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 are the odds of a trade for Jets Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams? Sounds like he wants out and we all know he’s perfect for Todd Bowles and that would complete the secondary.
Answer: In a Madden video game world, the Bucs would click the trade button for Jamal Adams and go 19-0 in their Super Bowl-winning season. Unfortunately, this isn’t a Playstation console game Tampa Bay is playing. The biggest issue would be compensation. It most likely would cost the Bucs – or any team – at least a first-round draft pick for Adams, if not more. That’s not terrible considering teams would be acquiring an All-Pro plug-and-play star. But Adams is in the last year of his rookie contract and will want to be paid as the NFL’s highest-paid safety when he becomes a free agent following the 2020 season.
For the Buccaneers it comes down to choices. Do they want to solidify the safety position, or keep their front seven intact? Do they want a stellar safety in Adams and then not be able to extend the contract of wide receiver Chris Godwin?
There is little doubt Adams would be a great player in Todd Bowles defense in Tampa Bay considering Adams played for Bowles in New York, but based on his contract expiring soon, the draft pick compensation and the money he will be due a year from now, it is nearly impossible for Tampa Bay to make a deal, especially with so many of the team’s own free agents needing new deals this year. Make no mistake, the Bucs would be competing against a number of other teams who would also love to have Adams on their defense, so it wouldn’t be a slam dunk that general manager Jason Licht would win the trade war for Adams’ services.
I would suggest letting the year play out and let the Bucs sign their own players, let the draft happen, then re-visit Adams next offseason if he’s still available. Maybe Tampa Bay’s salary cap is in a clearer spot and the Bucs could find some money to attempt to sign him as a free agent in 2021.
Question: What are the most important steps/pieces needed this offseason to get the Bucs back to the playoffs?
Answer: The Bucs need help at safety, along the offensive line and the team also needs a dynamic running back to pair with Ronald Jones II. Oh, and there is this little matter of finding a way to cut down on turnovers from the quarterback position, assuming Jameis Winston is re-signed or given the franchise tag.
As I have pointed out in previous PewterReport.com Bucs Monday Mailbags, Pewter Nation Podcasts and other interviews, this football team wasn’t terribly far away from being a 10-win team – maybe even an 11-5 football team. So bolstering some of the positions I mentioned would only make sense that Tampa Bay could be in playoff contention in 2020. But at the end of the day, getting to the playoffs and actually winning will come down to eliminating turnovers. The Bucs have had a bad penchant for beating themselves over the years.
In last week’s four wild card games, winning quarterbacks threw a total of just one interception. In the four divisional games this past weekend, winning quarterbacks once again threw just one interception. You just aren’t going to see a quarterback throw two or three interceptions in a playoff game and win.
Question: Who do you think would be a better fit in Arian’s offense? Washington’s Jacob Eason or Utah State’s Jordan Love?
Answer: While neither excites me as a long-term solution at quarterback, that wasn’t the question, so I will look at it from a scouting perspective. I asked PewterReport.com and The Draft Network’s Trevor Sikkema to weigh in, as he and Scott Reynolds are much more in tune with QB prospects.
“There are a few components that are needs for what we would consider an ‘Arians quarterback,'” Sikkema said. “First, they have to have a strong enough arm to not only push the ball down the field vertically, but also zip passes into tight window. Without that as the baseline, quarterbacks won’t be able to play in this offense. Both Love and Eason check those boxes.
“The next is they have to have a very high football IQ. With all of the option routes with different wide receivers and the sheer size of Arians’ playbook, the QB have to be smart to play in this offense. I believe that both Eason and Love are smart football players (though I’ve never sat down and talked with them), but there are parts of their games that worry me. For Eason, it’s how night and day he seems to pass the ball in a clean pocket versus pressure. For Love, it is the same turnover problems Winston seems to have. Both don’t see the field as clearly as they need to right now. They’re young, so they could develop that, but unless teams really sit down and talk with a guy teams won’t know.
“The final one is that quarterbacks have to be able to take criticism. They have to be mentally tough to be an Arian protégé. Carson Palmer said himself that Arians is going to get in your face, he isn’t going to give you an B.S. and he won’t settle for failure. If the player can’t take hard, real criticism and turn it into motivation, focus and improvement, they won’t last. Both Eason and Love have the arm to succeed in Tampa, but do they have the mentality to do so? That’s the question, one I can’t answer without really knowing them. That’s what interviews at the Senior Bowl, the NFL Scouting Combine and the pro days are for.”
Question: Do you think the Glazers will have a major say as to the future of Jameis Winston in Tampa?
Answer: At the end of the day, the Glazers have all the say. The ownership group has put their trust in general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians and very rarely meddle in the personnel side of things. But when a team is talking about committing potentially $100 million guaranteed, that is when Licht and Arians will surely get their bosses to sign off on that.
With that said, the Glazer family likes Jameis Winston. They stuck their necks out on the line to a degree to allow Licht to even draft Winston despite knowing the character concerns that came during the pre-draft process from his days at Florida State. The Glazers also stood by Winston as he was suspended three games by the NFL for allegedly groping a female Uber driver in 2016. Outside of that incident, Winston has pretty much been everything the Glazers have wanted in their potential franchise quarterback – from an off-the-field perspective anyway.
Arians was brought to Tampa Bay with the plan to win a Super Bowl and the premise that it would happen with Winston under center. But no one – not even the harshest Winston doubters – saw a 30-interception season from Winston in 2019. So if the Bucs do decide Winston is their guy in 2020 and perhaps beyond, the Glazes will have to be in agreement and fully trust that Licht and Arians have the organization’s best interests in mind.