Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by PewterReport.com’s Tampa Bay Bucs beat writer Trevor Sikkema published every Tuesday. The column, as its name suggests, comes in three phases: a statistical observation, an in-depth film breakdown, and a “this or that” segment where the writer asks the reader to chose between two options.

Sikkema’s Story Of The Week

“Trust, loyalty, respect is what we build everything on and it starts there.”

Over the years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been built on plenty of different strategies. With Raheem Morris, the Bucs were all about being “Youngry,” a combination of the words young and hungry to describe the youthful exuberance. Under Greg Schiano, the team was discipline, almost military-like. Under Lovie Smith, it was about being a throwback team; doing things like they did in the past and hoping that those methods continued their success present day. And finally, under Dirk Koetter, in his own words, they were supposed to be a “bad ass football team.”

Each man before Bruce Arians had their own way of doing things, and each man fell short of the goal and expectation agreed upon when they took the job.

But I think Arians will be different.

“Well, no risk-it, no biscuit. It’s being smart, not scared. Play smart. Don’t be scared.”

What makes Arians different than the coaches before him isn’t the ideas or the envisioning of the end result. Each coach that has been hired over the last 10 years has all wanted they same thing. They have wanted to win; they have wanted Super Bowls. But unlike those two came before him, Arians has the rings, he has the success, he has the resume.

Arians has the background with him to where, when he yells at a a player who does something risky, say with a play call or even personnel decision, you can trust him. On fourth-and-2 at the 50-yard line midway through the second quarter, when he decides to go for it, your first thought isn’t that he’s crazy; your first thought is that it’s going to work.

No risk-it, no biscuit. It’s not just a great way to approach the game, it’s the only way. Teams and players in this league are far too talented for you to just believe you can show up, play risk-free football and expect to win. it doesn’t work like that. The teams that win in the NFL are the ones that build their core around how higher their ceiling as potential can go. Sometimes they won’t hit it, but when they do, they can’t be beat.

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

“They’re all different, but the great [quarterbacks] have grit. When you go out to evaluate them, you can look at their arm strength, you can look at their athletic ability, but the two muscles that you play the position with – your brain and your heart.”

Certainly the biggest X factor in hiring Arians is the hope in the pairing that he and quarterback Jameis Winston can be. After listening to Arians speak in his introductory press conference, it’s clear that he believes that no success in this league can come without having a quarterback in place, and it’s also clear that he believes the Bucs have that in Winston, the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Winston had an up-and-down first four years under Koetter. He progressed, but he never to that big leap into being a Top 10 quarterback that many thought he would by now on the night he was drafted. But with Arians it could finally come.

Arians truly “gets” quarterbacks. When asked how close he is with his quarterbacks, he laughed and said that sometimes he’s too close with them. I think that’s because he understands that coaching and getting the most out of a signal caller is more than just technique or getting the plays down. It’s about understanding a player, giving him confidence and truly building around what he does best.

For Winston, what he does best has always been his mentality to win. Winston has a relentless mentality to be the best. He hasn’t always channeled it the right way, as he has learned that in the NFL that sometimes you have to lead in different way than how he did it at Florida State. But no matter the method, the thought process and desire to win can never been denied.

Arians said it himself that the two most important muscles a quarterback plays with aren’t in their arms or their legs. It’s their heart and their mind; it’s their passion, drive, competitiveness and preparation to win.

Winston has always had that, he’s just never been taught to channel it correctly.

Who better than Arians to guide him?

“I’ve always felt it’s my job as a coach to get the next group of great coaches ready. Coordinators pushing to be head coaches have the next man, James Bettcher was ready to take Todd [Bowles’] place and push those guys out into the public and have the next people ready, then have the next guys ready to take their job. That’s one of the reasons we have a large staff. I feel very strongly that that’s one of my jobs.”

It’s not just the fact that Bruce Arians has assembled a rockstar coaching staff, it’s the umbrella in which they were all gathered under that make what’s going on in Tampa Bay special.

Each assistant coach that we have had the chance to speak to has not only praised Arians’ approach to the game, but also his approach to his coaches. Arians is a self-less man. He’s a guy who does not care who gets the credit as long as the end result is they’re winning. because of that, Arians has spent many of his last coaching years grooming those around him to not only take over for him but also be better than him. That takes a lot of selfless pride towards the ultimate goal. That’s walking the talk most coaches are afraid to do.

Arians is also a guy who looks at people as people. He’s the only head coach on a staff where all three of his assistant coaches are minorities, and each have told us that Arians doesn’t just want these guy to be his assistants. He wants them to go on to be head coaches. He wants them to rise through the ranks of the league.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Arians has no fear as a head coach. He has no fear of him not getting as much glory as he “deserves” or fear of the unknown and unfamiliarity. Whether you’re black or white, or experienced or a rookie, if you can play or you can coach, you’ll find your way to the top under Arians. Arians not only has a good eye for football, it’s an unbiased eye in many ways.

The best will play and the best will coach. That’s why he’s successful.

“Please don’t tell me what our players can’t do. Tell me what they can do and then build around that.”

Around the train of thought, it already seems like there’s going to be better chemistry between the front office and the coaching staff when it comes to the personnel being brought in and how they are utilized. Over the last two seasons, there were a handful of player that general manager Jason Licht either brought in or wanted to bring in that the coach staff was stubborn about, didn’t use correctly or didn’t use at all.

The team finished 5-11 the past two seasons. I’ll let you decide who was wrong and which was right. Hint: the coaches were wrong.

Get the Hollywood, fairytale cliche out of your head – talent wins in this league. Do you need the talent to work together as one cohesive team, of course you do. But that starts by putting talent in the right positions to get the most out of it. This makes the players happy. This makes them buy in. This makes you a championship caliber team.

Don’t expect Arians to fumble talent like coaching staffs have in recent history here. Arians said he’ll build everything he does around what his players do well. In return, he’ll ask his players to give it their all when they’re put in positions to be great. If both click, just watch the turnaround this team could have.

“I think we have the core here to win quickly. I’m not about building – I’m about reloading. With that, I can’t say how excited I am to be a Tampa Bay Buc.”

Arias and his staff have a lot of decision to make, but that will all start by sitting down and evaluating the kind of players they have on their own roster first over the next few weeks. Players like Gerald McCoy, DeSean Jackson, kwon Alexander, Adam Humphries, Donovan Smith and other will all be given full film evaluation with no rose-colored glasses to look through. Each of these players will be given an evaluation in its tue form. There won’t be any bias involved.

The Glazer family with Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Glazer family with Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

That’s what Tampa Bay has needed for a long time.

The Bucs needed a coach that not only had the eye for talent, but the stones to look at the best players on the roster and say, “this only works if you’re all in, and if you’re not – get out.”

Morris, Schiano and Koetter didn’t have the pedigree to do that the way they needed, and Smith didn’t have the eye for it.

Arians has both – his entire staff does.

Mentality and mindset are everything in this game. Yes, you need the talent, but the Buccaneers haven’t been bad for 10 years due to talent. They’ve had talent. They’ve never had the mentality. Arians does. Harold Goodwin does. Todd Bowles does. Keith Armstrong does.

Those guys want to win, and the way they want to lines up with that of Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy far more than it does with any other coach that has failed after them.

For the first time in a long time, there’s confidence that the Bucs might actually be something in the next three years.

For the first time in a long time, the words “Super Bowl” don’t seem like a reality that only exists in wildest dreams.

For the first time in a long time, I really do believe in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

45 COMMENTS

  1. It’s cool we are excited about our new coaches. But it’s a players league and we just don’t have the talent for our new coaches to succeed

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    • You say we don’t have the talent to succeed and Arians says we do. Hmmmm, who to believe???

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      • 30th best o line
        23rd d line
        32 secondary
        24th backers
        30th running back stable
        23 QB
        Tell me I’m wrong

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    • Nassib, Vea, McCoy in a reduced deal, JPP, Spence with a coach who knows what he’s doing. Kwon, LVD, Beckwith, Cichy if he can ever get his knee right. Adams, Davis, Stewart, Whitehead, Evans, VHIII. We needed 3 things—-better coaching (got it), more draft picks (coming), and the conditioning staff to be let go (here’s hoping…I’ve never seen so many nonsense injuries in the secondary).

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  2. We do have talent here. These guys have had nothing to believe in. No identity. Arians brings credibility, a long resume. Winning. He won the Super Bowl on our field 10 years ago. Players want to play for him. Coaches want to coach with him. This team will have a winning record next year. Bet on it!

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    • Agreed Just wait and watch what the interest level in coming to Tampa will be in early March.

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  3. Like none of the former coaches stayed on, and some of them were good ones, coaches also like players they’re familiar with. Would Bowles rather resign Kwon who won’t be ready for OTA’s, might miss all of camp, and may not be ready for the season? Would he rather sign one the many Jet, and Card FA L.B.’s who he knows, and who know his system? Would he rather let McCoy, and his 13 million walk, and sign Richardson who is a FA, and he also coached in N.Y.? Those are the real questions. There are a lot of Jet, and Card LB’s who are free agents, those teams won’t be able to resign all of them. The fact Kwon is a FA, David has a high cap hit, as does McCoy, can be traded or cut with no cap hit, makes a lot of players on the defensive side of the ball replaceable. I think it’s inevitable some won’t be coming back. I’d move on from Kwon, McCoy for sure, maybe even David. Let’s be real, we’ve lost a lot of games with these so called stars, they’re not Bowles, or BA’s guys. Like Koetter stuck with Quiz, Smith had to have Grimes back, I expect the new coaches to bring in some of their own guys, and let some of ours go.

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    • Agree they’re not Bowles’ or BA’s guys, but doesn’t mean they aren’t solid football players. Do think there definitely be some changeover (there normally is with a new outside HC hire), but would have to think some of those guys may perform even better in an aggressive scheme like Bowles’ compared to that weak-sauce D’s of the Smith’s the last 5 years.

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    • You do not move on from David, who is (more often than not) our best defensive player. He’s got plenty of gas left in the tank. Kwon’s situation is a tough one, but he’s as tough as they come. I’m sure Arians and Bowles are going to be checking and rechecking his recovery status throughout the off season. If he makes a full recovery, there’s no reason to release the heart & soul of the defense.

      I like McCoy, but adding $13 million in cap space is just too important for this team to ignore. We could sign a couple of quality players for that amount of cap space. Curry’s not worth the money they’re paying him, but he will end-up starting on a different team.

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  4. Surfer dudes some of your points make sense, but the part of we lost lot games with so called stars I have to say I don’t. Did we lose because of David,Kwon, or McCoy or because of Smith’s idiotic defense that was dead last all the time? I agree McCoy probably isn’t worth it though. At his age and cap hit doesn’t make much sense especially with Vea playing well and the whole d Line improved. The others hard to say. Love Kwon but he may not be ready or 100% when he is ready. Curry is good but probably not worth the money either.

    I think a lot depends on if they dump Jackson. I think they should I don’t like his attitude at all and would free up more for defense where it’s needed more.

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  5. I’d let them all go with the exception of Kwon, but only at a great team friendly 4 year deal or 1 year prove it deal. I’d like to see beau Allen dumped also and see a trade for Leonard Williams in N.Y. He is in his 5th year and I read they aren’t very excited about his production for the money going forward. Essentially you would be replacing heralds money for a long term deal for Leonard. A lot of the guaranteed money would gone by the time we needed to extend Vea. A good found thick interior d line. Trick is the pick for Leonard. Maybe another 3, probably a 2. Would allow tampa to use 1st for anything but d line if deal went down. I’d ship beau for FA Danny Shelton. Vea has already said that’s his big brother. Imagine Vea, Williams, Shelton on a base 3-4. Our linebackers would be killing people! I feel like thses moves would cost similar monies with the only the draft pick comp being used, but let’s face it, the Buc’s will probably use a 1 or 2 on a d lineman anyways in this draft.

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    • Why dump Allen? He did his job, and his money isn’t that bad. Remember, the scheme they played was probably limiting Allen’s full potential at NT, although acquiring Shelton is an interesting idea.

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  6. Coming off the ACL tear Kwon’s price is probably lower than it would have been. I say resign. His aggressive and quick style should work even better in Bowles aggressive attack style defense.

    Bring back McCoy only if you can restructure his deal.

    Vinny is just too expensive for a backup to JPP and Nassib.

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  7. If it was only Smith’s defense that McCoy, and David have lost with. They were both here for Lovie, and Schiano. They both did better under Schiano, but was it his coaching, or the fact they were younger? McCoy has been the leader of some bad defenses the past nine years, no matter who the coach has been. I really don’t get the love for Kwon. He wasn’t exactly having a pro bowl season before his injury. He’s been the MLB, Q.B. of the defense the last two years, and those defenses have been two of the worst in our history. Now fans want to resign him knowing he has to learn a new defense, but won’t be able to hit the field in god knows when because of a torn ACL? That doesn’t make much sense to me, we’ll see if it makes sense to the new regime.

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    • Harsh, but there’s some truth to it. Believe BA and Co. will take the sentimentality out of the decision making process and make the best choices for the team going forward. We may not like some of the choices they’re going to make, but personally I’ll trust they know better than the rest of us.

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    • The love for Kwon comes from the fact that he’s a strong hitter. McCown’s bell is still ringing! He is not a great cover linebacker. If he was in a Pittsburgh uniform, we’d wish we had someone as tough and violent on our team. You keep that guy.

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  8. Restructure McCoy, resign Kwon, let Curry walk.

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    • If McCoy will restructure, great move. If he won’t, they’ve got to bring in a quality DT to replace him.

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      • Bringing in a quality DT is not hard to do in this draft–loaded at defensive line prospects

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    • How about restructure Curry, resign Kwon and let McCoy walk? That’s the better move in my humble opinion.

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  9. I’m restructuring GMC, resigning Kwon for a fair deal and letting Vinny walk. He was a backup in Philly and an overpaid backup in Tampa. I guess I don’t get the whole throw GMC away thing especially with a DT group that consists of Vita, Mitch Unrein and Beau Allen. We should be letting Mitch and Beau find new homes, taking GMC salary from 13 to say 8 and then drafting one of the DTs that will be available at 5. Vita, GMC and potentially oliver would be a rotation that strikes fear in other teams. I could see this talent used in 4 man fronts or even 3 man fronts which could utilize Noah spence and showcase some of the LB depth we have to spice things up on 3rd down. I saw Ferrell take it to Jonah in the title game so I’m not as high on him at 5 so the other side of the trenches has to be the way to go.

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    • Unrein will retire for health reasons, assuming he’s smart enough to see the writing on the wall.

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  10. McCoy – Stay, restructured deal, deserves to be on a playoff Bucs team

    Kwon – Stay, extension

    Curry – Go

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  11. It was arranged by the NFL for Bruce Arians to come here they will also arrange for a couple two or three good players yet to be announced after the San Francisco lowest attendance in the NFL a decision was made to help the Buccaneers the good news Bruce Arians will have more power than most NFL coaches a lot of interesting things will happen this year in the Bucs will get better. 14 years this team has grabbed the first players to come through the draft and has done nothing with them but drive attendance down the GM and owners have done a terrible job of this team as a Bucs Fan I’m glad something positive is happening.

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    • Don’t know whether it was arranged that BA come here, other than a purported claim by Arizona that he was still under contract even though they didn’t exercise his option. The draft swap didn’t net AZ much and didn’t cost the Bucs next to nothing. The Glazer’s still had to want him and significantly increase the assistant coaching salary pool to allow BA to bring in up and rising coaches. Combined with the fact the Glazers and BA are color blind did more than the so called Rooney pool ever could so the NFL had to love the scenario. As Buc-Ass-Bob and others have pointed out there will be a lot of turnover the next two years and many fan favorites will be gone. Happens every year to every team, but more with new coaching staffs. Anyone other than Winston, Evans that make over 10 million per year will need to decide if they want to be part of the transition or if they think they can make close to the non-guaranteed amounts from another team. As you would expect most speed positions peak in their early to mid-twenties, OLine perform longer than DL and linebackers, etc., and even most QBs peak around 28 (although I think there could be a case made that QBs mentally peak in their early 30’s even as they decline physically just based on 500+ extra game reps per year). There are dozen of charts out there, but anyone around 28-30 have arguably seen their best days behind them. As they say statistics are for losers and you cannot measure brains and heart, not sure you’ll see JPP, GMC, David, and many other FA players mentioned from other teams on this forum at 30 plus,etc.) making 10-12 million in Tampa or elsewhere unless it is a position of need for a team peaking to make a SB run. Love the speculation, and hope to return to a winning season and possible playoff as soon as next year or two years, but a serious SB run, realistically, is probably 3 years away so most of the older players will have to take a cut to stay or take a cut to make a run before their careers run out. Hope the staff proves me wrong, hope that all the older players who stay remain healthy and the stars come together.

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  12. Trevor, first of all, while I agree with your Page 1 comments, I do feel like you have a bit of rose-colored glasses in place. There are a lot of changes culturally that need to be made for everything to fall in place, but I agree that the staff being put into place will have a great chance to make those changes. It just may take a big purge to get it done.

    Second, regarding the three players, I’d like to see McCoy back, but not at 13 million per year. If he were to sign a three-year extension at roughly $24 million plus incentives, I’d like to see him back. Otherwise, cut bait and move on.

    As for Kwon, it depends on the medical report. If his knee is sound, sign him to a long-term deal and get him in the classroom with the coaching staff. If there are any doubts, sign him to a one-year prove-it deal and get him in the classroom with the coaching staff.

    As for Curry, let Bowles & staff determine whether he fits with the other players. If so, then you decide on whether to pay his current freight or renegotiate.

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  13. On face value, I believe all of them must stay and get to know what they can do for the team this year.
    I say this because I can’t be sure if those players wore just OK at best last season because of their game or because of the coaches/scheme.
    And I think McCoy and Alexander should stay, Curry I do not think so
    Go Bucs!

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  14. It’s funny how easily people are ready to get rid of guys like McCoy and Alexander… Thise 2 along with David are 3 of the best players in the league at their position. I would do everything I could to restructure McCoy and would not hesitate to sign Alexander… I don’t care about “Traditional” 3-4 LB size, those 2 guys are tackling machines. In a Defense where they will finally be used the way they should be, they will lock down the middle of the field and blitz like crazy…

    Curry is probably a great guy but finding Nassib means he should probably find another team to finish up with…

    This team needs Oline (Mainly LT and RG) and Secondary help, especially CB… We are basically solid everywhere else with a few positions that could be strengthened like RB. I just hope whatever decisions are made, in the end, they are the best for this team…

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    • We also need to draft or acquire through FA a quality RT, or move Smith to RT and draft a LT in the first or 2nd round. I like Greedy in the first, but there could be some quality + experience in FA. However, Greedy does fit what I’ve read about Bowles defensive philosophy.

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  15. Resign Kwon to a one year prove it deal. Only keep Mccoy if he take a pay cut and let Curry walk.

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  16. It all depends on what the plan is to replace them. GMC, can be a valuable asset as willing as he is willing to reduce his salary and playing time so that he can be more situational. If his snaps, and salary could both be cut by 40%, then you would have value. Less snaps will equal more production per play. Kwon, I’m in a twist over. He played some really great and really poor football this season. He and LVD don’t seem to work together as good as they can. Really not sure on this decision. I think I would let him test the market then resign if the value was there ….or….. sign to a one year prove it deal. Curry is the classic just a guy. Liked the signing ok, feel the same if he’s cut esp at $8mil. The bigger question to me is Will Gholston. I’ve felt like he was very misplaced in the 4-3 DE role and undersized to be the DT (but seemed to play better there). He is on the books for $3.75 mil which seems like could be a good value if Bowles thinks he can play a 3-4 DE. Beckwith is a big need for success at LB. Can Spence, who disappeared this season under Buckner, find footing as an OLB?

    I can’t wait until training camp.

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  17. McCoy – stay. He’s one year removed from the probowl.

    Kwon – offer him an average deal ($5m), then let him go – in exchange we get a 3rd round comp pick. We package that 3rd pick (2020) plus our 3rd rounder (2019) and move up to the bottom of the 2nd and draft Devin Bush to become our next Kwon Alexander.

    Curry – so long…$8m is way too much.

    Here I think is the conundrum for Arians given the poor performance of Licht to date: “Press and pressure will likely be the name of the game with Bowles”.

    Perhaps, maybe, maybe Bowles can get Davis to become that sort of corner in the league to a reasonable degree – maybe. But who else? MJ Stewart? VHIII? Ryan Smith? Elliott? How many times do we get to use the 5th overall pick this year…because we need some help in a big way on the OLine too.

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    • You’re forgetting that the team needs to create a lot of cap space in order to accommodate Jameis’s $20 million owed as of March 1, plus acquire some other quality FAs. IF McCoy is willing to restructure, keeping him and letting him split time with Vea, that would probably be ideal, but that’s a big if and I haven’t heard much talk out of Arians or Bowles about keeping him. I’d pay Nassib $8 million before I’d ever think of restructuring Curry.

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      • I know cap space has a funny way of creeping up on the GM, but really we’re not looking so bad:

        – with the current roster spots filled, and assumed filled again for 2019 as a starting place (clearly Arians will add and subtract), we have almost $17m of room. That captures Winston’s $20m and GMC and everyone else with a contract.

        – let’s assume that we’ll add 6-8 rookies, and cut 6-8 guys above. The rookies maybe cost $10-15m. Can we add more than that in the cuts…easily (Gholston, DJax, Curry, Unrein…that’s around $26m just there). So we’re conservatively at about $30m of cap space.

        – Notable FAs not included (not under contract): Donovan Smith, Kwon Alexander, Adam Humphries. The only guy i would bring back is Humphries for about $5m. That gives $25m of space to FA shopping.

        – 1st on my list: Honey Badger $7m
        – Next: Jason Verrett $5m incentives (guy’s been hurt – a lot – but if healthy, our best CB by far)
        – Finally: TJ Yelden for maybe $3m-ish

        – all of that still leaves $10m to consider bringing back Gholston or DJax on more reasonable deals, and/or a surprise cut from some team.

        – it makes draft priorities of: LT (I suggest that’s our first pick); OG (I suggest that’s our second pick), MLB (I suggest that’s our 3rd pick, trading back in to the bottom of round 2).

        So, I’m less worried about the cap.

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  18. McCoy – It’s been real. Good luck.
    Kwon – If the knee is good, gotta keep him in the ‘hood.
    Curry – Superbowl experience on the d line never gets old. Fire up the Curry!

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  19. We need to for damn sure keep GMC. He has been used wrongly under Mike Smith. He has the fastest get off I have seen and he would be a monster in Bowles defense. Kwon I love as a player and he should be resigned but I feel a 1 to 3 year kind of prove it deal would be best because of the injury he had. Curry should be released asap he did nothing for us on the field and we got more production from Carl Nassib and have other depth behind JPP and Nassib. GMC just got other good players to play with on the DL in JPP, Nassib, and Vea he deserves at least one more season to play with them and see where this d line group can take this team.

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  20. It all defends on how Bowles will use them and how deal friendly they are willing to be. Kwon needs to fully recover and take a buc friendly deal. Gmac needs to restructure. If they 1 gap him he’ll be a force. Curry I’m not 100% about other than he’s worth no more than $5-6m regardless from what I can tell. Regardless, what I will say is Licht has done a pretty good job getting these guys on deals
    that he can get away from. Even jensen only carried a 2 year commitment.

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  21. McCoy and Kwon; Curry go.

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  22. Although I am not a big fan of McCoy’s, if he was willing to restructure his salary to fit his performance from this past season, I see no harm in keeping him.
    As far as Alexander, that is a call I would leave to the coaches. He wasn’t having the best season until Duffner took over and I recall him saying he was excited about playing in Smith’s defense when he first was introduced to it. His injury is the key deciding factor.
    Curry is in easy decision to let go due to his salary. Real or imagined, he missed way to many games this season due to injuries while JPP continued to play through his. Why we gave him that much money this year when he only had 3 sacks in the prior season remains a mystery to me.

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  23. I’ll start with the 3 players in question…

    McCoy – Restructure his deal and see what he can do in a more aggressive scheme. If he’s not willing to restructure, I think we need to cut him to clear the cap space. He seems like the type of guy who may take a team friendly deal though.

    Alexander – Depending on the status of the knee, we should definitely offer him a short-term or 1 year “prove it” deal. He and David were tackling machines and the heart of our defense. He brings a much needed attitude and fire to the D that you don’t see from the other defensive stars.

    Curry – He’s a valuable rotational end, but not worth anywhere near $8 million. Unless he’s willing to take a massive pay cut, I’d replace him with a younger DE to develop.

    He wasn’t mentioned, but I’d also restructure or cut Gholston. He’s got a pretty sizeable cap hit and little production. I’d keep Spence on as a pass-rushing OLB over Gholston at DE.

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  24. Let Mike Greenberg sort out the $ when the time comes.

    McCoy and Curry are already under contract, but they have no impact on the salary cap until the 53 man roster is determined. No decision has to be made on either of them until after Training Camp. There’s no sense cutting anyone before Training Camp and preseason games sorts it out by “unbiased” competition. That said, I wasn’t impressed with Vinny Curry, who was beat out by a guy dumped by the Browns. Neither was GMC dominating in any game I saw. Perhaps a more aggressive scheme will make a difference. I say, let’s wait to see what happens in Training Camp before showing either the exit.

    Like Jameis Winston, Kwon Alexander has that fire and desire that can’t be taught. This team sorely needs more players with a bit of ‘tude like #58 displays. His physical condition will be a factor for him as he seeks a new contract with any team. I want this type of player on our team at a price determined by the marketplace as long as his knee is sound.

    There’s no doubt that the evaluations will involve salary as compared to production. That’s where GMC, Curry and many others will look more like a rip-off than a bargain.

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  25. Great article as usual Trevor.

    If Gerald is willing to take a pay cut to say, $8 million, then I’d be intrigued to see him in an attacking defense. It’s hard to say who should stay or go because Bowles scheme is going to be so night and day compared to the prior regime that you don’t know what these guys are capable of. Curry was brought here because he’s a good player. I’d rather keep him and cut Gholston if one of them has to go because at least Curry has been a productive player in his career. I’m not a big Kwon fan but I can’t say I’m not intrigued as hell to see what he can do in an attacking scheme…although you have to worry about 2 undersized linebackers being able to fight off blocks at the second level if we indeed play a lot of 3-man fronts.

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    • Gholston was a top-rated, run-stuffing DE not that long ago. I am all for sending him on his way, but don’t say he has had no production in his career. That’s just asinine and ignorant

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  26. All this hype! I just want some consistency! To have a routine record year end and year out of 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 and maybe an occasional 10-6 would be earth shattering for this organization. In the 90’s Dungy did it. Gruden took it over and did it for a little while. But it s been a long time since consistently winning around at least .500. Cowboy fans get made a various playoff droughts their team has. But I would take their wins any day of the week. A team like the Bengals went to the playoffs seven times and never one one playoff game; yet they did go to the playoffs seven times. How many times in a row or in a ten year period did the BUCs go to the playoffs? We need to prove we are a consistent .500 team first and for most. Or we will continue the same cycle; hype in the off season and failure in the regular season. By, the way the Glazor sons have not proven anything yet since their father’s death. Dungy and Gruden that was his time. The sons’ time is Radio Raheem, Schiano, Lovie Dovie, Mr. Laid-Back Koetter and Mickey Smith; and now we are here with “No Risket – No Biscuit!” I hope for the best. We will see. If we get to seven wins in the season that will be awesome, no 10 loss season scured! Then maybe pray for 8-8. But if we can routinely be 8-8 then we could be breaking ground somewhere.

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  27. Kwon and Gerald stay. Curry NEEDS to go. He can take Gholston, Allen and Unrein with him. It would be nice if McCoy would lower his number to, say, 9 million. But either way, he’s a top 5 DT in the league and you don’t get rid of players like that, unless they’re “me-first” guy. 93 has shown he will do what’s asked of him, even if it means his personal stats drop

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