The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Twitter account, however this week Taylor Jenkins will be taking over. 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 Monday Mailbag.

Question: Will Chris Godwin get a contract extension before season starts?

Answer: While the Bucs would surely like to extend the contract for wide receiver Chris Godwin, the timeline for when that could happen isn’t exactly known.

From a financial standpoint, Tampa Bay is limited with less than $5 million in remaining cap space while still having Godwin under contract for (just) the 2020 season. In addition, Godwin’s breakout season in 2019 where he racked up 1,333 receiving yards, nine touchdowns and his first Pro Bowl selection could put him in line for a large pay day. This would potentially put the Bucs in company with the Cardinals, Bengals and Browns as the only teams in the league with multiple receivers on their rosters making over $10 million per year.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

If the Bucs are able to get a deal worked out with Godwin this offseason, it would likely come over later in the summer or during training camp if you look back at when Tampa Bay has reached agreements on some of their more high-profile re-signings in the past. A deal may also take place mid-season, if they’re not able to reach an agreement before the start of the season.

In 2015, linebacker Lavonte David signed a five-year contract extension on Aug. 9.

In 2016, offensive tackle Demar Dotson signed a three-year extension on Aug. 15.

In 2018, offensive guard Ali Marpet signed a five-year extension on Oct. 9.

Question: What if the Bucs could somehow make a trade for Kareem Hunt? I know Cleveland put a second-round tender on him, but he just seems like the perfect running back/receiving back for this Tom Brady offense. Thoughts?

Answer: Let’s start with what Kareem Hunt brings to the table. If added to the Bucs’ roster he would immediately become the most dangerous threat in their backfield, both as a runner and a pass-catcher.

In 2017, as a rookie in Kansas City, Hunt was one of the most productive backs in the league as he posted a league-leading 1,327 yards on 272 carries for 4.9 yards per carry and eight rushing touchdowns. He also added 53 receptions – on 64 targets – for 455 yards and three additional touchdowns. In 2018, he posted 4.6 yards per carry, totaling 824 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns and seven receiving touchdowns in just 11 games played.

Tampa Bay has had just one running back since 2011 eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in a single season, when Doug Martin reached that milestone in both 2012 and 2015.

However, the cost of acquiring Hunt would quite simply outweigh the Bucs’ benefit, both on the field and off of it.

Former Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt - Photo by: Getty Images
Former Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt – Photo by: Getty Images

As mentioned, Hunt signed a restricted tender with the Browns this offseason that would require Tampa Bay to send a second-round pick to Cleveland to acquire the fourth-year back before paying him $3.259 million on a one-year deal. This would not only require the Bucs to relinquish significant draft capital for a one-year investment, but would also severely cut into the roughly $4.873 million that Tampa Bay has remaining in salary cap space, per OverTheCap.

To top it all off, Hunt recently served an eight-game suspension following a video that showed him involved in a violent confrontation with a woman at a Cleveland hotel in 2018. Hunt was also recently pulled over for speeding and police found small amounts of marijuana in his car, but he was not charged. Those may be key factors that steer the Bucs’ brass from making a push for the talented back.

Question: When do the Bucs’ OTAs start?

Answer: OTAs, known as organized team activities, were originally scheduled to begin on April 6 for teams with newly-hired head coaches and April 20 for all remaining teams, however COVID-19 put an abrupt halt to many normal offseason programs.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

With many local and state governments beginning to implement a multi-phased re-opening process, the NFL is now allowing headquarters to have less than 50 percent capacity, or 75 people in total, to be at the team facilities as long as they adhere to local guidelines. With that said, coaches are not permitted at team facilities and players are only permitted if they are actively participating in rehab procedures or undergoing medical treatment.

In a recent report from Yahoo Sports, sources claimed that “mini-camps including players could be scheduled as early as June 15 or as late as June 27, depending on COVID-19 data and whether a handful of franchises get a ‘go ahead’ signal from state governments to resume full operations.” So the timeline for a return currently appears to be mid-to-late June, barring any significant setbacks.

Question: Do you think the Bucs will run with the RBs they have or will they bring in a veteran backup for some leadership?

Answer: While the Bucs may not have hit a home run during the draft, landing a top-rated runner like Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, Wisconson’s Jonathan Taylor, Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins or LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire, I believe Tampa Bay’s staff will head into training camp with comfortability and a lot of competition across the running back position.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

I think that the Bucs still have confidence in Ronald Jones II as a lead back and added Vanderbilt’s Ke’Shawn Vaughn to likely compete with Dare Ogunbowale for third down and pass-catching duties, perhaps taking on a larger role if he proves effective. They also added the speedy Raymond Calais out of Louisiana to compete with T.J. Logan as the team’s athletic gadget player on offense and possible return man.

With that said, Bruce Arians will tell you consistently, and with confidence, that the bottom of the team’s roster is in constant flux and they’re always looking for an upgrade. Should Tampa Bay add a veteran in camp to compete for a roster spot or bring along their young stable of running backs, much like Arians and general manager Jason Licht did by bringing in Andre Ellington for a few months last year, it’s very unlikely that the player they bring in will be high-profile or come with a high price tag.

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danielob

I think the Bucs will stick with the running backs we have since we just can’t afford to bring in anyone else and needing depth elsewhere, like on the defensive and offensive lines. Running back is not a premium position that it once was and we are adequate with the talent we have now. Kareem Hunt is not a good fit with his past, the video was ugly and hopefully he has changed since then. The fact that the Chiefs drafted Clyde Edwards-Helaire tells us Hunt might not be in their future plans. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No… Read more »

SaskBucs

KC cut ties with Hunt. He is currently a change of pace back for the Browns since Chubb is likely to compete for the rushing title this season.

Anyway, I also think the Bucs will roll with what they got unless someone gets injured or Vaughn looks like an instant bust. I’m confident in Rojo this year.

I hope they can bring back Godwin and David with extensions sometime this year. Next year gonna need to use the draft to rebuild the Dline.

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danielob

Yep, forgot Hunt was with the Browns now, my bad. Nice catch.

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bucballer

While I believe there is a chance u could actually get some productivity out of Hunt, his questionable character may strike again and maybe infect team chemistry a bit. I really don’t believe that they will need any additional RBs this season. I think,barring injury to RoJo, the Bucs role with the new kids on the block. If there’s a God who enjoys football then perhaps the Bucs hit on at least one of the two rookies and RoJo bust out with his first 1000yard season. I believe this is probable. This could actually work. The talent and now some… Read more »

Dman

My guess is they take care of Godwin before the season to avoid distractions. It will probably require some other restructurings so that may slow things, but the guy is everything you want in a player on and off the field.   I also think they stand pat at RB going into camp, and unless the guys just aren’t panning out, stick with what they have for the season. What would really help is if RoJo spent the offseason with the jugs machine, running routes and working on his pass blocking. Heading into year three, it’s now or never. Rate… Read more »

Dave

Agree with Godwin. He’s the complete package on and off the field as a WR. They have to find a way to keep him. If they wait until mid season, it’s a distraction. I think they can find a way to restructure it and make it work. Can’t let him walk out the door. Plus with Brady at QB, he’s going to be very busy, and is in for a huge year

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Thunder Sack

I’m not in the camp that keeps repeating that running backs are now a devalued position. It is clap-trap. Tell that to Dallas and Tennessee. It just depends on what type of offense you are running. Is the Bucs offense one that relies on a power running game? I’m not sure. But, if they want to emulate what made Brady a winner they are going to need a stable of running backs that can block and catch passes out of the backfield to compliment the two TE sets they are supposedly going to run percentage wise. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb… Read more »

BigSombrero

Hallelujah.

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geno711

I agree with Thunderstruck. BS I thought you were a Jonathan Taylor guy. I do not see how Taylor fits the Brady mold of a superior blocking and receiving running back. He may eventually be that guy but I do not think he has shown that in the past. So for this year – not sure that Taylor was a fit.   That is why I and others were arguing for CEH over Taylor. They are different. Not that CEH is going to be an excellent blocker in his 1st year either but he had the clear receiving skills over… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by geno711
BigSombrero

Did you know that Lawrence Maroney and LeGarrett Blount won SuperBowls with Tom Brady?
 
Jonathan Taylor is better than both those guys.

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Dave

He is huh? Interesting. What are his career nfl stats so far?

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Dave

You weren’t alone. That’s what’s why he went 42nd. If you can’t block, you won’t see the field with Brady. That’s why Rojo hasn’t been given a shot to be that receiving back we need. I think he proved last year that he’s a more than adequate pass catching back. But he can’t block, so they’ll never treat him as a 3 down back. Why on earth would anyone think it would be different with Taylor. It wouldn’t. On the Bucs, at best, he’d be a 2 down back splitting carries with Rojo. Basically like it was last year with… Read more »

DonkeyHunter

You named two teams. Two.
 
It is very much a devalued position and been trending that way for years.

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Dave

I disagree. I don’t think the actual running game itself is devalued. I think teams perceptions that they need an elite back, is devalued. There’s been countless examples the last few years of teams that can essentially plug anyone in their backfield because they either A) have an elite QB, did a great job at building their line, or have a great offensive system(Eagles, Colts, 49ers, Cowboys, Saints, Ravens, Steelers, Packers, Seahawks etc..) out of the top 11 rushing offenses from last year. Only 3 of those teams have an elite back.(Titans, Cowboys, Vikings). Point is, having an elite back,… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Thunder Sack

Ok. Let’s look at our own division. Christian McCaffrey just signed a record breaking contract. Again, it depends on what type of offense you are running.
 
Dave touched on some great points as well below this comment.

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bucballer

Got to get Godwin signed first. Only benefits the Bucs to get it done earlier than later as I believe his price/value only goes up. If they waited mid season, his stats maybe worth only more money. This kid is just learning his craft after having put it all together this past season. This kid is so good he may have an even bigger season this year with Brady throwing the ball. His contract may cause some/a salary dump next year. Brate will be a prime candidate as he will make 6.5 mil next year… a bit much for a… Read more »

bucballer

Agreed about the RB position. A solid 5-6 round RB could run behind a solid offense Line provided the team is good one and has a pretty balanced offense

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BigSombrero

A solid 5 man offensive line comprised of 5th and 6th round players are all that are needed for ONE top flight RB.

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ScottC543

Hunt would be a huge plus catching passes out of the backfield, but he’s not worth the risk in the locker room, IMO.
 
Rojo is going to bust out this year on the ground. Big year coming for him, especially if his blitz pickup has improved so he can stay on the field for third downs.
 
We don’t need Hunt. He beats up women, and he had pot too. Forget him. I smoked marijuana one time and it made me want to rape and kill.
 

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Last edited 1 month ago by ScottC543
GrayBalls

Uhhhh, yeah. One of these two things might be happening(my guess is both). That wasn’t marijuana and you’re a moron. Ok, I was wrong about it being one

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ScottC543

In the meantime, extend Godwin ASAP.

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captain ahab

How can anyone suggest the running back position which touches the ball 40 to 50% of all offensive plays is not a premium position? If he is going to tote the rock close to half your offensive plays, might be of importance to have a good one there.

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Dave

It’s just more important to have a good run blocking line than a great RB. With a great run blocking line, Rojo, Vaughn, or whoever we threw back there would be more than good enough. There’s countless examples all across the league. Out of the top 10 run blocking lines in the league, I wanna say 2 of them have an elite back

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DT25

Should be very interesting to see what people say about the RB position AFTER this season. The film on RoJo’s overall body of work doesn’t lie…he’ll be just fine. And yes, that includes his blocking. Vaughn should add another piece to the backfield to upgrade what we had in Barber. Adding an athletic OT in Wirfs and Brady coordinating the offense at the line of scrimmage, checking into plays based on his reads, etc will only help the running game further. This narrative that we need a RB is recognized as unnecessarily panicky for those who watch film. We have… Read more »