FAB 4. Evans Continues Record-Breaking Year For Bucs

Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans has already smashed a few Tampa Bay receiving records this year in what has been one of his greatest seasons in his five-year career.

Not only has Evans made NFL history as only one of three wide receivers to start his career with five straight 1,000-yard seasons – joining Hall of Famer Randy Moss and A.J. Green – he’s also become Tampa Bay’s all-time leading career touchdown receiver and career receiving leader this season.

Evans has 5,907 receiving yards and passed Mark Carrier (5,018) for the Bucs’ career yardage lead earlier this year. Evans surpassed Jimmie Giles’ 34 career TDs earlier this season and now has 37 career touchdowns at the age of 25.

Bucs WR Mike Evans
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

The Big Takeaway
While it will likely take another year for James Wilder’s franchise record of 430 career receptions to fall – Evans has 383 career catches – the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder is currently chasing another Bucs record. He’s just 95 yards away from toppling Mark Carrier’s single season record of 1,422 yards, which was set 29 years ago.

Last year Evans broke the record for most 1,000-yard seasons in Bucs history with four. Now he has the most 1,300-yard receiving seasons with two and is gunning to break the 1,400-yard mark to surpass Carrier.

The Stats That Count
Most Bucs Receiving Yards – Single Season
1. WR Mark Carrier, 1989 – 1,422
2. WR Vincent Jackson, 2012 – 1,384
3. WR Mike Evans, 2018 – 1,328
4. WR Mike Evans, 2016 – 1,321
5. WR Joey Galloway, 2005 – 1,287
6. WR Keyshawn Johnson, 2001 – 1,266
7. WR Antonio Bryant, 2008 – 1,248
8. WR Vincent Jackson, 2013 – 1,224
9. WR Mike Evans, 2015 – 1,206
10. WR Michael Clayton, 2004 – 1,193

2018 NFL Receiving Yardage Leader
1. WR Julio Jones (ATL) 1,511
2. WR Mike Evans (TB) 1,328
3. WR DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) 1,321
4. WR Davante Adams (GB) 1,315
5. WR Tyreek Hill (KC) 1,304

Most Receiving Yards By A Player In His First 5 Seasons
(Since 1970 Merger)   
1. WR Torry Holt (STL, 1999-2003) 6,784
2. WR Randy Moss (MIN, 1998-2002) 6,743
3. WR Jerry Rice (SF, 1985-89) 6,364
4. WR Julio Jones (ATL, 2011-15) 6,201
5. WR A.J. Green (CIN, 2011-15) 6,171
6. WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, 2004-08) 5,975
7. WR Mike Evans (TB, 2014-18) 5,907
8. WR Calvin Johnson (DET, 2007-11) 5,872
9. WR DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, 2013-17) 5,865
10. WR T.Y. Hilton (IND, 2012-16) 5,861

The FABulous Ending
Evans needs just 93 yards to reach 6,000 career receiving yards, in addition to needing 95 to break Carrier’s record. Evans’ assault on the record books has been a product of better yards-after-catch ability this season, evidenced by his career-high 17.9-yard average. Evans’ 1,328 receiving yards this season, a new career high and is currently the third-most in a single season in franchise history.

Bucs WR Mike Evans
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Getty Images

“Mike has aspirations of owning every record – even higher than that,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. “I would just say that if he doesn’t get it this year, he’s (eventually) going to get it.”

Last week in Baltimore, Evans finished the game with four catches for 121 yards, which was his seventh 100-yard receiving game this season and the second-most in a single season in team history. With two more 100-yard games to end the season Evans can break that record, too. He now has 20 career 100-yard receiving games, which extends his franchise record. Soon Evans will have all of Tampa Bay’s receiving records and superlatives.

He’s only 25.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

58 COMMENTS

  1. While I’d have to agree with it being too early to throw around the “bust” label; I wouldn’t be so quick to call others stupid.

    After all, YOU were the author of an article praising Licht as a genius for the Aguayo pick.

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    • …and pounded the table for Johnny Football over Mike Evans.

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  2. Tampa would be so dumb to move on from McCoy next year. After spending the last decade trying to get their defensive line in order, they finally have a legitimate starting four. Don’t blow that up immediately. Especially when they don’t need the cap space. McCoy is still playing at a high enough level.

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  3. It’s time to move on from McCoy, always other options in the draft and he’s injury prone. Can use the cap space for other needs.

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  4. McCoy is underperforming for the salary he makes! Look at our record with him. At 13 million next year the Bucs can get better value at that position for the money. How about this blockbuster trade… the Oakland Raiders and Jon Gruden trade a number 1 pick and a number 3 pick along with David Carr to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston…why not??? McCoy due 13 million, Jameis has a 21 million dollar charge next year and then will require a 100 million plus contract…crazier things have happened! What say you…

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    • you’re worried about ho much Jameis costs and want to trade for a QB who’s due about 30 million this year? Really?

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    • On a side note, adorable dog in your profile pic.

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      • only on this site can you get a down vote for saying someone has a cute dog. Savages. haha

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        • That’s because these vultures breath negativity lol

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  5. Gerald Willis reminds me of a large Warren Sapp.

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    • Agreed. He was a wrecking ball at Miami this year! Would love to see him in pewter. Not sure what round he’s projected for, but him and Vea are building blocks on the line

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  6. I am really weary of the logic that we’re going to lose a game, because the other team needs the win more. Yeah, maybe the Bucs game is a de facto playoff game for Dallas, but you can’t tell me that the game last week wasn’t equally as important. And, the same team that tanked last week is still going to take the field on Sunday.
    Every game should be important– to Dallas and Tampa. Teams used to enjoy playing the role of spoiler and knocking someone out of the playoffs. If Dallas and Tampa players only try for “meaningful” games, then maybe ownership of both teams need to reassess their rosters.

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  7. I would ask McCoy to be like Tom Brady and take less money in order to get better players for the team. Brady only made about half of what he could’ve gotten over his career. McCoy has been making over $10 million/yr since his initial rookie deal before the Rookie Pool was instituted.

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  8. Any chance McCoy renegotiates and wants to finish his career in Tampa? As a ‘Canes fan, I can say that Gerald Willis is a difference maker. I’d look at their three starting LBs coming out as well, Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinkney & Zach McCloud. The Pro Bowi is and will always be a popularity contest. The Bucs will never be a Cowboys or Steelers, popularity-wise… So, don’t get too hyped about that rigged game.

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    • I agreed with the poster above about the same thing. That Miami squad has a few great players that Tampa could use. Gerald Willis and even the CB Johnson would be a huge upgrade.

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  9. They moved on from Warren Sapp after 9 years. Maybe you could say they shouldn’t have but they did and 13 million for a DT in his 10th year might not be worth it. You have a rookie you can develop and that money needs to go elsewhere. Gerald McCoy has been a good Buc. He will go in the Ring of Honor one day but this defense needs a nastier edge to it and he just doesn’t have it. He’s too nice a guy. He apologized to Ben Roethlisberger when he put him on the ground. A nasty DT doesn’t do that. High probability he moves on.

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  10. GMC needs to re-structure his contract but losing him for a some draft pick that could turn out to be the next Alex Cappa is what’s stupid. I for one am in no rush to release GMC so that we can tie up money in Kwon or Donovan Smith at elite LT money. Grimes will walk and clear up about 10, apparently we will let Desean go which clears up another 10 plus the room we have should be plenty. Hell I’m asking Jensen to take a paycut before GMC. Shift some of the top C in football money to an incentive which would require the red head to actually earn a check or pay him like the JAG he has shown himself to be. As for Vea nobody is saying he can’t play what we are saying is that he was not the best player available and did not impact our 2018 like the other OBVIOUS player would have. Sure over 2-3 seasons Licht may have selected a great player but by the time Derwin would have been to maybe 2-3 Pro Bowls. So again theres no need to keep trying to spin what is obvious. He made the wrong pick period. Now maybe if we had selected Rankins instead VHIII some years ago he may have avoided this less than optimal selection but we know how he drafts so who knows. I applaud Jason Licht for drafting a player that would take some years to develop with his job on the line lol it shows how bright he actually is. A guy selecting for his job passes up a Pro Bowl safety to select a DT that needed a trip down to the principals office to get motivated lol, give me a break. The culture here is terrible that’s the problem, prime example is JR Sweezy. Last year he looked average now that hes back in Seattle in a scheme that hes excelled in hes a Pro Bowl alternate lol. Licht loves to acquire players after watching them play well in scheme A then asks them to come here and play in scheme B lol. Cant rid myself of these clowns quick enough!

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    • Unfortunately Jensen has zero reasons to agree to take a pay cut, since his $10M is 2019 is guaranteed. 2020 is a different story however, as the team can move on without any dead money cap hit.

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      • Vinny Curry and his $8M non-guaranteed salary can definitely go too

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        • Considered adding him in as well, but he does offer versatility at both DE and DT and we still need bodies to fill the DL rotation. Jacksonville and Philly are going to have to make quite a few moves to correct their salary caps, so depending on who becomes available maybe a replacement for him can be signed for similar money that offers better production.

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  11. Gerald Willis will be the steal of the draft. Those UM linebackers are all good too. At least one will be available.

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  12. Once again I am ambivalent as to whether McCoy stays or goes.
    The biggest negatives about his are his salary, his lack of nastiness and really his lackluster leadership.
    At the same time he has been a good player but really never hit an apex during his career that made him standout.
    The defensive schemes may have held him back somewhat, but you can’t tell me when it is late in the fourth quarter and the other team is driving for a go ahead score or to pad their lead and the Bucs are in a four rush 7 back zone coverage prevent scheme, that the Bucs are using a scheme to help the LB’s.
    And as many of us saw this season, Smith rarely blitzed the QB so it was just 4 down and try to get the QB.
    I can only remember a few instances over a 9 year career where McCoy made a game changing play.
    Still, at this point, as much as I hate to admit it, I would rather have McCoy back than to resign Smith and his lack of concentration and attention to details.

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  13. Scott, sometimes you have to be blunt with people like you were with the idiots out here who were calling Vea a bust in September and October.
    I congratulate you for that. There is no other way to descibe their football acumen.

    It’s similar to trying to find a kind word to use for liar when Donnie Trump pronounces something.
    You can call it whatever nice word you want, but after a while when it is so common just call him a liar.

    That is what he has been and always will be as he has seen no inclination to change.

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  14. I believe it would be a mistake to cut Gerald McCoy. He is an extremely valuable contributor on defense and a totally known quantity. Who would we replace him with? Maybe we could sign an extremely expensive known quantity and pay him a lot more, only to discover that the new guy just wants to coast for a few years until he retires. We’ve seen that movie before.

    With just one unguaranteed year left on his current contract, I am sure that Gerald would be willing to renegotiate that year’s pay in return for a few more years with the Bucs.

    I’d like to see Gerald continue to mentor Vea. Vea certainly looked like a bust through the first half of the season, but he’s clearly improved. Those who thought and said that weren’t “stupid”. Their perceptions were correct at the tine.

    As for Pro Bowl snubs, we see this all the time with the Bucs. It is because the rest of the league does not respect the Bucs, and with very good reason – we suck most of the time, and this has been going on for a decade now. Two winning seasons out of 10. No playoffs for 11 straight seasons. That sucks, and is completely undeserving of respect. The only way to get respect is to earn respect. There is no other way.

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    • Naplesfan, agree.

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    • if GMC is willing to restructure I’d be on board with him staying on another year as a mentor to Vea, Big T, and whichever new DT we draft.

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  15. Being that 2019 is evidently a strong draft for DT’s, would be great to see McCoy restructure to say $10M and move on from Allen, Gholston and Unrein, which saves another $11M. Bring in another young DT to add in the rotation and let McCoy mentor him for a year and hopefully we’ll have a long-term partner for Vea as well.

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  16. it’s completely irrational to blame McCoy for all of the futility the franchise has experienced in his career, but it is fair to wonder if he has been an enabler of a culture that cares more about life off the field than on. he was brought into the heart of the raheem morris\josh freeman “clubbin’ buccaneers” and although he’s not that type of guy there was a pervasive message of just celebrating the fact that you made it into the league. it feels like a message that he’s carried the torch for, with him often talking about how football is not who he is…that’s fine from a guy who was not anointed the face of the team for so many years. Gerald was not such a guy

    i would not be surprised to see this team get pushed around a little less in a post-McCoy world, even if the drop a notch or two in overall talent

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  17. This draft is LOADED with d tackles. We’ve all been a little tough on Mccoy at times, myself included. However he’s been a part of a losing culture for 13 years and isn’t quite the leader some of us want. I love what hes done in the community and he’s a great guy, but his numbers have dipped and he’s not worth 13 million next year. He’s just not. And not with a draft coming that is this deep at d tackle. If you can trade him for maybe a 3rd, not sure you’d get that , make the move. This team still has a lot of needs that Licht didn’t fill the last couple of years. It would be an end of an era for Mccoy but it’s time to move on, it’s a business. As for pro bowl snubs, it’s just a popularity contest anyways, as Mike got hosed badly.

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  18. Was kind of concerned about next yr’s cap space being only about $13M, but just cutting Grimes, Dotson, Unrein, Spence, Allen, Gholston and Jackson saves another $27M, so things are quite as dire as it seemed. On a side note, would be interesting to see what an all-Samoan DT tandem of Vea and Tu’ikolovatu could do if both were healthy. That’s a lot of beef in the middle.

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    • I was thinking the same thing about Vita and Stevie. Keep McCoy on to mentor those two along, keep him as the “starter” at 3-tech and move him around to the end positions with Vea and Tu’i out there to spell the DE’s. Gerald still gets his snaps, two newer guys get to learn a little more from a tenured player, we get a ton of meat clogging that center artery and the ends stay fresh. He has said in the past he doesn’t want to play end, but if you want that “C” on yoir chest you need to be completely willing to do whatever is in the best interest of your squad

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  19. Personally, and the players probably feel differently, I could care less if any of the Bucs go to the Pro Bowl to risk a permanent injury in a worthless throwaway game.
    We lost Lee Roy Selmon to a career ending back injury due to the Pro Bowl and the Patriots lost a No. 1 draft pick in an even more worthless touch football game in the sand due to the Pro Bowl.
    Thanks for refreshing my memory about when Sheldon Rankins was drafted. At the time, I wanted the Bucs to select him and could have done so instead of feeding the provincial thinking Gator fans.
    But maybe all is not lost with the drafting of Hargreaves.
    Giant fans pretty much considered Apple was a bust but since being drafted by the Saints and being put into a different scheme where he plays more tight press coverage, his play has improved significantly.
    Hopefully the same can happen to Hargreaves now.
    As for McCoy, no one is going to trade for an aging defensive tackle with a $13 million salary. Not even Gruden is that stupid.

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  20. FlBoy84, I don’t have a problem getting rid of any of those players you listed.
    Unrein is gone for sure with concussion problems.
    Gholston never earned his money here except in the year preceding FA. Big surprise.
    We should have said goodbye to Grimes last year.
    Bet here is that Spence stays until at least the end of 2019 training camp. I don’t think he even has a salary cap hit. I know none of the other players you listed do.

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    • The team takes a $650k dead money hit for cutting Spence, but saves another $1.27M in cap space. Kind of indifferent if he stays or goes, though seems a fresh start for him and the team might be an idea. Would think they could salvage a draft pick in a trade considering his status as a 2nd rounder with possible untapped potential. Just doesn’t seem like he’ll reach it here for whatever reason.

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  21. If they move on from McCoy I hope they don’t use the money to extend Kwon, and Smith. Kwon is coming off an ACL, his game depends on speed, not power, or size which he lacks. I’ll catch hell for saying this, but to me he isn’t that good of a MLB. He’s no Ray Lewis, or Keuchly, paying him like he is would be a mistake. The fact that Licht over paid for Jensen, and extended Marpet means we’re going to have to draft a L.T. for salary reasons alone. If we over pay Smith, we’ll have to much cap invested in a line that has under achieved big time. Remember we still need to up grade R.G., and R.T.. Another reason why Licht shouldn’t be retained, he’ll over pay for draft choices he picked like Smith who really aren’t that good. As far as McCoy going, good bye already. He’s been the leader of historically bad defenses since he’s been here.. The Bucs have no chance of winning this weekend, and I wouldn’t put a W down for Atlanta either. Licht, and Koetter will be fired, can’t believe Scott is saying we finish 7-9 there’s a chance they return.

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    • Your definitely not on the wrong side with Kwon. I love his passion but I don’t think he’s top linebacker money. What would the cost of a tag be for him I wonder? Plus if Beckwith comes back, wouldn’t he be better suited for middle linebackers? Interesting off season because the Bucs could still have a bunch of cap once they cut the ton of dead weight from this dream in Desean, Unrein, Gholston, fitz, Grimes, conte, etc.

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  22. Well Scott there really wasn’t much new information in your Fab 5 this week.
    In 10 day season ends for us. I’m waiting with the guessing until then. Heck we’re all usually more wrong than right, but some talk about only their right ones and seem to forget about all their wrong ones.

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  23. Do we rebuild around Jameis Winston? Is Jameis a $23-25 million a year for 4-5 years=$100 million+ QB?

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    • right now he’s playing like one, I just hope his performance continues without any more setbacks

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  24. We know how the pro bowl works. So the team has a losing record, not sure why it’s a big deal to us who makes the team. I dont watch it. Might matter to the players if they get a bonus. And I dont think we can start talking about DT’s in the draft not knowing what defense we are gona be running. Only thing I wana know right now is the draft order and who the coaches are gona be. If you’re not in the playoffs let’s plan for the next year.

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  25. Jason Licht, it’s time to bounce.

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  26. Donovan Smith, you got to go with the GM that brought you.

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  27. Gerald McCoy, it depends on new regime.

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  28. Kwon Alexander, it all depends on that knee baby.

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  29. Carl Nassib, they would be fools to not try you out for one more year.

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  30. Vita Vea, you have a hell of alot to prove to replace Gerald McCoy or anyone at this point and time in your career.

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  31. Gerald McCoy would probably tell you straight up that his biggest disappointment is not every going to the playoffs. Whether he got ten sacks or not, can not compare to always missing the playoffs. Not just this sport but most professional sports are based on getting to the playoffs, starting the second season, and going for the big prize at the end.

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  32. While it would definitely be sad to see McCoy go, that extra $13 million would definitely come in handy. Our D-Line looks pretty solid now with JPP, Vea, and Nassib so adding another DT shouldn’t hurt us that bad. That $13million could go toward Jameis and Kwon’s contracts…and dare I say even D Smith’s (I hate to say it but he may be our best options at the moment.)

    The pro-bowl is a useless popularity contest and therefore I am not concerned with who got snubbed. The reality is that when you play for a losing team, it often doesn’t matter what your stats look like. Although both JPP and Mike are deserving of the honor, it’s not at all surprising to see them not selected. I do agree that the selections should wait till the end of the season though.

    Vea has really come on in the past few games, it seems everything has finally “clicked” for him. Those calling him a bust are mostly the Derwin crowd, but let’s be honest with ourselves…if he was on this team he would NOT be having the kind of season he’s having in Los Angeles with a good defense around him. Vita was drafted to eventually replace McCoy, which could happen as soon as next year. While he hasn’t provided much in the way of splash plays, he has definitely done his job and done it well.

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    • Like all of our other safeties, Derwin James might have gotten hurt and folks quickly would be calling him a bust and saying Licht should have drafted Vea.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if GMC is traded if there is a buyer willing to give up something in return. I always think that most of the time it’s best to retain your own players when their contracts expire. I get that Donovan Smith isn’t Paul Gruber, but he’s not Kenyatta Walker either. If he is allowed to seek employment elsewhere, the LT position would become the # 1 priority in the Draft which means other weak spots don’t get upgraded.

      I never watch the Pro Bowl because it’s not worthy of my attention. The great Paul Gruber, who I noted previously, never made it, yet Tony Mayberry did. Heck, even Trent Dilfer went to Hawaii.

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      • I was a fan when it was held here, as it was the only chance we ever got to see or meet the players in person. Now that it’s gone, I couldn’t care less

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      • I have enjoyed watching James play in LA’s fluid D. He’s played 6 different positions, including Nickle LB. I have thought many times that Mike Smith would have suffocated a great talent. James would have had a hard time shining; though his leadership would have been a huge benefit.

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  33. Gerald is asset he draws a double team and teams run away from him, They run right at JPP and Veta because even when they make the tackles it is for big gains
    and chains keep moving, I watch Ravens run at veta 3 times in a row last week and got 15 yards.
    Gerald is bored no one runs at him

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    • board no one runs at him? Did you not watch the game last week. Or any other week for that matter? You know who’s right next to Vea? Gerald!

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  34. Jason Licht, if you read this and are retained by the Bucs, watch the Army vs. Houston Bowl Game. Make notes on the best Defensive Linemen on the Army team. They were awesome beating Navy. They will have a military obligation and when they are eligible to draft the scouts will have forgotten them. Sign the best of them as undrafted free agents and you will have some great players for the future who normally would be high draft picks. Just a tip.

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  35. I would keep McCoy as long as he takes a pay cut. Move D. Smith to Guard and pay him a one year show me contract. Take Alabama’s LT in the first round. Second round take a DE, and trade Spence to a Three Four team for a third round pick. Get a DT in the third round. Sign a free agent CB. Cut Grimes. Trade Beau Allen, keep Jackson as a deep threat. Restructure Vinny’s contract to backup money. Cut Unrein, train Vea to play FB in goalline Offense.

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    • “Vita up the gut”?

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    • I, too, have wondered if Vita could learn some blocking techniques. That big ‘ol body with that much power and athleticism pancaking the daylights out of a LB would be funny if nothing else

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  36. Its really funny that this article, and a lot of the people commenting, are quick to call for McCoy to be cut because this draft is loaded with Defensive Tackles…..yet are also heaping tons of love on Vita Vea and refuse to acknowledge that it was a stupid pick FOR THE EXACT SAME REASON THAT YOU WANT TO CUT MCCOY.

    This is not about Vea being a “bust”, it’s clearly way too early to call him that and honestly that whole conversation is a straw man constructed by SR (because he’s the one who loves to call others “stupid” while never actually admitting the point that Vea wasn’t a great pick at that time). It’s because the 2019 draft is loaded with D-Line talent and because Licht already committed a portion of their finite resources on Beau Allen/Mitch Unrein.

    I hope that Vea turns out to be great. I also hope that the author actually starts writing with some actual nuance instead of lumping people into wide sweeping categories that are inaccurate. I think Vea has the better odds there

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