bucs thought Trask was a good investment for a QB room that needed to add some youth. drd needs to talk this Trask thing out with his shrink, the kid is clearly in his head.

Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

I knew as soon as I read the question asking if the Bucs would select a CB in the 2022 Draft that Dr.D would be the first to chime in as if someone had mistakenly said “Freddie Krueger”. Of course we’ve already hashed out the reasons to select Kyle Trask since teams do, in fact, make choices with the future in mind. Then there’s no guarantee Jason Licht would have used the last pick in the 2nd round for a CB. Then, there’s no guarantee, if chosen, he wouldn’t have become “Toast” Jones, Sabby Piscatelli, the CB we drafted ahead… Read more »

Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

Dude, there’s a song from Disney’s Frozen that has your name written all over it. Just Let It Go! Seriously. Teams draft for future and depth, and when they do so, it helps out. What if we were getting injured at the QB position like CB instead? We had depth at corner. We just burned through it all in a few games.

1 month ago

Some great questions this week!! Godwin will get his deal and if AB doesn’t resign, he can take his role which during games IMO is very similar to the one he’s in now. Tyler Johnson then can then move into his vacated role if he’s been improving and is ready. A corner will be drafted this year putting heat on Bunting-Murphy and Dean. While young I think they are tier 3 guys with their inconsistency and injury history. One or both could resign at a lower salary than some would think. Depends on their market in 23′ offseason. Kyle Trask… Read more »

1 month ago

Godwin is a cinch to be resigned. In Bucs offense, the slot rceiver does a lot of nlocking and he may be the best blocking receiver in the NFL. Unless he gets seriously injured, he will be back. Now that more than one third of the season has been completed, the Buccaneers competition in the NFC is more or less clear. Dallas has the best offense of the others, but their defense remains suspect. Waiting to see them beat someone good. Arizona still has a lot to prove, but they play in a tough division. Not sure their coaching is… Read more »

1 month ago

Trask fits the BA mold of quarterback. Way too early to count him out. Since we will never be in the position to draft among the top ten, the brain trust either will wait to see how Trask develops or look for a Free Agent who has disappointed elsewhere but has pedigree. The Colts have been ravaged with injuries, but too a chance on Wentz and he is playing extremely well. That’s what the quality franchises do when they realize drafting quarterbacks is a crap shoot.

1 month ago

With most players resigning u have to ask ur self if it is worth resigning the player. In some cases there have been injuries or lack of production and u have some in the yes column and maybe one or two things in the no column but it comes down to do u still want this player on ur team. With Godwin, it’s all yeses! Godwin is a beast. The only question left is how much is he going to cost u on the salary cap? Get it done Bucs! Godwin is a can do it all WR. Need him… Read more »

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg