Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, but the legal tampering period has let the cat of the NFL bag over the last few days for many players.

Teams have until the 4 p.m. deadline to be compliant and be under the cap, and while it appears the Bucs are already there, as of now, there are precious few dollars to add any more players. Some drastic measures will need to be made to free up money if the Bucs plan to add anymore talent in the near future.

Tampa Bay started free agency off with approximately $3-4 million in cap space. The team traded DeSean Jackson to free up $10 million and also released punter Bryan Anger which provided another $3 million in space, for an approximate total of $16 million in salary cap room.

But the team has agreed to terms in principal with a number of players over the last two days. They are listed below with their estimated 2019 salary, as most terms haven’t been disclosed.

QB Ryan Griffin($1.5 million)
P Bradley Pinion ($2.5 million)
K Cairo Santos($2 million)
S Deone Bucannon($4.5 million)
WR Breshad Perriman($4 million)
LB Kevin Minter ($1.5 million)

These signings would leave the Buccaneers with around $2 million in cap space with the 4 p.m. opening of free agency. That isn’t even enough to sign their rookies next April, much less add any more significant players in free agency.

And that is before Peyton Barber is either tendered or signed to a multi-year deal that is expected to be in the $2-3 million per season range.

The team has some options to increase their cap space including restructuring of some larger contracts like Mike Evans, Ryan Jensen and a few others.

They could also release more players as Scott Reynolds suggested last Saturday. 

DT Gerald McCoy – $13 million
DE Will Gholston – $3.75 million
G Evan Smith – $2 million
DT Beau Allen – $1.5 million roster bonus, $3.5 million base salary

DT Mitch Unrein – $1 million roster bonus, $2.75 million base salary

No matter how they approach it, the Buccaneers won’t be overly active in free agency, at least with high profile players commanding large salaries. And while the team has been vocal in their praise for a player like Gerald McCoy, $13 million would be a nice windfall moving forward, and provide some instant relief moving forward.

Stick with PewterReport.com this week as we watch and report ow it all unfolds.

 

 

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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]

31 COMMENTS

  1. How much would McCoy make on the open market? Not close to 13 Mill… Cut him already

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    Rating: -17. From 35 votes.
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  2. The key question for the staff now is exactly – how talented are the existing players? Based on tape Arians and his team need to determine who they want and who should go. That will determine how much cap space they have (working with Licht of course). I don’t think the sky is falling like this article seems to imply, but at the same time, the staff has some work to do to help Licht make decisions on matter like this.

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  3. Losing Kwon and Hump stung, but there was the hope of a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2020. With all the free agent signings, won’t that cripple their chances of being awarded?

    Example: In 2017, the Bucs lost 3 young players who received big contracts and playing time at their new teams-Mike Glennon, Akeem Spence, and Russ Shephard.
    They picked up D.Jax, SWaggy Baker, and JJ Wilcox.

    Bucs only got one 7th round comp pick in 2018.

    https://www.pewterreport.com/tampa-bay-awarded-compensatory-pick-2018-nfl-draft/

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    Rating: +1. From 7 votes.
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  4. Make the cuts already… I think all in this article should go… change the culture and change the mindset of losing! We were 5-11 two years in a row… what r u afraid off???

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  5. We are going to have to move on from McCoy..it’s ridiculous that we are one of the worst teams in the league and yet we have one of the worst cap room space in the league.

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  6. I believe draft pick salaries are already included in that estimate but obviously we will be trading up/down so that will definitely change

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  7. 3 things need to happen for this team to start winning.
    1. We need to stay healthy. Far too many injuries to key players over the last few years have hurt us.
    2. Jameis needs to play up to his potential and stop turning the ball over so much. Don’t be the hero be the leader!
    3. Our defense needs to stop giving up 30 points a game and get some turnovers to help our offense.
    If BA and this coaching staff can do that we will win. If they can do that without McCoy and a few other players then so be it. We still need a veteran guard more than most of those DL you mentioned. Do whats necessary to win.

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    Rating: +12. From 14 votes.
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  8. Cutting all those guys except McCoy, signing draft picks, and signing Barber… Leaves us about $4 million in cap space in free agency. Looking like we will need to restructure some people… I don’t think BA and Bowles are ready to part with GMC. If we can keep him, he is worth it. No one in FA is worth top dollar… It’s just a matter of can we afford to even fill our roster.

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    Rating: +7. From 15 votes.
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  9. Big difference this year compared to 2017. We paid DJax and Baker big $$ and Glennon was the only guy to really get a good contract. This year Kwon and Hump both got PAID and we have only signed bargain guys to 1 year deals – not top dollar longer contracts.

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  10. GET RID OF GERALDINEE!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Cut all of them above, except GMC. Restructure GMC.

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    Rating: +11. From 25 votes.
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  12. So, broken record here… been saying this since LAST year at this time.
    – Trade GMC: Take whatever you can get the way we did with D-Jax.

    Then,
    – Restructure Evans: Pewter Report did an analysis of this a week or so ago.
    – Restructure Jensen and anybody else underperforming their contracts. With all the guys that didn’t seem to make the grade last year, should be plenty of options.

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    Rating: -3. From 9 votes.
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  13. Who’s going to accept a trade with the Bucs for a 31-year old DT making $13 million next season? Best guess is he’s cut later today or this week. I hate it, but that’s the reality of it unless they convince McCoy to take a pay cut.

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    Rating: +2. From 16 votes.
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  14. Cutting Gerald and then drafting Q Williams would be a dream come true but huge risk doing that before the draft and waiting for the draft doesn’t allow us to look at anyone now.

    I say you risk it for the biscuit and cut Gerald now. Should have done it before free agency so he had a better pick of where he wanted to be. He deserves that.

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    Rating: +4. From 8 votes.
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  15. Who is going to make a trade for a 31-year old DT set to make $13 million? I would think nobody, but I’m not as smart as the professionals who do this for a living, so anything’s possible I suppose.

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  16. People can forget about the bucs trading McCoy..no team in the league will trade for an aging DT who has had some injury issues for $13 mil…that’s called a pipe dream.

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    Rating: +2. From 10 votes.
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  17. Cut all the players listed except for McCoy. Then sit Gerald down and tell him we are guaranteeing his Contract for 10 Million; please take it or we will release you. That 3 million savings can bring in another player

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  18. Trade JPP

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    Rating: -20. From 20 votes.
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  19. I pretty much agree with those that want to retain GMC and cut the rest. I also kinda like Horse’s idea of getting him to take a reduced salary too. I also agree with those that say trading GMC is unlikely to happen at his age and salary but I still think he’s productive enough to keep.

    So if we do cut him, I wouldn’t expect it to happen until after the draft. You really need his replacement in house before you do something like that. All the others can go free now (and I think they will be soon).

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    Rating: +4. From 6 votes.
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  20. I understand how the top teams (Pats; 2001-2002 Bucs) have cap issues. Question – how in hell does a team that has won 27 and lost 53 games (34%) over the last 5 years have cap problems?!!! Bad management? Poor player selection? Players with bad character or attitude? Terrible coaching? Bad luck?
    WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Rating: +10. From 14 votes.
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  21. Cut them all except Mccoy. Restructure mccoy to $9m this season and make that amount guaranteed. Restructure evans and pay this year’s salary as signing bonus. That should allow us to add some more value free agents.

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  22. Perhaps not everyone wants to hear all this but if your a GM you look at your situation, fish & cut bait where it makes sense. Look at the Salary Cap and see who is way underperforming for their Salary
    https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/tampa-bay-buccaneers/cap/

    3 players standout

    CB Hargreaves at 4.5 Million, trade or cut (maybe no one else will take him)
    DT McCoy 13 Million, trade
    QB Winston 20 Million, trade (quit making excuses. every year its a new excuse and every year there are new problems. At 1st it was the Interception ratio, then 2 years ago it was the still problems with Picks, 17 Fumbles and increasing Sack Ratio, then last year it was same problem with too many Sacks and indecision in the Red Zone. For the majority of the games there were still far too many overthrows to Wide open WRs.

    If you want to develop a QB it should be either Ryan Griffin or draft a Strong Rookie. 4 years of on field/off field problems is enough.

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    Rating: -16. From 32 votes.
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  23. Like how Mark tries to slide in Cutting McCoy as a solution when there are so many other options. Listen they’re not cutting Mccoy and leave a huge hole in the middle of the defense so Stop It! Cutting Mccoy for cap reasons is the absolute last option. And for those who keep saying Gmac would not be worth 13mil if he was FA are same ones saying that Kwon was not worth 10mil. Stop It!

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    Rating: +3. From 9 votes.
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  24. Geraldini could be traded anywhere. He’s the perfect fit in literally ANY scheme (except every scheme they’ve ran in Tampa over 9 years.)

    “Embrace change, even when it slaps you in the face.”

    “4-3, 3-4, 5-2, Noseguard, 3-Tech, DE – Either you can play or you can’t!”

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    Rating: -3. From 11 votes.
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  25. Cutting McCoy creates the same type of hole that trading D.Jax creates.

    Addition by subtraction.

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  26. Captain Sly – McCoy isn’t going to restructure his deal. Why would he? And the team can’t make him. There is a signed contract. They can continue to pay him or cut him. THAT’S IT.

    This isn’t “Let’s make a deal!” They ALREADY made a deal.

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    Rating: -9. From 13 votes.
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  27. I’m saying Mccoy is worth every penny the Bucs are paying him, Is Mccoy worth 13mil a yr to the Rams no. But for the same reasons I wanted us to keep D Smith is why we should keep Mccoy. “Replacement Value”

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    Rating: +3. From 5 votes.
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  28. Cutting McCoy and cutting Djax are not the same. Djax leaves very tiny hole to fill with literally anyone that will put in the effort and be a team player. The hole McCoy would leave would be a pretty big hole. Now maybe in the new defensive he is not as important as past years but that’s for the coaches to decide not a guy with an oversized hat.

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    Rating: +5. From 7 votes.
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  29. a paycut for McCoy would be ideal but i don’t know how realistic it is. if they can get a day 2 pick in the next week (while there are still impact players out there) they should go for it, otherwise, you’ll spend most of the savings filling the hole with an “impact FA” which has become a bit of a joke term under Licht.

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  30. Cutting Beau Allen, Gholston, and Evan Smith would not save all much money. We would need replacements for them. I would cut them, but the Buccaneers would only save a couple of million or get slightly better new models. They could get a new safety and a cheap DL. No trade for Gerald is possible. He would have to be released. Gerald McCoy can get better pass rush than most DTs. Brate possible. LB white looks better now. Trade back with Denver get a third and second pick. Or Washington trade back then take Johan Williams or Greedy Smith or Jawaan Talyer. They need a G, LB, CB, and other lesser things, so a trade would give needed picks.

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  31. I am not a fan of cutting McCoy, but let’s face facts here. He was, I believe, the 54th rated defensive lineman last year. He ranked behind JPP and Nassib. For 13 million, we can pick up three guys that might rank lower, but not be that much less effective. Unless McCoy restructures his deal, how can we justify keeping him?

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    Rating: -2. From 6 votes.
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