The Bucs were left with a hole at right guard when veteran starter Alex Cappa left for the Bengals in free agency. General manager Jason Licht wasted no time filling the void when he traded for Patriots guard Shaq Mason. The cost was just a fifth-round selection in the 2022 draft.

In acquiring the veteran guard, the Bucs not only found themselves a replacement, but also upgraded the position as well.

According to Pro Football Focus’ top guard rankings, Mason grades out as the fifth-best guard in the NFL, landing in the second tier of the rankings. The seven-year pro is known for his elite run blocking, but has developed into a very solid pass blocker as well.

Bucs G Shaq Mason

Bucs G Shaq Mason – Photo by: USA Today

Mason has a ton of familiarity blocking for his new quarterback as well. He spent the first five seasons of his career blocking for Tom Brady in New England.

Mason Is A PFF Favorite

Mason has finished with an 81.6 PFF grade or higher in five of his seven seasons. His rookie season was a bit of a transition period. Mason came from a run-heavy scheme at Georgia Tech. His only other down year was in 2019 where he gave up a career-high 31 pressures and 26 hurries. Yet Mason only allowed two sacks that season.

In comparison to the player Mason is replacing on the Bucs offensive line, Cappa ranked as the 17th best guard in the league last year per PFF. Falling under the solid starters tier, the former Bucs guard has never posted a season grade higher than a 73.4. Cappa allowed a career-high five sacks in 2021 and had his struggles in pass blocking throughout his career.

Based on those numbers alone, Mason is a clear upgrade. Turn on the tape and you can see why Licht pounced on the opportunity to trade for Mason.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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Spitfire
Spitfire
1 month ago

I’m happy we got him and as far as I hear he is solid. I still can’t help but wonder why he only cost a 5th round pick. If he’s ranked as the 5th best Guard in the League and is only costing $7.3mil and $8.5mil this year and next year then why wouldn’t he have commanded a higher asking price? We’re the Patriots that hard up to free up Cap Space? Even still it doesn’t quite add up. Trust me, I hope he’s as good as advertised, it just seems cheap.

Dy-nasty D
Dy-nasty D
Reply to  Spitfire
1 month ago

My question, as well. Why would the Pats be so eager to let him go for a 5th? Meanwhile, Cappa lands a big contract. Something doesn’t add up.

surferdudes
surferdudes
1 month ago

You could say he was the steal of the draft. Fifth best guard in the league for a fifth rounder, can’t do better than that. I really think our line will be better this year. As good as Marpet was his head wasn’t in it last year. He even said he thought about retiring after the SB. So how comitted to going full tilt was he? I can tell you the young Goedkeke won’t be worring about head truma when he hits the field. More like he’ll be looking to lay some truma on who he’s blocking. I also can’t… Read more »

German Buc
German Buc
Reply to  surferdudes
1 month ago

To be as good as Ali Marpet was last year while ‘being not fully comitted’ you have to be a heck of a player.

surferdudes
surferdudes
Reply to  German Buc
1 month ago

No doubt.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  surferdudes
1 month ago

Alexa: How do you spell “truma”? T-R-A-U-M-A Just kidding Surfer.

fredster
fredster
1 month ago

Yes Mason is a big upgrade over Cappa. Cappa was an average guard. I highlighted the PFF numbers on another thread here “Grinding the tape” where everyone was crying about losing Cappa. You People need to quit worrying about salary. First of all Cappa isn’t being paid more than Mason and Cappa is being overpaid. You all must not watch much football or pay attention. Free agents get overpaid a lot. Especially by teams with big needs like Bengals had on o line. Masons deal from the Pats was 5 years 45 million with 24 million guaranteed. Cappa got 35… Read more »

Horse
Horse
1 month ago

I wonder why Mason moved on from the Patriots. That’s the real story I would like to know. Maybe it was just about the money and nothing else? Anyway, I’m happy. Go Bucs!