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: Do you think the Bucs would consider signing Colin Kaepernick? The Bucs have been one of the most progressive teams regarding diversity since the Glazers took over.

Answer: I’m not sure the Bucs would consider signing Colin Kaepernick, but he’s probably not the right fit right now in Tampa Bay. it’s worth noting that the Bucs organization really have been champions for diversity in the NFL, hiring three black head coaches between 1996 and 2014, drafting two black quarterbacks in the first round since 2009 and currently standing as the only franchise in the NFL with four black coordinators, including run game coordinator Harold Goodwin.

But as head coach Bruce Arians has said in the past, “If you have a competition at quarterback, you probably don’t have one.” And with that in mind, I believe the Bucs are content with Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin sitting behind Tom Brady for the time being. With Brady, much like with Jameis Winston in 2019, Arians appears ready to sink or swim with his starting quarterback.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston and head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs QB Jameis Winston and head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Getty Images

For starters, Griffin and Gabbert were both with Tampa Bay under Arians last year and Gabbert spent time under much of the Bucs’ current regime in Arizona, something that could be invaluable for Brady as he attempts to gain familiarity with Arians’ offense despite not being afforded the luxury of OTAs and a formal mini-camp. Arians sees backup quarterbacks as an extension of the offensive coaching staff, in addition to their presence as a second option, and having two guys that are already familiar with the terminology, playbook and tendencies that Arians employs are a useful tool. Gabbert and Griffin have both been seen in attendance at Brady’s recent private workouts with the team.

The issue the Bucs have with Kaepernick is his regression as a passer, specifically in the pocket, as Arians’ offense is designed to be operated by pocket passers. Pro Football Focus issued the following overall grades and passing grades for Kaepernick in his final three seasons in the NFL:

2014: 64.5 overall grade / 66.2 passing grade
2015: 47.1 overall grade / 49.8 passing grade
2016: 47.8 overall grade / 53.8 passing grade

On top of Kaepernick’s regression as a quarterback, he has had a three-year absence from NFL competition, which further complicates the evaluation process. By comparison, Jameis Winston received a 68.4 overall grade and a 66.7 passing grade last year after throwing 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. New Bucs quarterback Tom Brady had an 80.4 overall grade and a 77.4 passing grade last year in New England.

Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick
Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick – Photo by: Getty Images

A legitimate argument could be made that the 32-year old Kaepernick is a better QB and more experienced than Gabbert and Griffin. However he isn’t an ideal scheme fit in Arians’ system, and certainly doesn’t know the offense or have as much experience in a vertical-based passing game and the reads that are necessary for quarterbacks to make in that scheme.

Not having a regular offseason with mini-camps and OTAs this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic only hurts Kaepernick’s chances of learning a team’s playbook, becoming familiar with it on the field, and establishing a rapport and chemistry with backs, tight ends and wide receivers in the passing game – in Tampa Bay or elsewhere.

Lastly, the Bucs have just just over $4.8 million in cap space per OverTheCap.com and have yet to sign their rookie class. Kaepernick’s salary demands would likely come at a higher price tag than either of Tampa Bay’s current backups, both of who are expected to make less than $1.75 million in 2020, and the Bucs simply couldn’t afford him.

Question: How likely is it that Jamal Adams goes to the Cowboys – with Dak Prescott about to sign his franchise tender? And who could Tampa Bay offer personnel-wise to the Jets that would increase the likelihood of trading Adams to the Bucs?

Answer: I’m not completely sure about the Cowboys’ interest in Jets safety Jamal Adams or the team’s ability to trade for Adams, but as far as the Bucs are concerned, trading for Adams would be a long shot to say the least.

With Tampa Bay’s current roster laid out, they severely lack depth across the board and can’t really afford to give up impact players at any position short of tight end, and the Bucs’ seem exceedingly comfortable with that unit heading into 2020.

Jets S Jamal Adams
Jets S Jamal Adams – Photo by: Getty Images

The most likely scenario, if the Bucs were to hypothetically make a push for Adams, would include trading either draft picks or a combination of picks and/or a seemingly expendable player like tight end O.J. Howard, but neither of those would remedy Tampa Bay’s biggest problem with the trade, cap space.

At just over $4.8 million in salary cap space with no rookies from this year’s class signed yet, as previously mentioned, acquiring Adams and reuniting him with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is nearly an impossibility for Tampa Bay, as fun as the duo would be in the Bucs’ defensive secondary. Adams has said that he not only wants to be the highest-paid safety in the NFL, which would put him at $15 million per season, but also the highest-paid defensive player in the league, which would put his salary demands north of $20 million. The Bucs simply don’t have the monetary wherewithal or cap room to pay Adams anywhere close to that.

Question: When do you expect the Bucs to start signing draft picks?

Answer: In the past, Tampa Bay has generally signed some of its rookie draft picks just before the start of mini-camp in May, while others had to wait until July just before training camp. In normal offseasons, newly-added rookies are permitted to participate in a team’s offseason program prior to a deal being signed as long as they sign a waiver, but would then have to get an official deal agreed upon before training camp begins in late July.

Bucs director of football administration Mike Greenberg - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs director of football administration Mike Greenberg – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In 2018, Tampa Bay announced that four of their eight draft picks had been signed the week before mini-camp kicked off in early May. In 2019 it was largely the same, with the Bucs announcing that five of their eight draft picks had agreed to deals around the same time.

Now in 2020, rookies haven’t even been permitted to travel to and work out at the AdventHealth Training Center, and none have put pen to paper on their rookie contracts. So surely it won’t be too long before the Bucs begin officially signing their rookies, but expect it to come some time in early-to-mid July when players can begin congregating at team headquarters before training camp is scheduled to kick off. There is no rush right now.

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Spitfire

I wouldn’t want Kapernick, but you can’t say he regressed as a passer yet having him would cause a competition at QB. Signing him would be champion enough for people and nobody would expect him to beat out Brady at QB. There would t be a QB controversy, he would just be an experienced backup. Again though, as long as he’s been away from football, and him only being average at best when he was playing, I wouldn’t want him as a backup.

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Spitfire

Also, if a Safety thinks he needs to be the highest paid Defensive player in the league, then I don’t want him on my team. Let the Jets deal with him or some other team way overpay for him. Next!

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BigSombrero

Devon White wants to be the highest paid player on a defense in the NFL. He said this before he was even drafted by the Bucs. Im ok with him wanting to be #1.

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Gatordoc1

especially if he earns it

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NC Greenbeard

Yes but I’d rather spend that kind of money on a LB versus a Safety. I don’t care if a player makes that statement before the draft. It’ll be 4 or 5 years before he gets that payday. If he deserves it… great… pay the man! That means we got some really good years from him. If he doesn’t deserve it… well… trade him or let him walk. Or franchise him if you want to piss him off. We don’t have to pay it. Like the confidence though Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating0-1 Rating: -1. From 1 vote. Please… Read more »

Pete Wood

Without going into the merits of Colin Kaepernick’s political position, the common thread in the answers to the first two questions is that we don’t need a potentially divisive player on the team. I don’t want a guy playing for the Bucs who insists he has to be the highest paid defensive player in the league. Kinda gotta wonder what other demands Adams has. And, even though I agree with the reasons for Kaepernik’s protests, I don’t want the media circus that follows him wherever he goes. I want to win football games and we have the team to do… Read more »

buccaneerNW
  1. Adams isn’t coming here. That’s like every other pipe dream this time of year. Not gonna happen.
  2. Kap is not a drop back passer, so not a fit in Tampa. He needs to accept backup status and salary in an offense geared around a mobile QB, say Baltimore. He just wasn’t ever a special QB… but he should never have been shunned for harmless protest.
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NC Greenbeard

Good, concise take. If you were a GM with money for a “better” backup QB and a mobile-QB-friendly system… do you sign Cam or Kap?

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BigSombrero

Who could the Bucs trade for Jamal Adams (who wants $15-$20 million per year)?

There’s really only one answer…Mike Evans. Their pay is roughly the same. Maybe the Bucs could also get a 2nd and 3rd in the 2021 draft.

If you aren’t willing to trade Mike Evans away, there’s no point in this exercise. Godwin and David still need new contracts and the Bucs need draft picks for the post Brady era in 1 year.

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Last edited 19 days ago by BigSombrero
DrT1066

If TB13 gets COVID and hopefully just isolates in his 12,000 SF mansion, better have someone better than Gabbert.

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NC Greenbeard

Most teams are doomed if their backup QB has to play an extended period of time. Tb13 can get Covid all he wants just leave TB12 alone! (Yes I know it was a typo… I mistyped it 3 times trying to write this reply)

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Dave

Lol

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pinkstob

I would want Kaepernick as backup if we ran an offense that was even remotely related to his skill set or if we had an OC or HC who was willing to adjust the offense for Kaepernick. We have neither. Kaepernick is exactly the type of QB Arians hates from a skillset standpoint. As for Adams, I’m not a fan because he is a great blitzer and tackler but he has not proven to be much of a cover guy which is what we need at safety. I know our DC loves guys like that which is why he drafted… Read more »

Dave

Agree 100% on everything you said

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Dave

Yeah I don’t want Kaepernick. I just wonder how motivated he is to play at this point. It’s been 3.5 years since he’s played last. That’s a long time for a QB. And a QB that really wasn’t playing great his last couple years anyways. He made his living on his running ability. How good of a runner is he still? How often is he training and working out? Nobody knows these things. The only positive I’ll say is, as far as the media circus that would follow him is concerned. The 2020 Bucs would surprisingly be equipped to handle… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Dave
seat26

Kapernick would be a good addition to a Team that has one very old QB and one untested QB, and one who is a Journeyman. I wonder if Tampa not signing rookies has something to do with the worry that there might not be a season. (wasted money) And with multiple coaches, assistants and players infected, you have to wonder if we will have any football this season at all. Especially with Florida now spiking over 100K infections.

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