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Trevor Sikkema

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]

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  1. 1


    The cap with what teams are projected franchise tag figures at is roughly $165.1M – every team could see an additional windfall of roughly $4.9M should the cap actually escalate to the projected $170M as some have speculated.

    Problem with spending freely for 2017, is that its a short sighted look into only this year and accounts for nothing in the future – over the course of the next three years: Evans either way of the course of the next year or so will command that money, Jamies Winston has an option the team has to decide on in two years – After this season Pamphile is slated to be an unrestricted free, Cameron Brate, Adam Humphries, Donavon Smith and Ali Marpet – and Winston – the team needs to ensure it is prudent with how and where they spend – as there are some tough decisions that will have to be made. Personally, I would rather those decisions be made due to play on the field and not because the team can’t fit the money in due to being free spenders in 2017.

    1. 1.1


      You have the right idea. The crazy thing that the amount of money they have to use is probably much less when you consider some of our rising stars.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the team didn’t have projected cap space for the next 4 years. That’s why two year contracts for bridge players are popular. Thanks to the rookie salary cap that makes drafting less stressful. But we know most rookie contracts are typically four years except for the 1st rounders.

      I’ve always wanted to see a five year breakdown of potential salary cap figures and contracts. You’ll always need to have some leftover salary cap so you can take care of your players. That’s why some of the better teams doesnt typically have a lot of cap space because they understand the need to spread around the cash constantly. Which make Drafting so crucial.

  2. 2


    Well, I think both Verner and Martins contracts are both gone before TC, so that’s going to free up that $12M to the cap. Even if they decide to resign Martin, it will be at a much lower rate so effectively we have some $~71-72M to really play with for this season. I’m pretty sure we will see Evans get his new contract this season, next season it will just cost more.

  3. 3


    Wow those Cowboys! Glad Tampa is not in that situation. Pass on the less than sexy free agents and bring as much money forward to wrap up Winston and Evans. Other than that, try as best to imitate the Patriots.

  4. 4


    What’s impressive is the team after us, Patriots. How impressive to be such a constant winner in the NFL and have the salary cap the way they do.

    1. 4.1


      Dbuc63 – yes, and those are not unrelated. The Pats and Belichick in particular is great at finding value, and not overpaying anyone just to keep them on the roster … he is very quick to cut someone who’s not providing good value, and finding replacements who aren’t highly celebrated yet still provide very good value.

      1. 4.1.1


        I read an article about how it all starts with Tom Brady. He took less than he could have made and they use that in every negotiation. If he is willing to put the team first then everybody is expected to do the same. Which is the exact opposite of players like Kirk Cousins or Joe Flacco. They put their ego ahead of winning a Super Bowl. Which is stupid considering how many endorsement deals they get when do win a Super Bowl.

        I really hope that Jameis has the same attitude. That money is not more important than winning. Especially when he is making more money than any normal person can possibly imagine. As much as we have all been impressed with his off the field attitude, will he continue that attitude when it comes time to extend his contract. I sure hope so.



          That’s true, the NE system works extremely well to serve the purpose of being competitive every year. Can’t really speculate at this point about Cousins, since he’s not currently under contract, but Flacco is slated to make about $10m more against the salary cap in 2017 than Brady, so your point is well taken.

          But, isn’t this easier for Brady than for most other QBs? Assuming, of course, that most of them would give up salary for more Super Bowl rings. (Flacco already has one, but why wouldn’t he want another?) This is where the NE system really shows its’ brilliance and advantage. The Ravens are 41-39 in last 5 seasons, barely above .500, and only made playoffs once (2014, losing to NE) since their Super Bowl in 2012. NE is 62-18 in the same period. Seems to me it’s much easier to sacrifice the cash for wins when you play for a team that already has a system in place that gives you the best chance to win every year, and build your collection of SB rings.

          If Brady were to leave NE as a free agent (whaaaat?) and sign with the 49ers or the Bengals or the Chiefs, don’t you think he would demand a whole LOT more in salary than he gets in NE? The NE system works because they keep winning, and part of the reason they keep winning is because their top players take less to win more. It feeds itself. But until the system is in place and has developed a history of winning, it’s hard to sell top players on giving up cash in their prime with the idea that the system you are building will win a lot of games in the future.



            Cousins had to be franchise tagged because he wouldn’t accept a top tier long term offer, but he isn’t a top tier QB.
            Flacco would have a better team if his contract wasn’t eating up a good portion of their cap.
            Yes it is easier for Brady than other QBs but I believe Jameis is capable of reaching that level. Especially when you see how much of a high character player he is. It might not seem like much but if Jameis takes even a few percentage points less than he is capable of and several other players do that allows you to get an extra playmaker on your team. So much of today’s NFL is about getting the most under the cap.

  5. 5


    I really, really hope we wait on Mike’s new deal. There’s no reason for us to rush into making him the highest paid or nearly highest paid WR in the game. That’s a market value contract, which makes 0 sense to give a guy when he’s still got two full years until he hits free agency. If you’re going to sign him early, it has to be at something of a discount, or else it just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever for the team to do. If he wants to sign right now for something like $60M over 5 years with $25-30M in guarantees, then let’s get it done. If he’s seeking to get the most he can, though, then we can always do that deal just as well later as we can now.

    I really hope we’re players in this free agency period. I’m aware that we’re probably not going to be landing guys like Eric Berry or Dontari Poe, but we should be active in that second tier of free agents, i.e. Tony Jefferson, one of several receivers, a few different offensive guards.

    1. 5.1


      The reason you do it sooner than later is 3 fold if you ask me. 1 with salaries continuing to rise, in 2 years it may cost 18 million a year instead of 15. 2 you know exactly what you’ll have on the books for him moving forward. Lots of upcoming contracts to be done. 3. It further shows our guys that if we draft you, and you perform, you’ll get paid.

      Keep in mind that any deal he gets will be an extension not a new contract. The fifth year option would be voided I’d have to believe, but we wouldn’t lose next year, his 4th, and technically, last year of his deal. It’ll come down to IF they pick up the 5th year option as to when they do the deal, I think, which I believe has to be made clear before games kick off again for regular season.

  6. 6


    Tampa is in very good shape, getting good bang for the buck with our draft and free agent acquisitions. We can handle the second contracts for the upcoming several years. Salary cap is absolutely not a factor hindering our team’s performance, as so many other teams have had to face.

    I don’t see Jason going on any FA spending sprees, or rushing to increase Mike Evans’ pay before we need to. He’s not going anywhere.

    When all’s said and done, we’ll probably still have considerable cap room even after training camp starts.

  7. 7


    Dbuc63, one of the reasons the Patriots are in such good shape is because Brady is like the 12th highest QB paid in the NFL because this is what he wanted.
    He knew if the team paid him what he is worth, which is about twice the amount he is paid, there would be less money to go around to get quality players like Chris Hogan, who was a steal at $3 million a season, to surround himself with.
    As much as a capitalist as Brady thinks he is, he is actually practicing socialism by his thinking due to his pursuit for as many Super Bowls as he can achieve while an active QB.
    Pretty smart guy keeping his salary cap low for the betterment of the team. Talk about a true team leader.
    I hope Winston thinks about that when and if he re-signs.

    1. 7.1


      That’s exactly it. As much as I hate Tom Brady and his smugness, and he’s earned it, he has always kept his cap numbers low for the benefit of the team. I read an article a few months ago about all the renegotiations and restructures he’s done to help his team keep talent around him by freeing up money. It’s insane. He’s never actually lost any money doing it either, they’ve just always moved it around in different guarantees and bonuses with his extensions. He’s the ultimate team first guy like that and we can only hope that Winstons the same. He seems like it so far from everything I’ve seen and heard…..I love that there’s even just talk of Winston and Brady in the same sentence. The future look bright for us boys.

    2. 7.2


      drd – socialism has nothing to do with Brady’s willingness to work for less. He is a super competitor who is determined to do what it takes to produce a consistent winner … obviously it’s helped his own career a great deal, but I don’t think personal success is what drives him. In his actions and his words I can detect no narcissistic tendencies whatsoever. He is just the super competitor amongst all his peers.

      Besides, Brady has more than enough money, between his earnings and his wife’s earnings. He does not measure his stature by dollars in accounts, but in championships won.

      And, it’s way, way too simplistic to put it all on Brady. No team is a one-man team, ever. Belichick has done a fantastic job putting both offenses and defenses together with a miserly touch, never attempts to “buy” championships, but to earn them the hard way with planning, coaching, hard work, and high standards.

  8. 8


    Perhaps Brady has a side “don’t pay me now, pay me later” deal with Robert Kraft.

    One thing that got my attention was the negative cap space for the Jets and the Cowboys. Guess old Jerry “Facelift” Jones will have little choice than to trade or release Tony Romo. The other thing that caught my eye was the “Dead Money” of which our old friend Bruce Allen’s Redskins and nemesis, the Saints have in excess.

    There’s Dr.D again subtly weaving his political views into a football conversation. Next time you get your paycheck or when you get your tax refund (I always end up paying even more); why not follow Tom Brady’s lead, head down to Williams Park in St. Petersburg and share your good fortune directly with those more deserving of your endeavors than you?

    1. 8.1


      I have thought that too about Brady in that I hope he has a side deal. Looks like Tim Duncan’s loyalty is paying off now with the Spurs placing him in a special advisor role to work on projects that interest him. Can’t think of a better (or more vague) job. I noticed the trail of Bruce Allen too … so glad he is gone!

  9. 9


    If there are any good defensive tackles out there ( Short Panthers ) in FA I would love to see the Bucs go after them hard. DL seems to be a little under the radar as need but I put it way up there if we are to become contenders. Can’t have enough GOOD D tackles in this league.

    1. 9.1


      Donteri Poe. He is the real deal.
      GO BUCS

  10. 10


    Brady doesnt need the money because Kraft set him up with super rich Gisele Bundchen. Not many QB’s get that kind of perk with their job. Its the Patriot way. BEND-ing the rules

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