Read-Option: Who Is Worth It?

With so much to go through this week, I am leaving this parting question to be quite open-ended for you Bucs fans.

First, if you were in Tampa Bay’s front office, which players would you keep? Would you franchise tag anyone? Did you think I was too harsh with the roster turnover? Who stays and who goes? How savage would you get with players like Gerald McCoy, Vinny Curry, and maybe even Cameron Brate? Is it time to totally turn the page overhaul the roster?

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

And as for the players who are set to hit free agency, we know most of those guys won’t even get to March by re-signing with their own teams, but of the potential pool as it stands right now, which players would you love to see the Bucs go after? How would you approach free agency? What would be your plan, and what positions make the most sense to really spend some money.

After all, Bruce Arians said this won’t be a rebuild – it’s just a reload.

Which players are you reloading with?

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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: trevor@pewterreport.com
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BUC-ASS-BOB

I would like a big question answered that has been ignored every time I asked it last year I was told the Giants got rid of jpp because they went to a 3-4 this year the Bucs are going to a 3-4 Trevor said we got such a great deal because the Giants went to a 3-4. . In an objective way someone please answer that.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

So what you’re saying is Todd Bowles is going to adapt his defense from a 3/4 to a 4-3 to accommodate jpp. My follow-up question is what do you think when Todd Bowles watches the Dallas game and sees Ezekiel Elliott running at the club on his hand jpp missing Time After Time except for the time Dak had the ball instead of Ezekiel

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flarick

BUC-ASS_BOB both Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles have said they’ll adapt the defense to what fits the talent they have available. So, it’s not a foregone conclusion the Bucs will run either a 3-4 or stick with a 4-3. Ultimately, what they do will be based on what kind of talent is on the team, as both the head coach and dc have said. In addition, as both Arians and Bowles have pointed out, teams in today’s NFL are in a nickel package, which necessitates a four-man defensive front, about 60-percent of the time. So, the Bucs will always have… Read more »

BucWild02

Mike Smith said EXACTLY the same thing about adapting to players strengths. They all say that. Its called coachspeak. Rarely do they do it the way the public thinks they will do it.

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Andy Ely

I want us to get Matthieu, Irving, and Bruce Irvin. I think those will be some nice additions to the secondary. Trade back with Jacksonville, or Denver and pick up extra picks and take Greedy Williams. Then use the 2 second round picks we have to address the right side of the offensive line, like David Edwards, Ben Powers, Michael Dieters, or Chris Lindstrom. I think that would be a good start.

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EricNV

I like that pick a lot, and he’s a day 1 starter. He could help solidify that interior OL for several years.

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Bucsfan1983

Dillard/Powers/Jensen/Marpet/D Smith

Please get this done Bucs

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Gruden4President

Out of all those guys you mentioned only Mathieu plays in the secondary. J/s

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Andy Ely

Yea it was a typo, sorry

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nitey

The factor that becomes clearer to me year after year is that coaching is king. If you have mediocre coaching, it takes a truly great player to rise above it, but a great coach elevates even mediocre talent. Year after year I see fans bad mouthing the GM for signing or drafting players that turn out to be busts only to see that same player go to another team and play well for another coach. So for me, the trouble I have in both free agency as well as drafting is whether the coach we have on hand is good… Read more »

EricNV

I agree. It became obvious last year when Buckner got good results from the DL and Warhop couldn’t get his guys along the OL on the same page to save his life.

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LionUnderWater

Arian’s usually uses 3 wide receivers and 1 tight end set.
Trading Brate seems like a good call.

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BucWild02

Wrong about his sets. I remember Arians using Coby Fleener and Dwight Allen in Indy in a lot of two tight end sets in 2012. They had Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton at WR.

Keeping Brate makes sense. Evans, Godwin, Brate, OJ, and (new)RB1 looks tough to beat to me. It would also help Winston since he relies on TEs (especially Brate) a lot.

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watson

The trading of Brate…..at first glance….looks like a good idea. But, I’ve heard many coaches and GMs say the number one ability if “availability” and sadly Howard has not finished the last 2 season on the active roster. If your stud TE is not available then you need that Brate type of player as insurance. I have not seen Auclair display that same ability. I do agree that the coaching has been suspect at best. You can’t see player after player never develop. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn ever so ofter so no way can I believe that… Read more »

LionUnderWater

Some off season moves/ideas to free up cap space with a new coaching staff. FA Shaw(one year prove it deal) RFA Harris(tender offer) FA Grimes(don’t sign) RFA Elliot(tender offer) FA Nunez-Roches(don’t sign) RFA Bond(tender offer) FA Santos(know what you have, 40 yards or under) RFA Barber(tender offer) FA Lynch(don’t sign) RFA Adams(tender offer) FA Taylor(don’t sign) RFA Wester(tender offer) FA Sanborn(if needed) ERFA Rivers(keep) FA Griffin(don’t sign) ERFA Ledbetter(keep) FA Fitzpatrick(don’t sign) ERFA Bullough(don’t sign) FA Rogers(don’t sign) ERFA Liedtke(keep) FA D.Smith(franchise tag) ERFA Johnson(keep) FA Humphries(re-sign?) Curry(draft trade/release) FA Minter(sign?) Allen(draft trade/release) FA Conte(don’t sign) McCoy(draft trade/release/restructure) FA Alexander(don’t… Read more »

Rusty

If it were me, and it’s not, I would take a two year approach. Year one, I would TOTALLY fix the offense (Oline & RB) and the kicking game (PK & P). In today’s NFL, points scored are king, plus with ALL of the weapons needed, plus coaching, plus his last few games where he seemed to GET IT!,Winston will have no excuses for not performing. Here’s hoping!!! To be sure, I would do something with the defense but reserve any major overhaul until I had the time to evaluate, teach, coach, the young secondary, LB’s etc. Year two would… Read more »

DT25

I’d fix the trenches and see what RoJo and Barber can do behind a revamped line in a more RB-friendly system. Fix OL, add to the DL (especially if GMC is let go), and I’d add another piece or 2 to the LB corps and secondary. But I agree, the 2 year approach is likely going to be necessary to see which players respond to better coaching and which don’t…it’s the best way to avoid giving up on players who were simply victims to Koetter and Mike Smith’s piss poor coaching. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

BUC-ASS-BOB

I think this article is correct at this point the head coach and most of the coaching jobs have changed for the good I hear the carpet and the desk in the head coaches offices changed along with the pictures on the wall but no players have been released or signed and I’m anxious to see what changes they make to the roster. From what I understand Bruce Arians plans on opening up a can of whoop ass at practice this current roster is used to the opposite I believe there’s going to need to be a lot of changes… Read more »

GrayBalls

There you go, BOB. A post that I can get behind

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Benjamin

First off I believe BA and Bowles when they said we will be multiple on defense and they will put our defensive players in the best position to succeed. I would do everything I can to keep GMC for at least one more season. We just got him some good D linemen to play with and it will be a damn shame if he is traded or let go before we can really see what this D line can do together. Also in Mike Smith defense our D tackles were playing more of a two gap where they locked up… Read more »

SaskBucs

I agree with everything Nitey said up there. Djax is a terrific talent but need his money, love Brate but need his money. Those two position groups are strong enough without them. Makes it an easy decision. The lines are tough. Probably have to keep Smith for the reason Trevor said and not have potentially 3 O line holes to fill. Curry and Gholston have to go… too much money for Curry. I don’t mind bringing back Minter and signing Collins or HB either. I like Whitehead but obviously depth is needed back there. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00… Read more »

BucWild02

OJ finished both seasons on IR so far. If Brate is traded and OJ gets hurt, then what? Antony Auclair? Lol. Not gonna happen. Arians ran a two tight end scheme in Indy and crushed it. Plan on watching lots of open tight ends running free and killing it.

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SaskBucs

I understand the importance of depth. I am possibly overrating Auclair but think he can do a good job. As I said, I love Brate but I believe his money is better spent elsewhere for starters or depth, specifically addressing the O line and defense. Basically, if the Bucs need money, I would rather lose Brate than McCoy or D.Smith. Pains me to say that cause like most of you I am not a big D.Smith fan but don’t see many other options. Hopefully the new staff can light a fire under both those guys. I am sure the draft… Read more »

BucWild02

Respect your opinion. I do disagree. Brate is featured. TE is important to Winston. McCoy seems to be loved by many, but I don’t get it. He isn’t Sapp. He isn’t even Booger. 6 sacks, 28 total tackles(solo/combined), 13 million. Only plays on 64% of snaps. He isn’t worth 25% of what they have to pay him when you look at current production and recent history.

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BucWild02

This was a very well organized look at the Bucs free agents and even a few potential targets. The Bucs have little cap space but have some pressing priorities. My opinion: #1 – Fix the defense #2 – Establish a rushing attack that opponents must respect If the Bucs plan on making some tough decisions to free up cap space, then they can find the players that can play the scheme the coaches PREFER to implement. Unrein likely to retire or be cut. Getting rid of D.Jax and GMC are a given to me. Too expensive, too little impact. If… Read more »

BUC-ASS-BOB

Buck ass Bob felt there were too many tackles being made by linebackers and safeties on running plays Buck ass Bob felt tackles were being made by defensive lineman for too much positive yards Buck ass Bob used to love to watch Mean Joe Greene hit a running back in the backfield and driving backwards Buck ass Bob watched too many opponents running backs ring up big yardage in chains move too many times and felt there was something very seriously wrong with the defensive line.

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BucWild02

Ummmm, why are you refering to yourself in 3rd person? Diva much?

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BUC-ASS-BOB

A very dry sense of humor!

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BucWild02

Whew! I was worried you had lost it!

Nowthen, what do the Bucs do with the cap space they get when they trade Winston for Carr? Kidding!

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BUC-ASS-BOB

Buck ass Bob thinks Todd Bowles will think the same thing.

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OneBucPerson

I would say to anyone worrying about JPP if we switch to a 3-4 to please remember that we’ll be in nickel for about 70% of our defense snaps in which case he’ll be a hand in the dirt DE, I mean really the only time we’d really ever be in a base 3-4 would be when we don’t believe our opponents are passing. He’s got elite level bend and his motor is as good as ever, he’ll be fine.

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mjmoody

The Donovan Smith conundrum. Lot’s of early chatter about the Bucs’ drafting AL or FL OT in the 1st. It has been suggested that they could then move Smith to RT. Is this even plausible? In the business of the NFL Would Smith even consider taking RT money?

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BucWild02

Not when chatter from San Fran, ATL, and others are hoping to target him as a LT.

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GrayBalls

That’s when you franchise tag him and trade him off to John Lynch for a day 2 selection this year and maybe a day 2/early day 3 selection next year and package Smith with a round 5 or 6 next year. Who knows?

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BucRy

I have to say I feel better about going into FA and the draft this year, I am hoping that Jason does his best work this offseason with Arians at hand. I have said it all along that Mathieu should be one of the top guys to go after..his versatility and aggressive play would be a huge asset on a defense that has been soft. To me, he’s the only one that would be worth paying a good sized contract. Other than that, I would like us to not overpay for some players but instead find cheaper fill in players… Read more »

Billy

All I know is if we draft another CB in the 1st or 2nd round I’m gonna throw up on someone. It’s getting a little ridiculous at this point. I mean who do we take Dean from Auburn in the 2nd? I’m pretty sure the CBs we have now Hargreaves, Davis, Stewart taken in the 1st 2 rounds can be better coached and actually play the type of defense they played in college and excelled LOL!! No doubt Greedy is one of the best CB prospects I’ve seen in a while and would start IMMEDIATELY, but you will never convince… Read more »

surferdudes

Trev, aren’t there some Jet FA LB’s available that weren’t mentioned? Wouldn’t Bowles be interested in them?

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surferdudes

Maybe now’s the time with a top 5 pick to get one of the best LT’s in the draft at a rookie friendly four year salary, still slap the tag on Smith, and attempt to trade him.

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BucWild02

Can teams trade a franchised player? I don’t think they can.

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BucRy

Yes, they can in fact be traded after being tagged.

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BucWild02

Didn’t realize. Thanks for the knowledge.

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GrayBalls

Trading a “tagged” player comes with no cap penalty, that’s the real allure to me

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martinii

Ever since the Arian’s hire and the formation of his coaching staff I have held to one belief. Instead of wasting good brain cells on what we think he is going to do, sit back watch and learn. We have limited resources for the first time in a long time. We have players that need to be coached-up, motivated, and introduced to a new “Winning Philosophy.” I sense that BA has a plan and scheme that very well may surprise us all. I think it’s been a long time since we have experience a transformation like this from management and… Read more »

thegeebo

Sign Hump and Barber to multi-year deals. Slap franchise on Donovan Smith and make him actually earn a contract. Maybe resign a couple of those other guys for depth (Adams, Elliott, Minter…). Dump everyone else. Love Gerald, but I think it’s time to move on. I was never big on Kwon, he could be flashy but was inconsistent. I think we can do better in FA for the money, or maybe we draft Devin White who is already a better player and has a sky high ceiling. I think better option is sign a FA at MLB, then grab best… Read more »

Bucsfan1983

Cut Gholston, DJax, Curry, and B Allen. That’s $26.75 mill there.

Restructure McCoy.

Re-sign Kwon, Hump, Minter(LB depth,cheap), D Smith(only at G or RT $) A Taylor(LB depth,cheap), Cairo Santos

Sign Honey Badger, Iupati, K Hunt, Brett Hundley and D Bucannon

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matador

That’s a damning list of FAs. Other than Hump and Barber no one would really be missed, except that we have so little talent ex WR & TE that we’d be short some bodies. Who the heck… oh, never mind… Agree with Nitey, like Brate a lot but can’t afford him, sinking that much $ PLUS a #1 pick into the TE position was a tactical blunder. Agree with Rusty, has to be a two-year turn. If we underinvest on the lines in the draft – for the sixth year in a row(!) – trying to put some more playmakers… Read more »

EastEndBoy

What I hope is (and I have hope for it because I believe Arians will be heavily involved), we actually fix something this off season that’s broken. Last year, going in to the offseason, we had a broken: – RB (so we drafted RoJo – that didn’t work) – OL (so we signed Jensen – that didn’t work) – secondary (so we re-signed Grimes, drafted MJ Stewart, and then C Davis – the first two didn’t work, and the third one wasn’t much better, but with some potential to get better) – pass rush (so we traded for JPP –… Read more »

DT25

Hard to determine what worked and what didn’t when the coaching was as deplorable as it was. We’ll see how some of these same moves work with Arians and his staff calling the shots this year. The major fix we need as immediately as possible is to fix the OL. I expect Bowles to get more out of the defense, the secondary especially. And I expect the offense, and running game especially, to look better with Arians’ playbook and play calling…again assuming we fix the OL and can open some running lanes. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes… Read more »

EastEndBoy

Fair point – an excellent OLine can solve a lot of ills….

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GrayBalls

Except it won’t be Arians calling plays, that job belongs to Leftwich

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Horse

Underperformers will probably not be on this team, regardless of their draft ranking or their salary.

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EastEndBoy

That does seem to be the line Arians is setting….but not sure how he’s going to address 4 underperformers on the OLine all at once? That I think will be his biggest frustration for a little while.

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Dman

Reading through the posts we all have pretty definite ideas about the strengths, weaknesses, keepers, under performers on the roster. But before any of these decisions get made the new staff has to do their assessment based on the schemes they will be running. We’re all coming from what we’ve seen over the past 4 to 5 years running pretty much the same O and D. When I look at the roster I see plenty of holes that will take 2 to 3 years to fix. Based on BA’s comments my impression is he sees this as a 1 to… Read more »

owlykat

The only free agents I would go after would be the Honey Badger at a reasonable price to reunite him with BA, and Guard Iupati. Keep Evans, Whitehead, and Adams at Safety, and also develop Stewart to play Safety too. CBs starting would be Hargreaves at slot, Davis and Marshall as press Corners with Elliott and Smith as backups (and Adams if needed too). OLBs should be David and Spence, developed as an outside LB on the strong side, with Beckwith (or Cichy) as Inside LB with Minter as the other ILB (in a 3-4) and Bullough and Taylor as… Read more »

Dread

Cuts: DJax, Gholston, Curry, Unrein, B. Allen. FA targets: Tevin Coleman, Tyrann Mathieu. Big decisions / cap moves: D. Smith – franchise tag. Hasn’t earned long term deal, and new coaches may be just what he needs. Expensive, but least risky of the options + bonus of continuity for Marpet. Kwon – 1 year prove it deal w/incentives. Wants to play for Tampa, heart of a warrior. Freak Athlete. No more Mike Smith + aggressive style of defense will pay dividends for his growth. McCoy – wants to be here. Doesn’t quit. But, very expensive. Push hard for cap-friendly restructure… Read more »

EastEndBoy

I like a lot of what you’ve surmised…except that it leaves us with the worst CBs in the league – by far – with somebody like Ryan Smith covering Julio Jones….ouch!

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deeznuts

*cut desean Jackson, +10$M *Cut Vinny curry, +$7M *Cut Beau allen, +5$M. Unrein too Keep Gerald McCoy. Resign humphries at 6$M/year Sign SS Landon Collins 9$/year Resign Kwon at 8$M/year Sign iupati OG at 7.5M/year Sign Jordan Matthews WR 2.5$M/year Move Dotson to LT, let smith walk. Draft a prospect OT. Move benenoch to RT, Compete with Wester. Draft another guard. Draft a project QB. Draft cornerbacks, actually coach them Draft LB white from LSU JPP, vea, and Gerald on dline. White,beckwith, David, and kwon @ LB. Noah Spence moves to rush LB Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No… Read more »

fanofdabucs

You want to move an aging RT who has lost a step to LT and move an awful football player who can’t play guard to tackle? All this while letting a solid, young LT, who hasn’t had the best of coaching, walk? Yeah that sounds like a terrible idea. I think adding players at positions of need whom BA is familiar with makes a ton of sense. (Honey Badger and Iupati). I’d add another name to the FA target list, Preston Smith. He can play 4-3 DE with his hand in the dirt or stand up LBer a 3-4. Quick,… Read more »

cbbucfan

I would love to keep Gerald McCoy around. Still a very productive player, and his leadership in the locker room and on the field cannot be overstated. $13 million is steep, however. But if push comes to shove, I keep him. The Bucs need to do whatever they can to retain Adam Humphries. His production speaks for itself. There is no way that the Bucs can let Donovan Smith walk away as a free agent with no compensation whatsoever. Quality, dependable left tackles like him do not grow on trees. Yes, he leaves you wanting more at times. I think… Read more »

Ja'crispy

Hey Trevor, just a little update. There isnt an NFL team in San Diego anymore.

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Matt

Keep: Barber, Brate, Humphries, Allen, and Leon if possible.
Trade OR DUMP :Curry, GMC, D Jax, Golsten.
Tag Smith and draft his replacement (Jonah Williams is my favorite).
Bring in : Earl Thomas (his leadership in our young secondary will be worth it) plus some extras as needed.
Draft: O line and D line heavy with a splash of LB and RB.

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Spartan01

Here’s one iteration:

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

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