The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Twitter account. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.

Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag.

Question: What was the purpose of Mike Evans’ restructure if no cap space was created?

Answer: It was all a technical move that involved some legal stuff dealing with an insurance policy for Mike Evans. From what we were told, it is a pretty common things that often happens around the NFL with contracts of that magnitude. I am not a lawyer, so none of it really makes sense on my end, but it wasn’t a cap saving move as first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates.

Evans had $3 million of his $20 million base salary converted to a roster bonus rather than a signing bonus. Roster bonuses count against the cap just like base salaries do. Signing bonus money is divided up and prorated over the life of the contract and that’s where teams can gain some salary cap room, but that didn’t occur.

Question: I know we’re talking about hypotheticals, but would you rather trade Gerald McCoy to move up and get one of these so-called three studs at the top of the draft – Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen – or trade back to the teens and pick up a second rounder? Looking forward to seeing you over in UK this year!

Answer: I suppose it depends on who the Bucs could replace Gerald McCoy with. While salary cap space is crucial, Tampa Bay doesn’t currently have anyone of the team to even come close to filling McCoy’s shoes if he were to be dealt or released. Right now the Bucs be looking at Rakeem Nunez-Roches as their starter. That’s a considerable drop off.

As Scott Reynolds pointed out on our latest podcast, all of this public indecision from Jason Licht and Bruce Arians could just be the team posturing until finding his replacement via the draft, and if they don’t get one of the top defensive tackles then maybe McCoy sticks around. Reynolds also floats the scenario of the team possibly using McCoy in a trade to move up to get Quinnen Williams in his latest SR’s Fab 5 column.

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

And obviously the defensive coaching staff agrees with that thought. If Tampa Bay felt McCoy could be easily replaced, or his position wasn’t overly important in the new Todd Bowles scheme, then Licht and Arians would have already moved McCoy by now to save $13 million in cap room.

Is McCoy the same player he was a few years ago? Of course not, and Arians said as much last week in Arizona. He’s recorded six sacks in each of the last two years. However, McCoy was still one of the Bucs’ better defensive players last year, and plays a position where there aren’t a bunch of able replacement just walking the streets.

So to answer your question, trade up to get Williams in the first round, and draft the best guard in the second round.

Question: Any info on whether the Bucs may be adding anyone else prior to the draft, or do you see them waiting until after or even possibly final cut downs on August 31 to add a few more vets?

Answer: I don’t have a definite answer, but I do know they are still evaluating a lot of available players, and there could be additions at any point prior to, or following the draft. There are still holes on this roster that seven draft picks can’t fill. So there will be more additions and cornerback is one spot where I think you will see a veteran added regardless if they draft one early.

Rolling the dice that cornerback Vernon Hargreaves can stay healthy for 16 games, and that second-round cornerback Carlton Davis is going to be be much improved, are big gambles. That isn’t a knock on either player, but just the facts. And even if both perform up to expectations in 2019, where is the depth? There will likely be at least one starting-caliber veteran cornerback brought in before training camp.

Question: Why isn’t there more talk of Florida State edge rusher Brian Burns to the Bucs? He has the upside to be the best edge defender in this draft. Yet we’re linked to players like Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary, who has Bust written all over him.

Answer: When Brian Burns declared for the draft I thought he might have made a mistake. Watching his career closely at Florida State I saw a speed edge rusher, who, if he didn’t get to the quarterback, or got locked up on a tackle, was basically powerless. Playing around 225 in college, I didn’t really know where he would fit in the NFL. His biggest negative is his inability to convert speed to power – even though he’s added some weight this offseason.

But then the Seminoles junior showed up at the NFL Combine weighing in at 249 and then still showed elite speed running a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash, and all of a sudden, you see a 3-4 pass rushing linebacker, with enough athleticism to also drop in coverage at times. There is no doubt that he is a freak athlete, and is a driven young man. I love Burns’ relentlessness in Tallahassee, running sideline to sidemen and never showing any quit.

I am still not sure he is Top 10 worthy, but if Tampa Bay trades down then he could be in play. Burns will need good coaching to make him not so one-dimensional, but from what we have heard, he is very willing and very coachable.

Burns did show some improvement in developing a counter inside move this past season that excites NFL front office personnel, and my favorite thing about Burns was he was always looking for the strip. A sack is great, but his mentality was to create a turnover.

Burns recorded 23 sacks in three years at FSU, including 8.5 as a redshirt freshman in 2016, and a career-high 10 sacks last year. The rangy edge rusher also recorded seven career forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, along with 38.5 tackles for loss in his three years with the Seminoles.

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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]

15 COMMENTS

  1. If we trade up I hope it’s for Josh Allen not Williams. I’d rather stay put and take Ed Oliver or trade back though.

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  2. Dude I hope it’s William’s, put him on line next to Vea, will our LBs need to even do anything? (Joking) but still…

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  3. Jason and Bruce understood McCoy is not worth 13 million but I’m surprised they didn’t realize the rest of the league understood that also that’s why at the owner’s meeting they were so silent they have to decide to either pay McCoy 13 million or pay him 7 million to play for another team just another example of great front office work

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  4. Why would someone trade us their opportunity to draft Williams for McCoy? I’m not seeing that happening unless we threw in our 2nd or 3rd and that’s just crazy. I still think Oliver is the better player, and we might be able to trade down and still get him. I don’t buy any trade up talks in the first round. Teams who feel they are one player away or need QBs trade up not a team that has holes to fill in both sides of the ball.

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  5. The Bucs need to take the best ROLB available, whether they trade up or down. They need someone who can cover and rush the passer and blitz. They should get a DT in the 2nd or 3rd round or from post June 1st cuts. Nacho may not be an upgrade to McCoy, but he isn’t awful either. His pursuit and tackling were actually better IMO.

    Why no DT in round 1? I don’t know how much I believe the Bucs when they say that JPP will be a stand up linebacker in base defense. I think his ability to penetrate and get after the QB/RB behind the line is his BEST ability. Putting him in coverage or zone against a RB/TE makes no sense to me, especially considering his self inflicted disability limits his ability to intercept passes.

    I would put him at RDE in base 3-4 or Nickle(when there will be 4 down linemen). JPP played about 90% of all defensive snaps last year and in either defensive alignment his role should remain the same…get after the ball carrier and blow plays up.

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  6. Best ROLB in order in my opinion are Allen, Sweat, Burns, Polite, and Winovich.

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  7. Why does the pewter boys think if McCoy is not worth 13 million dollars to the Buccaneers why would he be worth 13 million plus some kind of a pic to another team I think Gerald McCoy is a good player but he’s not worth 13 million

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  8. If we are converting to a 3-4 alignment, that does not typically include a type 3 DT position. We would need a nose tackle and two big ends. McCoy is not a NT nor an End. Vita Vea would be the starting NT, Gholston and JPP the likely ends. We could easily get an end in this draft. Many quality ones are available. And we have two quality ends on the team now. So how can you say McCoy’s replacement is not on the team?

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  9. Bob, you just got first thumbs up from me. Good post you asked a valid question and didn’t just complain. Lol.

    I’m not an expert at all on contracts, cap etc., but if you are a team that has no cap space this year like the Bucs you can’t overpay McCoy especially with other glaring needs.

    If you are a team that has 50-100 million of cap space and have that need at DT overpaying McCoy isn’t so bad especially if you don’t have huge holes on roster elsewhere.

    Perhaps Pewter can explain it better than me. If Bucs had 50-100 million cap space they would gladly keep McCoy I’m sure until they drafted and groomed his replacement.

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  10. Also I thought Vea was drafted to replace McCoy? I’m not an expert on 3-4 defense at all being a Bucs fan either so maybe I’m missing something.

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  11. I agree with bob what bob said! Why would people take McCoys contract at that age lmao

    I also feel that Josh Allen should be on the very top of our board.

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  12. McCoy not at opening day. Phase 1 is voluntary. Make of it what you will!

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  13. I’m not really sure what the 3-4 lineman need to do so not sure what type of player we should draft.

    With McCoy, my issue is that he’s never shown up in crunch time – on critical plays or in the 4th Qtr. That plus his price tag are the reasons I’d move him.

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  14. I have been a consummate fan of GMC for years. I see much more to his game than Sacks and TFL. It takes two maybe 3 players to contain him and in my opinion that giving it up for the team. Those who have personality issues with him or judge him by an occasional playoff need to study other studs in the trenches. I fully understand however that age, scheme, and young talent can complicate any veterans career and I am sure (not positive) that a future “Ring of Honor” player may have played his last game at the Ray Jay. No team is going to trade down for him and a 6th at best for a cap heavy team is questionable. So the final curtain call may come as a simple cut player that like his career will save cap space for new blood and become a free agent destined to help a veteran needy team.

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  15. First off B-A-B is in rare form in this post. I actually agree with what he’s saying.

    I don’t think anyone would trade down for McCoy in the 1st but maybe in the later rounds. I’d rather see a trade down in the 1st if the “big 3” are gone and grab the other Devin.

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