The Current State Of The Buccaneers

After a promising start to his head-coaching career with a 9-7 record during his first season leading the Buccaneers in 2016, back-to-back 5-11 campaigns ultimately cost Dirk Koetter his job. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht was given one more year to turn the Bucs’ ship around, and hired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians to lead the way.

Arians inherits a Bucs offense that features a plethora of weapons, including Pro Bowler Mike Evans and rising star Chris Godwin at the wide receiver position, in addition to future Pro Bowl tight end O.J. Howard and the red zone threat Cam Brate. Arians’ main objective on offense is to improve the offensive line – and perhaps more importantly – turn Jameis Winston into a the franchise quarterback and winner the team expected when it selected him with the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Winston is in an ever-important fifth-year option contract this season, and Arians, the noted “quarterback whisperer,” will likely know by October if he can turn Winston around.

Bucs WR Mike Evans
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs will have some big decisions to make with pending free agent left tackle Donovan Smith and wide receiver Adam Humphries, and whether or not to keep wide receiver DeSean Jackson and his $10 million salary for one final year in Tampa Bay.

On defense, new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is expected to run a 3-4 Under front with some four-man defensive line mixed in. The Bucs are crippled at linebacker with pending free agent Kwon Alexander coming off a torn ACL, in addition to last year’s rookie Jack Cichy, who had an injury-riddled past at Wisconsin. Strongside linebacker Kendell Beckwith missed all of last season after breaking his ankle in an offseason car wreck last year, and his future in Tampa Bay is currently unknown. The only healthy, starting-caliber linebacker on the team is Lavonte David.

Defensive end Vinny Curry was released to create $8 million in salary cap, which the team desperately needs this year after big-money extensions were doled out last year to Evans, Brate, left guard Ali Marpet and Winston’s big cap number this year, which is $20.922 million. More cap space is needed and the Bucs may have to part ways with six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy, who just turned 31 and is due a $13 million salary, and nose tackle Beau Allen, who is scheduled to make $5 million this year.

Tampa Bay needs veteran help in the secondary where 35-year old cornerback Brent Grimes and strong safety Chris Conte are expected to move on. The Bucs have drafted four cornerbacks – Vernon Hargreaves III, Ryan Smith, M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis – in addition to two safeties – Justin Evans and Jordan Whitehead – over the past three years. There are plenty of young defensive backs on Tampa Bay’s roster. What are needed are experienced playmakers.

On special teams, the Bucs haven’t gotten the return on investment from Bryan Anger the last two years, and might be better off going with a younger, cheaper alternative and save Anger’s $3 million base salary. Kicker has been a huge problem area for the Bucs during Licht’s tenure in Tampa Bay, and newly signed Philip Andersen is not the answer. The Bucs may look to re-sign Cairo Santos or take a chance on aging veteran Matt Bryant, who made 92 percent of his field goals last year in Atlanta at the age of 42.

Cook’s Bucs Battle Plan For The 2019 Offseason

PewterReport.com writers Scott Reynolds, Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema, Taylor Jenkins and Matt Matera have devised their own Bucs’ 2019 Offseason Battle Plans that feature free agent signings, trades, roster moves and draft picks designed to aid Tampa Bay’s quest to end its 10-year playoff drought. I’ve got the first Bucs’ Battle Plan, so let me know what you think of it in the comments section below.

Remember, these Bucs Battle Plans are how the PewterReport.com staff members would reshape the team this offseason – not necessarily what we think Tampa Bay will do in free agency and the draft, although there could be some overlap with certain players the team may be targeting.

The Bucs start the 2019 offseason with approximately $16 million in available salary cap space, according to OverTheCap.com. Salary cap information and contract data from both OverTheCap.com and Spotrac.com were used in the Bucs Battle Plan series.

Buccaneers’ Trades

While Reynolds was optimistic that the Buccaneers could get some compensation by trading defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, most teams know the Bucs will most likely release them and will wait to claim them off of waivers or sign them as free agents after they clear the waiver process. Licht will be throwing those names out there next week while in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, but will find it tough to move these two due to their salary and the fact teams know the Bucs are in a cap crunch.

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

With that said, the Bucs will be once again be looking to add an experienced player at a position of need, and just as he did last year at the combine with Jason Pierre-Paul, Licht will get the ball rolling on an even bigger blockbuster trade than the one for JPP.

In my Bucs Battle Plan, Licht will begin preliminary talks with the Cardinals, and like the JPP trade, will eventually make a deal before the draft to bring in eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson. Adding one of the best secondary players in the last decade in the NFL to the Bucs won’t come easy – or cheap – but new head coach Bruce Arians isn’t here on a 10-year plan.

The Bucs want to win and win soon, and shoring up the secondary with Peterson will make Todd Bowles’ transformation of Tampa Bay’s defense go from one of the worst in the league to a Top 10 defense in 2019. The Bucs give up two No. 2 picks (2019, 2020) and a conditional pick in 2020 (a fourth- or fifth-rounder) and take over Peterson’s contract which pays him $11 million this year and $12.05 million in 2020.

Buccaneers’ Cuts

The Bucs will part ways with McCoy and also Jackson, which gives them another $23 million in cap room and with what they had they now have – approximately $28 million in cap space – defensive tackle Beau Allen is also released to save $5 million, offensive tackle Demar Dotson is cut to save $4.8 million, defensive end Will Gholston is gone to save $3.75 million, defensive tackle Mitch Unrein is waived injured, which clears $3.75 million, punter Bryan Anger is released to save $3 million, and the team parts ways with veteran offensive lineman Evan Smith, which saves an additional $2 million.

Dotson Week 15 Injury Report
Bucs RT Demar Dotson – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Now Tampa Bay has approximately $50.3 million in salary cap space to work with. Here are the roster moves I would make in free agency:

Unrestricted Free Agent Re-signings

LB LT Donovan Smith – 4-Years, $44 Million 
The Bucs contemplate sticking the franchise tag on Smith, but talks with his agent turn into a long-term deal for Smith, who decides to take the security of guaranteed money over a one-year contract. Smith sees the money players lose when injured while playing on a one-year deal and wants to be part of the future under Arians.

WR Adam Humphries – 4 Years, $26.5 Million 
Humphries, like Smith, likes what he sees from the new Bucs staff and gives a considerable hometown discount to remain a Buccaneer. While Humphries knows he will always be a third option for the most part in Tampa Bay, he loves his role and signs for four years on a deal that averages $6.6 million per season with $13.2 guaranteed.

Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

LB Kwon Alexander – 1-Year, $5.5 Million
Alexander and his agent Drew Rosenhaus were hoping to break the bank in free agency, but as it approaches, the market for a player coming off of an injury isn’t very good. The Bucs want to sign Alexander to a long-term contract, but too many questions remain, so they offer him a one-year, prove-it contract, that included incentives that could boost the value up to $8 million in 2019. If things go well, the team will look to sign him to a new long-term deal after the 2019 season.

LB Adarius Taylor – 1-year, $1.5 Million
The team needs linebackers and Taylor showed enough on film to the new staff to earn a one-year deal. While the team doesn’t plan on Taylor to be a starter, they also know injuries are always a concern and at the very least Taylor is a proven special teams standout and captain who is well liked and respected in the locker room.

QB Ryan Griffin – 1-year, $1.25 Million
The Bucs flirt with the idea of a proven veteran backup, but there is a shortage of those around the league and decide to roll with Griffin one more year despite the fact he has never thrown a regular season NFL pass. The team also realizes that if Winston goes down, their season is most likely over anyway.

Kevin Minter – 1-year, $1 Million
Familiarity is the key here in the decision to bring Minter back. After having played for Arians and Bowles previously, Minter knows the system, and what is expected of him and can also be a mentor on the field to some of the younger Bucs players as well.

Restructured Deals

After retaining a number of their own players, the Bucs need more room to work with before free agency arrives, and they go to a couple veterans to help free up some space. Tight end Cam Brate was set to make $7 million in 2019, but agrees to restructure his contract ($2 million less in 2019) he signed last year in order to help the team, including his friend Humphries. The Buccaneers also approach Lavonte David who is on the books for almost $10 million in 2019 and the veteran captain pushes some of his 2019 money out ($3 million) to help his team make improvements in the upcoming free agency period. This gives the Buccaneers an additional $5 million in cap room, leaving them with just under $29 million.

Unrestricted Free Agents Not Re-Signed

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick showed he can still play in the league at age 35, especially the first three weeks of the season when he passed for over 400 yards per game. The problem is that this is Winston’s team and Arians won’t win his starter looking over his shoulder at Fitzpatrick for another season.

Bucs Safety Chris Conte – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs Safety Chris Conte – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

S Chris Conte
The Bucs have had Conte around for years with mediocre results. It’s time to move on and see if the team’s young crop of safeties can play.

CB Brent Grimes
Grimes was actually done last year, but the Bucs talked him into one more regrettable season, in which he played poorly. His bad attitude isn’t needed in Tampa Bay anymore – or elsewhere.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers
Rodgers was a favorite of former head coach Dirk Koetter because he knew his system, but the Bucs can upgrade the running back spot here, and might have done so with the signing of Andre Ellington.

LB Cameron Lynch
Lynch is a great, high-energy special teamer, and the Bucs wouldn’t rule out signing him to the league minimum later after the draft if necessary, but don’t do it now.

DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches
Nunez-Roches is a decent player, but the Bucs will take advantage of a deep draft at defensive tackle to bolster this position.

K Cairo Santos
Santos could be brought in to compete with a free agent kicker, but his kickoff depth is worrisome. A strong legged punter could be a remedy, if an upgrade isn’t found.

Bucs K Cairo Santos - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs K Cairo Santos – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

S Josh Shaw
Shaw was signed as a late-season, emergency safety and there are more talented players on the roster right now that need to be developed by the new coaching staff.

LS Garrison Sanborn
Sanborn could return later if a comparable, cheaper alternative isn’t found in free agency.

Restricted Free Agent Re-signings

RB Peyton Barber – 1-Year $3 Million
Barber had a career year and was the team’s leading rusher in 2018. He deserves to come back, and the team should tender him an offer that comes with a second-round draft pick compensation.

Bucs S Andrew Adams
Bucs S Andrew Adams – Photo by Mary Holt/PR

SS Andrew Adams – $1-Year, $2 Million
Adams was a pleasant surprise as a midseason pick-up, and led Tampa Bay with four interceptions. Adams deserves a one-year low tender and come to camp to compete for a roster spot.

CB Javien Elliott – $1-Year, $2 Million
Elliott was given a chance to play the nickel cornerback spot and played it better than M.J. Stewart, who was a second-round draft pick. The coaches love his tenacity and heart and give him a chance to earn a roster spot.

Restricted Free Agents Not Re-signed

FB Alan Cross
Cross retired from football to join the coaching staff at Memphis, his alma mater, as a graduate assistant coach.

LB Devante Bond
Bond is a decent special teams player, but hasn’t shown the ability to be anything more than that over the past couple of years.

OT Leonard Wester
The Bucs won’t tender Wester an offer, but as Reynolds suggested sign him to a one-year, league-minimum deal after the draft so he can come to camp to compete for a backup offensive tackle role.

CB DeVante Harris
Harris had a nice, brief stint in Tampa Bay last year and it would be interesting to see what new cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross could do for his game. The Bucs shouldn’t throw a $2 million tender on him, but sign him to a league-minimum deal after the draft.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents Not Re-signed

OT Michael Liedtke
Liedtke is a project player who might have reached his potential. The Bucs could bring him back later towards training camp, or as a injury replacement.

S Isaiah Johnson
Johnson could be back, but the Bucs let him walk for now with a crowded room of safeties.

These roster moves leave the Buccaneers with approximately $23 million in salary cap space, and the team will need approximately $6.5 million to sign its rookie class.

Bucs’ 2019 Free Agent Additions

New York Giants Safety Landon Collins – 5 Years, $45.5 Million
The Buccaneers considered trading for Collins last October before the trade deadline, but wisely waited until the offseason to make a deal. Collins, a three-time Pro Bowler and 2016 first team All-Pro, the signing of Collins, combined with the trade for Peterson, now makes a unit that was a liability in 2018, a strength going into the new year. The Bucs don’t have much money to spend in free agency, but find enough space to get one of the best young safeties in the game to Tampa Bay.

New York Giants DT Mario Edwards – 1-Year, $1.1 Million
With no more McCoy, Allen and Unrein on the roster, the Bucs are very thin up front, and with little salary cap room the Bucs have to go bargain basement shopping. Edwards has never been a superstar in the NFL but will provide some experience and size on the defensive line. The team likes the possibilities of what the coaching staff can do with Edwards, who was a former 2015 second-round pick of the Oakland Raiders.

Falcons K Matt Bryant
Falcons K Matt Bryant – Photo by: Getty Images

Atlanta K Matt Bryant – 1 Year, $1.5 Million
The “Welcome Back Kotter” theme song should be played when Bryant steps onto the turf at Raymond James Stadium for the first time later this fall. Of course in hindsight the Bucs should have never allowed Bryant to get away and have struggled at the kicker position for the most part since he left for Atlanta. While age is a factor, Bryant’s production defies Father Time, or at least has so far in his career. If nothing else, signing Bryant should break the kicking curse in Tampa Bay for one year anyway.

Click on the next page below to check out which draft picks I make for Tampa Bay.

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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]

49 COMMENTS

  1. I like this plan a lot, my favorite so far. I love that you are keeping Humphries.
    Only two disagreements.
    I do not think trading two second round picks for a CB is a wise move. I’d rather have the picks, to be honest.
    And, although I love the trade down with Washington, I think we could get a lot more than their first, a second, and a fifth for moving up ten slots. Teams that need QBs are desperate.
    I’d suggest we could get their first, second, third and their second for next year. Seriously.
    The way I see it, we have three possible trade down partners. Miami, Washington, and New England. Washington has the worst judgement and would be the easiest to exploit.
    We could potentially trade down a second time from fifteen with the Pats. The have two second round picks to offer, maybe more.
    Go Bucs!

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  2. This one is somewhat pie in the sky IMO with Peterson and all home town discounts etc. who knows but lot of this seems far fetched. I think they need to throw more at the O line too and go overboard like they did last year with D line. Starts up front period and that’s most important piece that needs improved on offense.

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    • “pie in the sky” was exactly what I was thinking as well. I think it is far more likely the Bucs go after Tyran Mathieu than Landon Collins since Mathieu would cost less and is a free agent this coming season, if I remember correctly. Too many OT drafted early in the 1st round don’t pan out, so I could see the Bucs still drafting a DT in the first round even though McCoy is likely to stay a Buccaneer as of last Friday. They’ll wait for the 3rd or 4th round to take an OT. I conditionally agree with Cook on his 2nd round pick, even though I could also see the Bucs waiting until the 5th round to take a RB. If the Bucs pick up a decent G in FA, then the Henderson pick makes all the sense in the world. If not, picking up Ben Powers or someone similar at the G position makes more sense.

      Mark’s prognostications depend on too many trades, giving up too many draft picks and doesn’t factor in McCoy staying with the Bucs.

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  3. Mark, I’d have to say that I like your plan the best. That would be a hell of a draft… As Pete Wood was saying, I don’t know that continually trying to build the team through signing or trading for high-priced veterans is the way to go. Licht has not shown a lot of success in that area. My concern for this season is how quickly is the new 3-4 scheme going to be locked in before it becomes rote for the players? Are we going to have to endure a half of a season of learning curves before the defense is up to speed and effective?

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    • While there’s sure to be a learning curve, we’ll be in nickel between 60-70% of the time, and the Jets actually played 7 DB’s on occasion, with 4 of them being safeties. Would expect there to be a few guys added that have familiarity with Bowles and his staff that will be able to assist in teaching the concepts, which should lessen the curve.

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      • I hope that’s the case… Kinda scary to be leaning on the DBs for that high of a percentage throughout a game.

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  4. I guess you guys are putting them up in order of believability. Look forward to tomorrow’s that has us clone Reggie White.

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  5. Would not give up that much for an ageing corner, think we can get a solid vet FA. I like the idea of moving on from Dotson, a year over due IMO, with a solid tackle from a big time program. Williams would add a lot of talent to the O line, it needs it. If we’re moving to a 3-4 defense your plan Mark doesn’t account for that. Bringing back Kwon, who might not even be ready to start the season? No FA LB’s, or not drafting any? Better re think that strategy.

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  6. A draft that’s defense heavy but the Bucs two first picks will be offense??If someone offers Humphries over 2.5 million dollars a year u let him walk.Over rating our players like always!!He has no elite speed or quickness.If you line him out wide there is no separation from the corner but u think he’s worth 6.6 million a year?

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  7. What happened to good coaching with young & hungry players versus a bunch of seasoned players who have proven in the past no coaching is going to make them any better than what they are now? I’m not feeling it with any of PR’s battle plans.

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  8. Didn’t the bucs already come out and say they are keeping McCoy? I’m guessing you guys wrote these before it was said?

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    • The Bucs haven’t said a word about keeping McCoy

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      • I’m a bit confused cause you guys posted on here just a couple of days ago that the bucs will retain McCoy…so which is it?

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        • We didnt post anything of the such. We posted a report from Rick Stroud that was unsourced. We put we cant conform or deny.

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          • understood, thanks for the clarification and nice plan Mark.

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  9. Okay, where to start. I like the draft pick because it all starts up front on both sides of the ball. However, I understand GMC is staying so you can scratch some of the DTs in the draft. The OL is an obvious issue as they got stonewalled in the run game and were a turnstill in the passing game. However I don’t like starting rookies and neither does BA.
    We can find a decent mid-round rB in the draft. Unless Jim Brown has found a magic youth elexor, a good RB who can catch and block is all we need. We don’t need to overpay.
    Our DL is fine with Carl Nassib, GMC, JPP, and Vea, but we need more depth (draft). Also, we have good LBs (if they all recover from injuries), but some additional depth from the draft will help. I don’t understand why everyone is putting Beckwith at OLB when he is a classic, big, fast, thumper best suited for ILB. He should switch places with David who can be a pass rushing demon. We keep putting little guys inside and big guys outside. Huh? I think Davis will improve at CB and VHIII gets it now. All our DBs will be much improved with these coaches, but I want the Honey Badger brought in.
    Overall, I think Mike Smith and the previous OL coach were big problems. BA and his coaches will fix this talented team. I think they could win 10 games now without any additions. All they needed was excellent coaches who can teach. I know; I have already started drinking the Kool-aid.

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    • Again this was what WE would do as GM. This isn’t a prediction story

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      • We understand it is just your prediction, But I agree, why put Beckwith outside and David inside? I also don’t think Nassib is a good fit in a true 3-4. That is why CLE cut him. He is a much better fit in a 4-3 and I think he will rotate in when we are in nickel.

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        • Don’t forget, Bowles and Arians stressed they aren’t going to squeeze players into a Defense, they will build it around what we have… We have some really good players to build around, it could be something never seen before… Can’t wait to find out what is to come…

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    • Don’t feel bad about that, 76. They’ve made vats of the “kool-aid” and are still on back order. Most fans are buying into the hype, myself included. Thing is, this time it feels real.

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  10. 76Buc a agree we need at least one more play maker in secondary and second the Homey Badger. I think we give up way too much for Peterson here and not sure they would let him go anyways.

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    • fredster my thoughts exactly about Peterson.

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  11. Honey lol

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    • I don’t know which plan is worse yours or Scott’s. Why give away all those picks for Peterson a CB and take on that salary. Your plan guarantee losing and coaches getting fired and rebuild in 2020. (Hypothetically) if we’re going for a title how about we give away three 1st Rd to Dallas for LT Smith and take on his salary at least it solves our biggest problem.

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  12. I think you guys have all done a good job of providing various different great ideas. I Love that CB and Safety were addressed, I just think we may have to rely of guys like Adams, who played like a Pro Bowl Safety when he finally got playing time in the last few games, to take over a Starting job or Stewart being a quick learner at Safety if we want to be have a chance to fill out the team with such little Cap Space.

    I Love the Williams pick at 1 but RG is our true weakpoint. Good part about this is there’s a chance Williams could solidify RG while Cappa or Benenoch take RT, only if that’s the way it plays out best.

    If Brate and Humphries can come cheaper then that is ok. They are 2 of my favorite guys but honestly, in the end I think Brate is one of the few guys we could get a Draft pick for while Humphries may be the odd man out white Godwin possible taking the Slot position as suggested before.

    If we let Humphries and Humphries go we can keep McCoy with a restructured deal and the Dline stays solid AF.

    The Leterson trade sounds like a game changer at CB, 2 2nd round picks sounds like a lot along with a conditional pick.

    I still wonder if there are any player for player trades we could make like with Brate.

    In the Draft ultimately, I feel like after researching Arians, his Staff has a knack for finding talent deeper in the draft. So trading down with a team like Washington and then again with a team towards the bottom of the draft like Oakland or New England who always seems to have 18 Compensatory picks could possibly bring us:

    1 late round 1st
    2 2nds (Washington and New England)
    4 3rds (Ours, Washington, 2 New England’s)

    Just as an example, and that’s after the Peterson trade. I don’t wanna give up Future Bro Bowlers But I keep thinking this will be this best way to fill out our depth chart.

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  13. Yea by far my favorite plan. You address the OL, the running game, and you target defensive players wherever you can. I dont know how realistic getting Patrick Peterson is, or Collins, but i love the moves. Just hate that the consensus is a 3-4 defense even tho they lack the players for it

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  14. So far I got, Scott’s plan as grade D.

    Trevor’s plan, grade B

    Cook’s plan, grade B.

    They only think keeping me from giving Cook a B+ or A, is not keeping GMC.

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  15. Hey Mark Cook! You’re hired as the new GM of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

    Favorite battle plan so far.

    I like the idea of taking defense in the draft since its loaded with talent, but wouldn’t be upset with a trade down that still nets a decent replacement for Dot in the middle of the round.

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  16. Plan has good points. I like the draft picks but I don’t think J Williams falls to 15. I’m not a Patrick Peterson fan would be satisfied with the Honey Badger. Glad you kept Hump but hate to see McCoy go. I think all three of you guys are leaning toward a 3-4 too much. I think we will see it a lot more but 4-3 will still be dominant defense. Finally I think Matt Bryant has had a great career but outdoors in the elements I don’t think we are going to break the curse.

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  17. Nice one Mark! Here’s a 53 man roster iteration I’ve been messing around with over the last few weeks. No picks for player trades or trading down. Did one with LeVeon Bell in there, but team became a little unbalanced.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OyzH5XKRnTT-P47sKvsWM5RH4Epg9PFAumP0vTz6iAU/edit?usp=sharing

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  18. Tough to see the Bucs outbidding everyone for Collins and getting the Peterson from AZ, but anything is possible. More realistically, think we’ll see a couple ex-Jets added such as Mike Pennel or Henry Anderson and Mo Claiborne or Buster Skrine to provide vet depth at DL and CB and bring familiarity with the system. Do see Mathieu being a stronger possibility to be added as well for S depth over Collins.

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    • Not just Peterson, but “THE” Peterson lol

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      • Lol… I had to read that twice to make sure I seen’t it right. Looking at career stats, “THE” Peterson seems appropriate

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  19. Each one of these writers battle plans have some creative ideas, I enjoyed reading.

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  20. To this point, each battle plan has left a lot to be desired. Collectively, though, an incredible and realistic plan could be formed

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  21. Mark’s ambitious plan has merit and flaws. No way that T Johan Williams falls to 15th pick. Laughable. Cody Ford or Greedy Smith maybe. A Deshawn trade might get a fourth or fifth round pick to the right team like the Browns or Cardinals or Raiders. He would be a short term investment. Losing McCoy would weaken the pass rush and run defense. Trading for a CB or S makes sense or a possible free agent. I agree with his cuts ideas. Trading back with Denver makes more sense. Another second pick and future third round pick.

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  22. Like to see the harsh critics of these battle plans come up with their own. So easy to be the arm chair critic.

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    • These “harsh” , “arm chair” critics are also not having their thoughts monetized. Most commenters who have a criticism of something one of the PR writers published have offered their remedies to the problem THEY see. Don’t expect a 3-page survey of the landscape followed by thoughts on correcting the divots and a plan of attack on razing the land. I get your point, though

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  23. Decent ideas, love the trades, love the dumps, EXCEPT keeping Benenoch, seriously worst player Bucs ever had as starter, watch the film, Bye, Bye yesterday, better yet, would have cut last year during season! PLUS I would let Hump and Brate roll to keep GMC, really a stud, and has ALWAYS represented! CANNOT be weak in the middle of the field!!! Watch Alexander, NEVER has been a MLB, (on outside at LSU, NO NOSE for ball, its innate), and watch Beckwith- has nose and fits nicely in middle but whats up with injury status? Take off Bucs goggles, Alexander with recent injuries, not worth the money, let him find a new job. Swap some draft pics and free agency signings to LBs?! I really wonder if we would be better selling out draft for DE, and Linebackers? Would we be better with Lavonte, healthy Beckwith or his replacement, then bring in 2-FA LBs who know Bucs system, or top lb pic in draft! Ugh, Lot of holes on this team, love Peterson and Collins deals, but think putting to much in DL in draft, and not belly of our D at our current weakest position-linebackers! Believe thats why everyone picking D White for us in mocks! BUT, If we got Collins and Peterson, HELL YEA, Im in on your strategy, cant have everything!

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  24. I grade Mark’s as my fave, followed closely by Trevor. However, the Peterson trade with the Cards is a pipedream IMO. I dont believe anyone in Arizona’s front office will be anxious for Arians to succeed here after his one year “retirement”, and if he does they surely dont want to be one of the benefactors…..

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  25. This is prolly the best one so far. Pros: adding Patrick Peterson and Landon Collins. These guys will greatly improve our secondary. Adding RB help. Darrell Henderson is really good. Cons: not adding a LB in free agency or the draft. not adding DT help until the later rounds. That DT depth would worry me.

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  26. Like the others, some good some bad.

    I don’t understand signing D Smith long-term, then using the 5th pick on a OT. That’s a very high pick for a RT, or that’s a lot of FA money for a RT (if you were thinking of moving D Smith). Don’t get me wrong, I like the use of the 5th on an OT, but only if franchise Smith.

    I think you’ve just swapped one huge defensive problem (the terrible 2018 secondary) for a new one (Vea, Edwards and Willis as our DTs…ouch). Yes, the secondary looks much better (although personally I think Collins is overrated for that much money – still a big improvement over what we had), but it’s at the expense of the trenches. I could see teams run all over us – why pass into Peterson/Collins/Evans when you can run into Edwards/Willis plus whatever exists at MLB (I guess two guys coming off ACLs).

    There has to be some middle ground here PR guys:
    – sign Honeybadger (way less than that Collins deal)
    – sign a CB like Jackson
    – sign a veteran RB like Yelden
    – keep GMC
    – franchise D Smith
    – sign Kwon on a 1 year deal
    – draft an OT (I prefer Taylor, but whichever)
    – draft an OG (would love Lindstrom)
    – cut all of the deadweight needed to hit the cap

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  27. Great series of playing GM by all three of you guys, Mark! It definitely helps keep a keen interest in the Bucs while we’re all waiting to see the moves the Bucs actually make next month and in April. Even disagreeing with several of your moves, I find it interesting to see such a diverse range of opinions from all three of you.

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  28. Not being a jerk, honestly asking – did I miss something? If you trade our first rounder for Peterson, where does the pick for Jonah Williams come from? How are we trading back from 5 if we’ve already traded 5 for Peterson? So yea, what did I miss?

    In regards to the plan, the Peterson trade sounds ridiculous to me. How anyone could propose trading much MORW for Peterson than we did for Revis, when we saw Revis’s play fall off within just a couple years of being taken, is totally beyond me. Smart organizations don’t look at a 28 year old player who relies to an enormous extent on his natural athleticism and says, “Yea, let’s trade three incredibly valuable, cheap, young assets for one expensive asset that’s great now but will likely begin to get worse (maybe a LOT worse) within 3 years.” Actually, the smart teams (read: Patriots) are consistently on the other ends of deals like that.

    Two firsts and a second for Peterson is nothing short of absurd.

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  29. I don’t get all the love for this one, Mark. I mean no offense, but I dislike most of this. I already discussed the Peterson trade and the first round pick that I don’t think exists any longer above. In addition to that, I hate the long term deal for Smith. He’s a bad player. Nothing more needs to be said about it that hasn’t been said before, I don’t think. Landon Collins is a super sketchy signing, IMO. The total lack of work done on the gaping hole at RG is a problem. In this plan, we cut four defensive linemen, we sign one, and we spend two mid round picks and one late rounder on replacements. Seems like that just miiiiight damage a DL that’s already got great overall. Spending a 2nd rounder on another RB just makes me shake my head.

    I also think a lot of these contract figures are off. I don’t see Donovan signing for $11M per year. Nor do I see Kwon signing for $5.5M. Nor Collins for $9M. Almost across the board, these contract offers are lowball fantasies that these guys aren’t going to take, and the draft picks are of guys that aren’t likely to be there with those picks.

    And again – where does the Jonah Williams pick even come from if we deal our 1st for Peterson? Assuming I’m right and that pick doesn’t exist, where are we getting our RT in this plan?

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    • Familiar, we traded our 2round pick this year and next for Peterson. Not our first. Then he traded back and reaquires a 2nd round pick from Washington.

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  30. Mark, you’ve got to be kidding me trading away years of picks for a guy that may only have a year or so left. Feels like Revis all over again. Agree with Landon Collins and I’d love to grab a veteran CB and RB in FA or maybe as part of a trade for GMC or D-Jax. Most teams will be looking for us to just release both those guys, but a creative GM could find a deal for a decent, younger player and a low draft pick.

    Draft should be heavy on lineman on both sides of the ball, but emphasizing offense and LB’s.

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  31. If we end up with 3-4 2nd rd picks, I want to know where are the 2nd rd picks from the last 4 yrs???
    Do we trust Licht to use them????

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    • The best strategy for the draft, for ALL teams, is to acquire more picks. Your odds of winning prizes are greater with every extra ticket you get. Licht has missed on some 2nd rounders, for sure, but he’s also hit on some and some later picks, too. Ali Marpet was a 2nd rounder. So was Carlton Davis, a player whose talent I still absolutely believe in. Chris Godwin and Kendell Beckwith were 3rd rounders. The jury is still out on Noah Spence, another 2nd rounder.

      Point is, he has hit in some. If you want to increase the chances that we have more successful draft picks, the only reliable way to accomplish that goal is to get MORE picks.

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