Sikkema’s Stat of the Week

After finishing the 2017 season with a 5-11 record, we know that things have to change for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Something has to be different going into next season – after all, insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same process and the same components and somehow expecting a different result. Are the Buccaneers insane?

We hope not.

Unfortunately, though, they started off the offseason flirting with that insanity line by announcing that they were keeping their entire coaching staff after failing to lure Jon Gruden back to the sidelines in Tampa Bay. Same roster, same coaching staff, sounds kind of like wishful thinking to me when hoping results will be different.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images

But, it’s not like the Buccaneers’ 2017 season was a complete disaster. Okay, maybe compared to expectations it might have been, but hear me out. The defense clearly did not get it done and their side of the ball needs a lot of help, but on the flip side, the Bucs were close to something meaningful. Quarterback Jameis Winston had the best year of his career when it came to efficiency stats. The third-year signal caller had career highs in completion percentage (63.8), yards-per-attempt (7.9), yards-per-game (269.5), quarterback rating (92.2) and a career low in interception percentage (2.5).

Heck, even the receiving group was poised to look better with more consistency and less injuries. Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson had their flashes with fine catch percentages and receptions-per-game averages while tight end’s Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard were both Top 10 in the NFL when it came to yards-per-catch at the position. There were things to like all around in the passing game, or at least things to build on for an aerial attack that was Top 5 in the league when it came to total yards and yards-per-game.

You know what wasn’t there? A freakin’ run game – or at least a willingness for it.

The Buccaneers ranked 27th in the NFL in rushing yards-per-attempt at 3.7, and they were 26th in the NFL with only 389 total attempts in 2017. They were the second-worst team in the NFL when it came to plays of 20+ yards or more on the ground and they were tied for the worst when it came to plays of 40+ yards or more on the ground. Not only were the Buccaneers bad overall when it came to running the ball, they weren’t even good at it situationally. Tampa Bay had the fewest rushes in the league on third down last year. That meant that when the Bucs even got themselves into manageable short yardage situations, they weren’t even willing to do the short yardage things.

Tampa Bay had so many weapons in the passing game on offense and even with the frustrations there were signs of life. But, football is and forever will be something that begins by running the football. On first down, you have to establish the run and get good yards out of it most of the time – the Bucs didn’t.  On third down, you have to be able to run it down a team’s throat, especially on 3rd-and-short – the Bucs didn’t. In the red zone, the way you convert three points into six points is by dominating the game by running the ball; less chaos, less to go wrong; more in your control – the Bucs didn’t.

Tampa Bay needs a ground game, and when I say that, I don’t mean any running game. Doug Martin is on his way out the door, Jacquizz Rodgers isn’t a feature back and Charles Sims isn’t a between-the-tackles runner. Peyton Barber is a good running back, and he should stay, but he’s not a hero. The Bucs need a hero.

The Bucs need Pittsburgh’s Pro Bowler, Le’Veon Bell.

Le’Veon Bell is this free agency class’ prized possession, and though you could roll your eyes at the notion of Tampa Bay luring him down from Pittsburgh just because you haven’t heard their name in the national media conversation, it might be more plausible than you think – and totally worth it if the Steelers don’t use the franchise tag on him.

Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

First, let’s just make his impact clear. Over the last five seasons, Bell has been one of if not the best backs in the NFL for four of them (the other being his rookie year). In 2014 it was Bell and Dallas’ Demarco Murray, in 2015 it was Bell and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (if Bell didn’t get hurt), in 2016 it was Bell and Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott and in 2017 it was Bell and Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley. Every year a new running back comes to the top of the league leaderboards, but each and every year one name is constantly in the conversation in both rushing and receiving and that’s Le’Veon Bell.

Bell has rushed for 5,000 yards and has more than 2,500 receiving yards in just five seasons. His 4.3 yards-per-carry average is among the best in the league for feature backs and his 42.9 receiving yards per game is also among the league’s best for the position. Best of all, for the Buccaneers, Bell knows how to get it done when it matters. In the four playoff games he’s been in, Bell has averaged more than 100 yards per game. In his last three mostly healthy seasons, Bell has accounted for 2,215, 1,884 and 1,946 all-purpose yards.

But, let’s get to the numbers that really matter, the numbers that it would take to ink Bell as a Buccaneer.

Bell played the 2017 season under the franchise tag for the Steelers, a tag that paid him $12.1 million. If they were to tag him again, they would be paying an extra $2 million dollars for a total of $14.5 million in 2018. The Steelers can do that, if they want to, between they dates of February 20 and March 6, but Pittsburgh only has a little over $7 million in salary cap room right now. So without some restructuring or roster moves, the Steelers can’t afford him.

Bell has said publicly that he would consider sitting out the entire 2018 season or possibly retiring if the Steelers choose to place the tag on him again. We all know Bell isn’t going to retire. After all, he’s only 25 years old. But, the threat is a real one for the Steelers, and not to mention it makes your organization look bad if you tag a player, especially a franchise piece, two years in a row.

Bell made the most money in the NFL for any running back last year at that $12.1 million mark. The next closest behind him was Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman at $8.25 million. Bell isn’t going to take a pay cut from that, and it’s likely going to take more to sign him long-term. The report is that it will take a little more than $15 million per year to sign Bell to a long-term deal, which would obviously make him the highest paid running back in the NFL (almost by double).

For Bell, though, it’s not as much about total money or yearly money as it is about guaranteed money (what hurts against the cap). For running backs, they know their lifespan is short in this game. They get hit basically every time they touch the ball and it doesn’t matter if you start when you’re 18, 22, 26, whatever, eventually the hits and the cuts in the ground and the violent changes of direction take their toll. That’s why running backs want all the guaranteed money they can get – because for them the next game is never a guarantee itself. Once most good running backs hit the age of 30 their skills rapidly decline.

Bell has been outspoken about this topic. He went on NFL Network before this year’s Super Bowl and talked about guaranteed money. Two years ago it was reported that the Steelers offered him a contract worth $12 million per year that included $30 million in the first two years and he turned it down. He said that if the Steelers offered him a contract that included $50 million that he would “absolutely” do it, but was then hesitant when they asked him if he’d do it for $30 million guaranteed. Bell has also tweeted that it would take more than $60 million guaranteed for a team like the Jets to sign him, and when a fan asked him about that tweet later he said he would sign with the Jets for $100 million guarantee. Wouldn’t we all?

To sign Bell away from the Steelers it’s likely going to take a five- or six-year contract that pays out about $16 million a year with about $50 million of that guaranteed. That likely means that, in the first two years, Bell will probably count about $20 million against the cap with extra guaranteed money with the third year also including about $10 million of his $16 million fully guaranteed with the last two or three years more team friendly.

That’s a big commitment for a running back, but you can’t just think of him like that – he’s not average. Over the last four seasons with Bell as a feature player, the lowest the Steelers have ranked in total offense has been seventh, and they were No. 1 in the league with him last year. At just 25 years old, he’s worth the price.

But, is his acquisition worth the risk of losing Mike Evans?

This weekend we reported that Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans isn’t in any hurry to get a deal done. Last year, the Bucs picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract and he is set to play the 2018 season making $13.2 million. That’s nearly a $10 million upgrade from he was making on his pre-option rookie deal. But, the time will come to pay Evans and, at the latest, that time will be the 2019 free agency period. But, the Bucs are trying to win and make a playoff berth now, and as of right now, they have the chance to be a player for Bell.

Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Evans has plenty of Buccaneers records under his belt in just four seasons of play – and is just 24 years of age. Evans holds the franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season (12 – twice), most receiving touchdowns by a rookie in a season (12), currently has the most receiving yards per game in a career (75.4) and most consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with four. With health on his side, he’ll be the franchise’s best receiver of all-time as he closes out his rookie deal this year.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown is currently the highest paid receiver per year, making $17 million per season with the Steelers. Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins has the largest contract value at $81 million over six years, averaging $16.2 million. Atlanta’s Julio Jones is the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFC South division, and the fifth-highest paid receiver in the league, averaging $14.25 million per season.

Evans, whenever he signs, will like command a deal that would make him the highest paid wide receiver in football – unless that gets topped by New York Giants Pro Bowler Odell Beckham, Jr. or Miami’s Jarvis Landry, who were also receivers in the 2014 draft class. If it gets done this offseason, it will likely be in the ballpark of $90 million total for about an $18 million payout per-year average.

If they wait until next offseason and give Evans and his agent the chance to see Beckham, Amari Cooper or others sign their deals, locking up Evans will likely cost the Bucs north of $100 million total. Plus, all of this has to be taken into account while knowing in the back of your mind that the Bucs are going to have to pay quarterback Jameis Winston something like a $30 million-per-year, $150 million dollar deal in the next year or two, as well.

So, is signing Bell worth risking Evans long-term?

With Evans, the Bucs have finished their last four seasons in the following way:

  • 2014: 29th in scoring offense –  2-14 record
  • 2015: 20th in scoring offense –  6-10 record
  • 2016: 18th in scoring offense –  9-7 record
  • 2017: 18th in scoring offense – 5-11 record

With Bell, the Steelers have finished their last four seasons in the following way:

  • 2014: 7th in scoring offense – 11-5 record
  • 2015: 4th in scoring offense – 10-6 record
  • 2016: 10th in scoring offense – 11-5 record
  • 2017: 8th in scoring offense –  13-3 record

Now, obviously a lot more goes into scoring points and a total record than just one offensive player that isn’t a quarterback, but there’s no denying that Bell has not only performed well himself, but has elevated the entire offense around him in the process. I would argue that Evans does some of the same, but I think he is capped in how much he can do that by the nature of his position. After all, Bell touches the ball an average of 24.8 times per game. Evans only touches the ball 5.1, on average. If you want to bring in Evans’ blocking and being a decoy/threat, those elements exist for Bell as well, and likely even more so than for Evans.

Both are the same age, both have plenty of individual success, but one has more team success than the other. Would choosing Bell over Evans elevate the Bucs offense more? Would it be enough for you to choose Bell over Evans, if forced to choose?

What if I told you the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t have to? That’s right. What if I told you it’s not only plausible, but might even be advised to go after and keep both.

Here’s how it can happen.

The Buccaneers are currently sitting at $60.5 million in free cap space. That includes Evans being the highest paid player on the team for 2018 making $13.2 million. The Bucs are likely going to move on from Doug Martin ($6.75 million) and Chris Baker ($4.875 million). They might also be moving on from Robert Ayers ($5 million), but even if they don’t, releasing Martin and Baker will clear another $11.625 million in cap space which would bring them up to a total of $72.125 million to work with – and that’s before any salary cap adjustments by the league prior to the start of free agency.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Let’s say Evans is the big priority, which, in all honestly, is the likely situation. Adding another $5 million onto what he’s making this year would put him at $18.2 million per year against the cap. That’s about right for a new deal as the highest paid wide receiver. That only brings the Bucs down to $53.925 million in cap space. Now, let’s get to Bell.

Let’s say Tampa Bay gives Bell what he wants. Let’s say Bell gets $15.5 million per year on an average with a five-year deal, but his first two years are front-loaded and guaranteed. The Bucs are going to need a lot of guaranteed money to get Bell away from Pittsburgh, so we’ll have to assume it’s between about $50-55 million total guaranteed. With the deal being front-loaded, I ballpark the Bucs would be committing about $25 million to Bell in his first season to sweeten the deal – let’s not get tricky with signing bonuses and just talk guaranteed salaries. Bell making half of his guaranteed money in the first season would still leave the Bucs with $28.925 million in cap space for 2018 with Evans and Bell both locked up.

If you tone down Bell’s guaranteed money to just $20 million in the second season (making his contract pretty team friendly from the on out), the Bucs would have an extra $5 million to work with there, and then when Ayers’ contract expires in 2019, as well, that’s another $5 million there. That leaves room for the team to sign Winston to what many believe will be a $30 million dollar per-year deal.

Would that put the Bucs close to the cap space limit in 2019? Sure it would, but you have that much cap space for a reason. This is the Bucs’ window, use it. Doing this might make for some tough decision with Cameron Brate, Brent Grimes and might even hold off on things for Donovan Smith and Kwon Alexander for decisions to be made later, but for Bell? They’d likely only be able to keep one of the names I just mentioned (assuming no other big contract players get moved), but come on. It’s Le’Veon Bell.

Imagine Bell and Evans and not having to choose –  the Bucs have set themselves up to attack free agency in such a manner. Imagine an offense with Winston, Evans, Bell, Jackson, Howard and Godwin, hell, maybe throw Quenton Nelson in there, too, with Marpet. All of them under 26 years old and on the books for a playoff window of a few years, at the least. If the 2017 playoffs taught us anything, it’s that scoring a high amount of points reigns supreme in this era of the game. Get as many as you can.

Bell in Tampa Bay. Could it be?

It can be if the Steelers don’t franchise him again.

If not, this guy might be the next best option…

Shop the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan gear at Fanatics!

36 COMMENTS

  1. Personally I balk at spending all that money on a single player short of a QB.

    The main reason is that albeit may finalize the offense, I think we need to invest more in the defense first before we even consider being in a “window”. Unless you can guarantee scoring every time the offense steps on the field we are still more likely to be outscored than outscore.

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  2. I’m with Spartan. I also don’t like going after Lev Bell. I think he’s a great player, but I don’t know if he’s a great teammate. So I’d rather up the contracts of Evans, Jameis (maybe), Kwon, and Marpet before going all-in on a running back with question marks. I’d much rather pay for a guy like Trumaine Johnson, Ryan Jensen, or Andrew Norwell this offseason. If we’re going to sign a running back then I’d prefer Carlos Hyde and a rookie in a later round. Good chance Sony or Ronald Jones will be in the second round for us. Also

    Drafting Saquon would also be great, but I’d obviously much rather have Bradley Chubb.

    My personal preference at this point would be to trade the Bills for their first two picks in the back of the first round. We could then hopefully get both Harold Landry and one of the DTs (Payne, Vea or Hurst) or Josh Jackson. Then get either Ronald Jones, Billy Price, or Sony Michel in the second.

    We have too many needs on this team.

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  3. Trevor its flawed logic to only be looking at a singular player when analyzing the cost consequences of signing Bell to such a lucrative guaranteed contract. There are from more second and third order affects that will trickle down from such a deal. The team has what it feels is a young nucleus in Evans, Winston, Brate, Marpet, Alexander and by their count Smith – that are all set to have expiring contracts the over the course of the next two years.

    Paying a running back nearly $20 million guaranteed over the course of the next two years and roughly 12% yearly of you available cap – is QB percentile type money.

    Ultimately, such a deal, is a deeper cost and consequence than your framing it out to be. Have to look at team building in roster construction in 3 year increments.

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  4. Regarding Bell, NO WAY! I agree with RB vs WR as in effectiveness on “team” but to lose all cap space on a RB is absurd to me personally. It’s not like we have a mediocre to good O-line either. Our O-line needs some run graders to open things up at least a smidgen. What if Bell goes on IR or even worse ACL that even when healed loses a step. Too common for RB’s than any other position. Good piece though Trevor. It’s good to think about scenarios like these but in this case I strongly disagree.

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  5. How about reworking Gerald McCoy’s huge deal some time in the near future. He’s averaged almost $12 million a year since we drafted him. Remember he was drafted before the current Rookie Scale, so he’s been one of the top paid DT’s since his rookie year. Maybe he reworks it to give them room like Tom Brady does for the Patriots.

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  6. Trevor, is Barkley’s contact shyness between the tackles an exception or norm?

    I like Barkley, he’s elite, but the Bucs could use DE help in the worst way. We can still get a very good RB in round 2.

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  7. I’d be very excited if the Bucs signed Bell, but if you told me the Bucs were going to sign:

    Carlos Hyde RB San Francisco
    Andrew Norwell OG Carolina
    Patrick Robinson CB Philly
    Lamarcus Joyner DB LA Rams

    or

    Leveon Bell RB Pittsburgh

    I would pick the four very good NFL players over the one superstar.

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    • Why Patrick Robinson? CB is a pretty deep position group in the draft.

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      • Cody:
        I agree it is a deep position in the draft, but the Bucs have the worst defense in the NFL and their best corner is in his mid 30’s and may retire.

        The Bucs need to get at least 3 new starters on the defensive line, one or two new starters on the offensive line, one new starter(2 if Grimes doesn’t sign) at corner back, one starter at safety and one starter at running back this offseason either through free agency and/or the draft.

        With all of those holes on the team the Bucs need to attack free agency to give themselves some flexibility in the draft.

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  8. The problem I have with this is that we suffer from adverse selection. FAs don’t come here to win they come for the cash. Everyone knows Koetter and Licht are dead men walking. If you are a truly gifted athlete driven to win why on earth would you take the chance of signing with us given our recent history of ineptitude and not knowing who your coach and GM would be next year?

    We have too many holes to make splashy FA deals and be one key injury away from failure. Build through the draft emphasize the lines or we’ll perpetually be behind the 8-ball

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  9. Food for thought. It SOUNDS good……. but. The fact is running backs rarely last that long. It’s why their value in drafts has dropped so much. The kind of money Trevor is typing about is insane for a running back. Who knows how Bell would react after getting that much at 25 years old? And one hit and the Bucs are screwed for years. No, too rich for my taste.

    But if it did happen? Tickets would be sold. No doubt about that.

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  10. First Bell is great, but…
    1. He has had a solid if not verrry good OL to run behind in Pitt. The Bucs OL is not equivalent.
    2. No on the money, to much for the riskiest position in football. (look @ NE)
    3. The Bucs are a young team that will need second contracts that will draw down the cap number over the next few years.

    Barkley is nice, but…
    1. I don’t think he is a generational RB worth the pick @ #7
    2. You must have a strong OL for the #7 RB pick make hay. Bucs are just not there yet.
    3. Too many good RB’s in every draft in rounds 2-5.

    Besides for me it’s Sony Michel in round #2. He passes the eye test, would have gotten the stats & press if he didn’t share touches with Chubb. Now that is the value pick at RB in 2018 draft.

    I would:
    -Keep Barber
    -Draft Michel in round 2
    -pick-up a FA RB
    -Use a late round pick or an UDFA for your 4th RB

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    • PS- there is another risk with Bell. He did fail a drug test 2 years ago and was suspended. Another violation would be a disaster.

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  11. Great article Trevor, some really good food for thought. While we were a poor running team, we were still 2nd in total 1st downs, 4th in 3rd down conv and 1st in 4th down conv, but only 18th in scoring. Have to think solidifying the interior OL and adding a quality RB would do wonders for improving the scoring.

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    • On the fence when it comes to Bell being that “quality RB” though. Personally have trouble tying up that much cash in a RB, though Bell is elite. Would spreading that cash out to grab multiple quality starters at RB, OG/C and DL be more prudent considering the holes on the roster? Gotta lean towards “yes”. If we were a more competent and complete team, then adding Bell would make more sense at that point, but we’re not there yet.

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  12. Nothing good can come from signing a high priced free agent RB. Clinton Portis looked like superman when he played for Denver. Washington spent the big bucks and he never racked up even average stats for them.
    RBs are a dime a dozen, readily available in the draft, and have a very short shelf life. If you have a decent line, you’ll have a decent run game. Plain and simple. Good teams build up the line and then plug in the running back of the day and tear up the field. Good teams do not pin all their hopes on a stud RB by himself fixing everything.

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  13. First of all definitely no to Barkley. Im going DE or DT in the first round, maybe Nelson too. Im torn on signing bell and heres why. If it happened i would be very excited. Our offense would be stacked, scoring would go up, ticket sales, and more wins. As of right now i would even go as far to say that i would rather sign Bell and let Evans hit free agency when its his time. Elite running backs are harder to come across then good receivers. Licht and Keotter need to make a splash move to save their jobs so i wouldnt be surprised if they try to get him. I dont think it will happen because it will cause us to spend all the cap space and forcing us to loose some good players down the road. I can see a Revis 2.0 situation happening. We sign bell, dont make the playoffs, Keotter and Licht get fired, New coach and GM come in and release bell because hes taking up too much cap space. so im signing Crowell, Lewis, or Hyde in FA and drafting Michel, Penny, or my sleeper pick Akrum Wadley.

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  14. To much money for a R.B., best to draft one rounds 2 to 4. Need to lean towards D line with our first pick. Chubb, or Vea would help our cause, McCoy is the only name under contract. We need bodies up front bad!!

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  15. Really thought provoking article. For all the reasons you mentioned L. Bell would look good in pewter. Saquan Barkley was a great NCAA player but there is always the question how good would he be against NFL talent. What do you take an untested Rookie or a very expensive proven Veteran?
    My crystal ball is a little foggy so I like several others above would prefer to focus on a 3rd/4th RD running back and make every effort to focus our cash and picks on the Monkey that remains on our back, the trenches, and Preferably D-line. As someone mentioned above you are one hit away from blowing a huge investment, and since the Buc’s have other fish to fry I would stay the course.

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  16. Evans, Bell, Jensen, Vea, move up to get Price or Wynn if need be. Let Jameis play on the option, dump him to sell the bank for Kelly if he can’t figure it out in 2019. Obviously still cut our other dead weight to resign Marpet and Alexander. I hate the idea of paying $30million+ on 5th year potential that wouldn’t have sniffed the playoffs by then.

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  17. After reading the first few paragraphs this occurred to me.

    What if the brain trust through Licht went to the Glazers and said something like this. “We are THIS CLOSE in spite of our record for this year. All we have to do is stick to our plan. You can see the progress we’ve made as shown on our checklist. ” The Glazers then went off and deliberated among themselves. Joel came back to Jason and said: “OK we will give you guys one more year.”

    This is all speculation on my part. I am obviously not a mind reader. I was not the proverbial fly on the wall.
    _______________________________
    Go Bucs!!!!

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  18. The Bucs need at least 2 O linemen before any RB can produce. IMO the Bucs Must address both lines to be in the playoffs..

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  19. Yet another article on RB w/o addressing how predictable our running game remains. Plus, our play action fools no one when there’s 12″ air showing?? How can we fool opposing defenses when we 1) usually run on 1st down, 2) have such lousy mechanics on play action??

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  20. I would sign Peyton Barber to a three year contract with 2 years guaranteed before I acquire someone else. We really need two running backs, not one, and this would help situation. Bell is too expensive and one of my Steeler friends, who goes to a couple of their games every year, said he’s not a team player and he’s not worth the kind of money he is demanding.

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  21. Neither one of these guys is worth it. Placing too much value at the RB position!

    Round 1 has got to be Chubb first, Nelson second, and that’s it! We need to build the TRENCHES. Round 2 should be Sony Michel, and we should consider trading up to nab him if we need to. If it’s not Sony, it should be another DT/DE like Taven Bryan or Sam Hubbard. Then in round 3 go for ANOTHER guy in the trenches, unless we did not get Sony in rd 2, then possibly take an RB if we like one there. We can also address RB with FA in Dion Lewis or Hyde, or possibly later in the draft.

    My point is, we need to be better in the…you guessed it… TRENCHES. We should also look at signing some O-linemen.

    Guys below that I have as possible draft picks are between rounds 1-4, which means at least 3 of our top 4 picks NEED to be linemen, with at least 2 definitely being D-line.

    T – Smith
    G – FA (Norwell / Pugh) or Draft (Nelson / Price / Hernandez / Wynn / Smith / Ragnow)
    C – FA (Richberg / Jensen) or Draft (Price / Wynn / Ragnow / Daniels)
    G – Ali Marpet (please put him back!)
    T – Dotson

    DE – Ayers, Spence, FA (Bennett / Murphy / Okafor), and draft (Chubb / Bryan / Hubbard / Ejiofor / Speaks)
    DT – McCoy, McDonald, and draft (Bryan / Hurst / McIntosh / Nnadi)

    UPGRADES!

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  22. Someone’s gotta run the rock next year.. IMO Bell’s best years are behind him, and he’s got some serious maturity/ego issues. If Barkley is there when we pick it’s a no brainer but Fitzpatrick and Chubb are going to be hard to pass on if they’re there

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  23. Horse, I think your info on Bell as a team player is CRITICAL to the discussion as well as on any deliberations on the part of the Bucs’ brain trust.

    _______________________
    Go Bucs!!!!!!!

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  24. Honeybear I have Chubb first, Vea second and Nelson for my choices at pick seven. However, If Chubb and Nelson are both gone and Vea is no really to be considered a top 10 pick, then I want us to trade down and make Vea our 1st choice. Of course we all know that the choice of trading down may not occur for the Buccaneers.

    ____________
    Go Bucs!!!

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    • I would be okay with trading down a few spots to get Vea. It’s risky though, because we could trade down and end up missing him. The upside is then we would have capital to trade up for Sony Michel, Taven Bryan, Billy Price, or someone else that is borderline 1st/2nd. Drafting Vea at 7 is an option if Nelson and Chubb are off the board and we think Vea will go quickly after that.

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  25. P.S. I have always been a clunky typist. However, I have a new computer with a cheap keyboard. I am still tailoring my
    personal environment, but if don’t succeed via stuff available from Windows 10 or free online then I will $pend a little extra to upgrade my keyboard . Bear with me.

    _______________
    Go Me!!!!!!!!!!

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  26. NO, No, No!!! SIgning Bell does not fix this team. We need at least one good O linemen either a C or OG, we need a DT and at least one DE, we need a couple CB’s, a couple RB’s, and a Safety at the very least, plus we have our own guys that will need to be signed this offseason and next off season. we need to get as many quality football players as possible to start filling some of the holes on this team. Signing Bell would only fix one and would take away money needed to fix others and I do not think he would have the same level of impact here as he did for the Steelers. They have a better overall team than we do from the starters to their depth they have a better roster. Bell is a luxury we cannot afford now if we had just gone 11-5 or 10-6 and got within a game or 2 of the SB then yea sign Bell and lets go win this SB but we are not even close to that yet and i doubt we will be in 2018. We need to draft the bet DL or OL prospect thats there at 7 and get a RB in the 2nd or 3rd rd.

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  27. Another great Cover 3 Trevor, I really like how you break things down in detail but still make it understandable to those like me who have never actually played organised football. Also like how you keep your analysis neutral even if you love a player/scheme.
    The Bucs are fortunate to have a few positions sorted via a drafted player, and more and more we are seeing offenses rely on two or more good RBs instead of just the one workhorse superstar. So I don’t think that “selling Man Utd” to get Bell would be a good move. Is Barkley is there at 7 would be a good pick, if not maybe someone in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.

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  28. It feels like Reynolds wrote the first page of this thing. Or at least told Trevor which position to take. I would be thrilled to get a player of Bell’s caliber, mainly due to his prowess in the passing game to go with his chops as a runner. But to entertain the idea that he might be worth $15M+ per year is just ludicrous. That’s ABSURD money for a running back. A good rule of thumb – if you give a market setting deal to a guy that makes the deal of the second highest paid player at his position worth roughly 50% of that guy’s deal, then you’re making a horrible mistake.

    Bell is tremendous. But signing him to a deal like that would mean letting go of at least two of Kwon, Marpet, Jameis, and Evans long term. The money won’t be there for all of those guys. It won’t. It just isn’t there. Period. Especially considering the health risks that come with the RB position, there’s NO way I’d trade any two of those guys (and subsequently have to replace them with valuable draft picks, which we already need more of than we have to fill our many needs) to have the best RB in the game.

    The point about the offenses of the Steelers and Bucs is senseless. There’s a lot driving that Pittsburgh offense. Bell is great, but you know who else has been great there when called upon? DeAngelo Williams has averaged 4.2 YPC and caught plenty of passes while filling in for Bell. He’s looked like a top 5 RB when Bell’s missed time to injury the last couple of years. This is an offense that makes things easier on RBs, thanks in no small part to maybe the most deadly and diverse passing attack in the game. Sure, the Steelers have been great, and Bell has helped them with that. But to assign him a particularly large share of that credit is laughably dumb.

    I’d love to have him or a player like him. But he isn’t worth $15M+ per year, or even close to it. That would be a terrible, short sighted move for this franchise in the long run.

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  29. Dirk needs to run the ball at least 45% of all plays this season to more than likely have a successful offense and save his dumb job

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  30. Of course we all would like a player of Bell’s stature on our team if there were no other factors to consider. My position on Free Agents has always been one of caution. It’s the person more than the player that gives me pause. I would be worried that Bell will get an even grander opinion of himself, have even more homeboys and girls hanging on and think of himself more of a “binis man” than a football player. If he was the one missing ingredient for a championship it might be worth the risk, but sadly we have not gotten to that point just yet due to a pathetic Defense.

    Yes, we absolutely need a running back who is more than a ho-hum journeyman type like Peyton Barber and the rest of our group. We need one for whom the opponent’s Defensive Coordinator is staying up past midnight hoping to devise ways to slow him down. There are a few in this upcoming Draft.

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  31. Hey Trevor, I keep hearing hearing about the 3 names. I don’t think that any of these guys will be there when the Bucs are on the clock. So could you please do a cover 3 on Orlando Brown?I am interested on your opinion of him and selecting a tackle in the top 10.

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