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SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.

FAB 1. Tampa Bay’s Offseason Plans Are Revealed

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine and had a lot of revealing things to say about the 2019 Buccaneers.

Reading between the lines and analyzing what was said – and what wasn’t said – here’s what stood out to me – some of which PewterReport.com has reported before over the last several weeks and was confirmed by Licht in Indianapolis.

• Licht and Arians suggested that they would like both defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson to remain in Tampa Bay for the 2019 campaign, but stopped short of definitively declaring that both would be Buccaneers this season. They each used the term “I hope so.”

Well, guess what? They are the ones who determine whether or not McCoy and Jackson are on the roster. Licht and Arians are in control of the team and each had the ability to definitively say that McCoy and Jackson was going to be back – for sure – in 2019 and stopped short of doing that.

McCoy would fit perfectly in Todd Bowles’ one-gap 3-4 scheme – which Licht confirmed would be Tampa Bay’s new base defense – but his $13 million could be cumbersome for the cap-strapped Bucs to keep.

Arians admitted that he had a great conversation with Jackson, who expressed a desire to return to Tampa Bay after meeting with Licht and the new head coach, and loves the speed that Jackson could bring to his offense. But again, there just wasn’t that definitive declaration that Jackson – and his $10 million cap value – will be in red and pewter in 2019 no matter what.

I’m not buying that Jackson is on the Bucs roster by the start of the season. Do not be surprised if Jackson isn’t traded – and it might not happen until after the draft or during training camp.

Arians and Licht both had the chance to say with 100 percent certainty that McCoy and/or Jackson would be in Tampa Bay in 2019 and stopped short of declaring that. That’s telling.

• Barring a surprising development, expect wide receiver Adam Humphries and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander to test the free agent market rather than be re-signed prior to March 13. Both players have expressed a desire to return to Tampa Bay and the Bucs have told each of them that they would them to return – at the right price.

I doubt Humphries returns, despite Arians speaking glowingly about him at the podium. Arians told me off the podium that Chris Godwin would be perfect to play in the slot like Larry Fitzgerald did in Arizona. Arians loves the seam routes and prefers a bigger body playing that role. That might mean that Humphries, who at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds and is too small to be on outside receiver, could be the odd-man out. It’s difficult to justify paying a player who is below Mike Evans, Godwin and tight end O.J. Howard on the Bucs’ target totem pole anything north of $6 million.

Bucs SS M.J. Stewart
Bucs SS M.J. Stewart – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

• M.J. Stewart, the team’s second-round pick from a year ago, will be moving to safety – both strong and free – as I suggested should happen last year when he looked out of place at nickel cornerback due to his limited athleticism. He will be competing with Jordan Whitehead and Justin Evans for playing time.

• The Bucs are waiting for an update on linebacker Kendell Beckwith’s health, and will be receiving that next month. The team is bracing for bad news, which would be that Beckwith’s injury was career-threatening. The guess here is that Beckwith’s career is over and that the Bucs sign a linebacker or two – likely Kevin Minter – in free agency, and then draft another one, especially with Jack Cichy, last year’s sixth-round pick, also recovering from a torn ACL.

• Tampa Bay’s emphasis in free agency will be to try to re-sign its own players first, then sit out the first wave of (high-priced) free agency, and then dabble in the second wave of free agency in April and the third wave of free wave, which happens after the draft. I think the Bucs will be targeting a mid-level veteran guard to serve as a mentor and a place holder for Alex Cappa. Pittsburgh’s Ramon Foster and Arizona’s Mike Iupati will likely come cheap due to the fact that both are over the age of 30, and are names to know.

• Caleb Benenoch was awful at right guard and will move back to right tackle where he will compete with Demar Dotson and ultimately provide depth at that position – not at guard. Cappa will get to compete for playing time at both right guard and right tackle. Tampa Bay will be looking for an eventual replacement for 34-year old Demar Dotson, who could be playing his last season with the Bucs in 2019.

• Tampa Bay’s new coaching staff is excited about Vernon Hargreaves, who will compete at outside press cornerback and inside in the slot, Licht would like to keep him at one spot, but he will try both inside and outside cornerback during the offseason to see where he best fits in the coaches’ minds.

• Ryan Fitzpatrick will not be back in Tampa Bay. He’s an unrestricted free agent and the team won’t re-sign him. Arians said he doesn’t want any possible division in the locker room and wants the entire team behind Winston.

Bucs QB Ryan Griffin - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QB Ryan Griffin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Ryan Griffin, who is also an unrestricted free agent, could be re-signed by the Bucs at the right price, but don’t automatically expect him to be Winston’s primary backup. If Griffin, who has zero playing experience in the regular season, is re-signed, that would not preclude the Bucs from drafting a quarterback or acquiring another one to compete for the right to be the No. 2 QB.

Keep an eye on Drew Stanton, a former Cardinals quarterback under Arians, who may be the odd man out in Cleveland. Arians likes to have veteran quarterbacks who know his system on the staff to help teach the younger quarterbacks.

• Arians gushed about running back Peyton Barber. Between Barber and Ronald Jones, who he is excited to work with and feels needs a confidence boost, this tells me that the Bucs likely won’t be pursuing a starting-caliber running back in free agency, especially due to the fact that they signed former Cardinals running back Andre Ellington. They may draft another running back, but I doubt they will go after a free agent rusher.

• Licht said that they are still deciding what to do with Barber’s restricted free agent tender. Expect the Bucs to tender him with second-round draft pick level compensation, which would be a one-year deal worth approximately $3 million in 2019. The Bucs may also look at doing a long-term contract extension with Barber like they did with tight end Cameron Brate last year when he was a restricted free agent – although nowhere near as expensive at $7 million per year.

• Arians also gushed about Vita Vea, as did Licht, who noted that he has position flexibility to play in a 3-4 scheme like he did at Washington playing nose tackle, three-technique and five-technique – or that Vea could become one of the best playmaking noses in the league.

• Licht indicated that the previous coaching staff didn’t embrace Noah Spence’s skill set because he didn’t have the ideal size and length, but that Spence’s size and speed off the edge make him a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker than a 4-3 defensive end.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson
Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

• Arians has dealt with players that like to do their own thing when it comes to training in the offseason, such as Jackson, before and wants every veteran to take part in the voluntary mini-camps and OTAs to learn the system.

• Arians spoke highly of McCoy’s ability to pressure the pocket and rush the passer from the inside. He said good inside pressure creates sacks for the outside rushers. You can bet that the Bucs will draft at least one interior defensive lineman in this year’s draft – possibly at No. 5 overall.

• “Hopefully No. 2 never plays. Tom Moore had the best saying ever when he was here in Indy with Peyton. Somebody asked him why the No. 2 guy never gets any reps. He said, ‘It would be shitty and we don’t coach shitty.’”

• Arians’ idea of having multiple practices going on dates back to college when he was an assistant at Alabama under Paul “Bear” Bryant, who had four groups of players practicing on four different practice fields at the same time in an attempt to rapidly develop young players with increased reps. Tampa Bay will hold two different practices at the same time during the OTAs and Arians said that today’s young players are less fundamentally ready coming into the league than they were years ago.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

This is why Arians has always wanted a big coaching staff. Instead of paying one assistant $450,000, he would rather have two assistants making $200,000 apiece. More assistant coaches lead to smaller classroom sizes, and the team doesn’t have to stay on the field as long. The increase of reps with two practices cuts down the amount of practice time needed, which is important in Tampa Bay to do the oppressive heat and humidity and the constant chance for rain during the summer.

Arians said the double practices would consist of two 7-on-7 sessions – one on each field – as well as blitz drills where the coaches can constantly gauge the progress of players.

• “We have what I call an accountability board where every meeting starts with every penalty and every missed assignment. If you are on there too much, you’re either not smart enough or you don’t give a shit. Your give-a-shit meter better be real high if they’re going to make our team.”

• “I think all of us – in any work force – the fear of losing your job might be No. 1, then you try to do the best job you can. But don’t get first. Every player should have that fear.”

“Yeah, a lot of them are coddled,” Arians said. “Starting today, who are the ones that have been silver-spooned, you know? Every one of them can learn. It’s just finding out how they learn. I can’t be as critical on this guy as I can on this guy, because he can take it.

• Arians suggested that the Bucs will be drafting speed on defense to compete with the other teams the NFC South. Although he didn’t mention players by name, Arians was surely thinking about Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in Atlanta, Christian McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore in Carolina and Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas in New Orleans.

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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]

48 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like the Bucs are not panicking. Their three step plan is sound.
    1. Keep the players who are performing.
    2. Don’t sign any high priced free agents.
    3. Trade down and get as many picks as possible.

    I think the Bucs could end up with nine or more picks easily.
    Trade down with Washington or Miami. Both will overpay since each desperately needs a QB. We could trade number five for a mid first, a second, a third, a late round pick and a high pick for next year. We could possibly get a second from Jacksonville for moving up two slots, but I prefer trading with Washington or Miami, because we get more picks that way and I can’t see there being as much interest in jumping to number seven.
    If we trade down with Washington or Miami, I suspect we might be able to trade down a second time with New England or Oakland. Maybe. Then we could end up with a first round pick or even two first round picks, three or four picks in second, two or three picks in the third, a fourth, two fifths and a seventh and a high pick for next year.
    I can dream.
    I really hope Bucs figure out a way to keep Humphries. Not looking too possible right now, but maybe it’ll work out.
    Go Bucs!

    +19
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    Rating: +17. From 21 votes.
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    • What QB will be there at 5? Kyler Murray is going #1 to Arizona. Giants will pay the price to move up to #2 to get Haskins. Arizona will dump Josh Rosen for draft capital. My guess would be to New England. New England was just awarded 2 additional 3rd round picks and they have 12 total picks in 2019.

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      • I could only pray this happens because then you’ll either have Bosa, Allen, or Williams at our selection. I don’t think you could possible trade back if any of those three were a available.

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        • In 2016 Joey Bosa, Ezekial Elliott and Jalen Ramsey were widely considered the top 3 players in the draft.

          LA traded #15, #43, #45, #76, and their 2017 1st & 3rd round picks to Tennessee to acquire #1 and drafted Jared Goff.

          Philly traded from #8, #77, #100, their 2017 1st round pick and their 2018 second round pick to Cleveland to acquire #2 and drafted Carson Wentz.

          Goff and Wentz have both been to Superbowl. Wentz was injured for the Eagles playoff run, but has a ring. I think most would agree, neither of those guys are Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees.

          Bosa, Elliott, and Ramsey have all been great players and lead their teams to the playoffs, but QB’s get drafted first. It happens every year. There really is no shock in it anymore.

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          Rating: +3. From 7 votes.
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  2. I cannot imagine with what we have heard about Arians and what we know about Licht’s love for high-motor guys that they would even consider Rashan Gary. His tape is absolutely awful. He may well have a great combine, but that athleticism rarely shows up on film.

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  3. I keep reading about Fitzpatrick splitting the locker room last year because of his play but the only player I remember saying anything about it was the diva Jackson.
    Someone correct me if I`m wrong.
    I know Jacson thinks he is the team, but he is only one player who doesn’t run good routes, doesn’t fight for the ball and pretty much gives up in a game he isn’t highlighted in.

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    Rating: +17. From 21 votes.
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    • I also noted how DJAX does not fight for the ball or give the extra effort to prevent long throws from turning into interceptions.

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      Rating: +4. From 6 votes.
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    • It’s primarily due to the fact that there were some players, and fans, calling for Fitzpatrick to play when Jameis first took the starter’s role back. The new staff is all in on Winston for 2019 and they do not want any division in the locker room. That comment was not intended, I’m certain, to mean Fitz was causing turmoil through His words and/actions

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      Rating: +6. From 6 votes.
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  4. In the spirit of BucAssBob., I think it is a good idea to pay a secondary TE who didn’t catch more than 30 balls last year $7 mill and not at least offer your second leading WR the same amount of money who caught over twice as many throws.
    Good thinking.
    And when did anyone ever see The Hump shirk from going over the middle. Hell that is where he makes his living.
    I like Brate, but this team doesn’t have the luxury of paying a secondary TE $7 mill in an offense that is probably veering away from two TE sets.

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    Rating: +5. From 17 votes.
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    • And if OJ is hurt in the preseason or week 1 and goes on IR(yet again)? Now Brate has at least 70 catches for 852 yards with 8 TDs. He plays hurt. He is a part of the solution, not a problem.

      Brate has more TD’s over the last 3 years than any TE in the NFL. If they lose Brate, Humphries and Jackson, I wouldn’t expect the offense to be the same.

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      Rating: +6. From 12 votes.
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  5. I have no idea what I’m talking about so bear with me as I try to solve what is clearly a salary cap problem for the Bucs! Please feel free to offer suggestions/corrections as you think are warrantied.

    If I heard right Tuesday at the Combine when Licht and Arians held pressers, the Bucs want to keep McCoy, DJax. and Donovan Smith among others. The Bucs have 16mil in cap space and will need a 9mil rookie pool (OTC). Mike Greenberg is the best capologist in the NFL, but he’s no magician! So sumpin’s gotta give!!!!! Here’s my take!

    WR Desean may be talked up now but I think the Bucs are angling for a trade that may not happen until draft night. But one way or another he has got to go. Add 10mil to the salary cap.

    DT Gerald McCoy needs to be traded or restructured but not cut. Ndamukong Suh drafted 1 spot ahead of McCoy has been traded twice and will test the market again this year. He is owed a 14mil base salary. The Bucs must either trade McCoy and put 13mil in cap space or restructure him 8mil base with term guarantees and incentives for sacks/pro bowl/games played and put 5mil into cap space. The Bucs don’t like to restructure because it may lessen the player’s drive to perform. If I recall correctly the only time the Bucs have restructured was TE Brandon Myers.

    While we’re on the subject of restructures, the Bucs don’t like them because they often create dead money. But some are safe restructures because the player has a high probability of playing out his contract. WR Mike Evans is going to be here. Mike is owed a 20mil base salary in 2019. If Mike is given an 8mil roster bonus reducing his average salary to 12mil and spread his bonus over the duration of his contract, 8mil can be added to cap space. DT Calais Campbell just did this with the Jacksonville Jags.

    There are other cuts that can be made:

    Beau Allen 3.5mil
    Mitch Unrein 3.75mil
    William Gholston 3.75mil
    Bryan Anger 3mil
    Evan Smith 2.0mil
    5 players @ .750 2.5mil
    —————
    Total other 18.5mil

    Let’s summarize Cap Space possibilities:

    Current Cap Space 16mil
    Desean Jackson 10mil
    McCoy Restrucure 5mil
    Evans Restructure 8mil
    Other Possible Cuts 18.5mil
    ———
    Total Cap Space possible 57.5mil

    Keep in mind the Bucs do not have to make decisions on Jackson or McCoy before free agency begins (would be nice). NFL teams are allowed to spend over the cap during the offseason, but must be in compliance before the first day of the first week of the regular season. There is money available. It up to the Bucs to decide how they acquire it and how they spend it! Go Bucs!

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    Rating: +23. From 27 votes.
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    • I think you know exactly what you are talking about. Heck, I wish you’d submit a battle plan to pewter.
      Good ideas on cap room.
      Do you see the Bucs keeping Humphries?

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      • Pete, I think they will try. My understanding is that Humphries has asked for 8mil. Maybe this is a case of shoot for the moon and land among the stars. The only comp that comes to mind is 3 x Superbowl winner and Superbowl MVP Julian Edelman. Perhaps this is an unfair comp and it says more about Belichick, but Edelman in under contract for 5.5mil/yr.

        If Humphries is willing to take a similar contract, I think he has a good chance of being re-signed. Otherwise he is probably going to be allowed to test free agency. I like Hump, I hope they can work something out, but they shouldn’t overpay.

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        Rating: +14. From 16 votes.
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        • Why would they keep Humphries? He doesn’t fit in BA’s offense and he’s about to get top money with a weak WR free agency class. He will get 8-10 million from Indy, Denver, etc.

          On top of that, you think Tampa will just dump Desean Jackson for nothing when he DOES fit into a major role in a Bruce Arians offense and is priced cheap. If they cut Desean, I bet he commands 12-14mil/year on a 2 or 3 year agreement in this current free agent market.

          It just doesn’t make any sense.

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          Rating: -12. From 14 votes.
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          • Bright side to losing Humphries and Kwon. They will both earn Tampa compensatory picks in the 2020 draft if they sign elsewhere.

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            Rating: +8. From 10 votes.
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        • Mac, pretty good analysis. I too am concerned about the low cap available at this point ; this reasoning could be directly pointed towards Licht.
          I’m not a fan of passing debt along to a future season.
          I’m more in favor of offering less or they can go somewhere else. I would remind them if their offer isn’t accepted and they come back later with okay we’ll take your offer, it might be less than what was offered before.
          What do you think?

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          Rating: +3. From 5 votes.
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          • And you are not alone Horse. The Bucs adhere religiously to pay-as-you-go. Remember that restructures are not always pay cuts. They can be pay advances. In the case of Mike Evans, it isn’t any more or any less. It only becomes dead money when the player is no longer here and it is still on the books. It is simply a means to an end allowed by the NFL. I doubt that the Bucs would do it since it has not historically been their practice. I really don’t think we’re going to have much of a first wave free agency, so please tell our Buc fans not to yell and scream when other teams are signing players and we appear to be sitting on our hands. No problem! Go Bucs!

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            Rating: +5. From 7 votes.
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        • I believe DJAX is gone sooner or later. Sooner meaning via a trade during the draft. Later meaning a trade or cut afterwards.

          I expect Hump to be gone for higher pay.

          I expect GMAC to return with a restructured contract. I believe he wants a chance to compete in a playoff situation with a long shot for a Superbowl ring here. I believe he wants to retire straight out as a Buc, not after a return, one-day signing.

          I believe Kwon Alexander will end up with a one-year “prove your value” contract and hope for a postponed payoff next year, here or elsewhere.

          For what it’s worth. Does any of this seem feasible?

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          Rating: +4. From 4 votes.
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          • Sure it does! We are all guessing at this point. As they say “your guess is as good as mine”. lol. Hopefully we know some things for sure after March 13th. But as I stated, the Bucs have the entire offseason to settle some of these issues. Let’s hope that it is sooner!

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            Rating: +4. From 6 votes.
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    • I wouldn’t count on restructures at all. Licht recently said he didn’t believe in restructuring players contracts because then they give less effort.

      He did restructure Sweezy after Sweezy missed his entire first year with a back injury and surgery. He basically reworked a 2016 $32.5m/5yr deal into a 4 year deal worth approx $20 mil with no dead cap money if he’s cut for health reasons. Sweezy was cut after 2017, recovered and played well last year for Seattle for 1.9mil.

      It didn’t work out with Sweezy but overall it’s smart. Players will get their money if they perform. If they don’t perform they can be released and there are no cap hits or dead cap money. You risk losing trust if you’re always going back to players and asking for money back. Plus if a player exceeds his value year 1 of a new deal, they will always be asking for a better deal. It sets a bad precedent both ways.

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      Rating: -2. From 12 votes.
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      • Thumbs down all you want, but I’m 100% correct. No Doubts!!

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        Rating: -3. From 9 votes.
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  6. Man, if Arians was a woman I’d be falling in love. He just knows all the right things to say and I believe in him and his drive. This guy knows what blocks he has to build here or he never would’ve came. Excited for the draft and the season already. Go Bucs!!!

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    Rating: +16. From 16 votes.
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  7. Trading down would be a great draft strategy if we had a GM who was better at drafting.

    +7
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    Rating: 0. From 14 votes.
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    • Even if you have a GM who isn’t great at drafting, trading down still makes sense. It spreads out risk. The fewer the number of picks the more a team puts its eggs in one basket.

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      Rating: +12. From 12 votes.
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  8. Simms, seriously…what does a spleen even do? I lost my keys at RayJay once, now that was an issue. Thanks as always SR for a Friday full of bits to chew on. Thanks Bucs fans for posting w/ thought. Keeps me thinking and giving SR something to use. (Mac, Flyboy…y’all know who you are.) Just because I think it’s getting swept under the rug, why do we not care about 2ndary in Tampa? Does EVERYBODY have Julio on their Fantasy? What I’m hearing is, 1) they’re healthy now. 2) We’ve already picked some corners 3) the scheme will fix it. Didn’t we do this already? VHIII is short & slow. He loves to hit and gets hurt a lot in the process. Our long 2nd rounder is a safety now. People eyeing the Honey Badger, & I love his heart, but how is he not going to get dogged by the physical specimens in the NFC South. Is he putting Cam down 1 on 1 open field? Or winning a jump ball against Julio in the red? Dline is awesome on game day, but we’re talking Playoffs. Tom can get that ball out before the rush gets there. He just schooled Donald. Pats win when they are stout in the 2ndary. Remember Talib? He’s got a ring. They lose when they’re not. We need length, speed, athleticism & a baseball or basketball background. I don’t believe we have a legit starting CB on this team. It’s not just a need, it’s a huge gaping hole that keeps us sub .500 for another season. Just a thought from a fan.

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    • I agree with some of your thoughts. Question? Can you name any secondary player for Chicago? How about San Diego? Pittsburgh? Baltimore? No need to google it, just off the top of your head? I honestly could not think of a corner or safety for any of those teams. They all had great defenses last year and run a 3-4.

      Fundamentally, it starts up front on defense.

      +3
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      • Kyle Fuller from V Tech plays for Chicago. Maybe you saw him at the Pro Bowl?

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        Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
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  9. I’m hoping we get somebody to trade down. I doubt any player at 5 would be more advantageous to the Bucs than picking up more picks.

    I really love Brate and Hump but both are luxuries Bucs can’t afford imo. I do worry if Howard goes down though the other TE on this roster are big drop down in pass catching for sure.

    Jackson is toast for sure. No way they pay that moron 10 million to run his big mouth. He’s not worth it anyways and he doesn’t fight for ball. He’s a diva for sure. Head are too imo.

    McCoy would be nice to have another year or two if they can afford it. Lot tough decisions this year.

    I’m so excited to finally have a real coaching staff here! It’s been what sinceGruden left well over 10 years of joke coaches. Koetter wasn’t ready either. I wanted him over smith but I was on fence with him actually 2 years ago.

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    Rating: +6. From 8 votes.
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  10. Current State of the Buccaneers

    Currently the Bucs are at about $16 million in cap space according to overthecap.com after releasing Vinny Curry.

    Tampa’s offense finished 1st in passing(320.3 yds/game), 3rd in total yards (415.5/game), but 12th in points scored (24.8/game) and 29th in rushing(95.2yds/game). The passing attack was potent when it had to be and there’s talent is everywhere except right guard. With renewed focus on running the ball from run game coordinator Harold Godwin and an upgrade to the right side of the offensive line, the Bucs will be more balanced.

    On defense, the Bucs allowed a league worst 110.9 QB passer rating to opposing QB’s last year. Tampa finished 31st in points allowed (29.0/game), 27th in total yards allowed (383.4/game), 26th in passing yards allowed (259.4/game), and 24th in rushing yards allowed (123.9/game). The Bucs finished 31st in turnover ratio (-18) and tied for 26th(9) in interceptions.

    The priority this offseason is on balancing the offense and rebuilding the defensive front seven. Bruce Arians deserves to keep the pieces he needs to employ his system to win now.

    The new scheme under Todd Bowles calls for 3-4 one gap penetrating style with pressure from the front seven. After reviewing his depth chart from the 2018 NY Jets, he has a front seven that consists of: LDE, NT, RDE, ROLB, RILB, LILB, LOLB.

    The success of the scheme is predicated on pressure and disruption up front. It all starts up front with blitzes and pressures coming from anyone in the front seven, but especially in the QB’s face up the middle. Pressure up front creates opportunities for turnovers on the back end and Tampa’s young secondary grows up in a big way in 2019. Carl Nassib went out in coverage with RB’s a few times last year with success. His height and awareness make him a great candidate to tip passes near the line of scrimmage, especially as a stand up LOLB. While most speculate JPP in a stand up role at ROLB, he excels with his hand in the dirt and will line up as a RDE or 5 Tech.

    Trades

    The Bucs are widely expected to shop veterans Gerald McCoy and Desean Jackson. They buck the conventional wisdom and keep the best “smoke” player in the NFL last year(#1 YPC) for Arians scheme with D.Jax returning at a bargain rate of $10 million. They do trade GMC and his $13 million salary to Buffalo for a 6th round pick(#181). This puts the Bucs cap space at $29 million.

    Cuts

    To make room for the players being targeted in free agency, the Bucs release Unrein($3.75m), Anger($3m), E. Smith($2m), Pat O’Conner($600k), Tanner Hudson($600k), Sergio Bailey($495k). This gives the Bucs $39.45m in cap space.

    The team may move on from Kendall Beckwith after suffering a non football injury. His salary of $844k will go back to the cap if released. This would increase the cap to $40.29 million if released.

    Unrestricted Free Agents

    Adam Humphries, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jacquizz Rodgers, Kwon Alexander, Devante Bond, Garrison Sanborn, Michael Liedtke are not retained.

    LT Donovan Smith – $11.5 mil ($46 mil/4yrs. 2 yrs guaranteed)

    Ryan Griffin $1.25 mil ($2.5 mil/2yrs)

    Adarius Taylor – $1.5 mil

    Kevin Minter – $1 mil

    Cairo Santos – $1 mil

    Restricted Free Agents

    Exclusive Rights Free Agent I. Johnson not retained.

    RB Peyton Barber – $3m/1yr

    CB Javien Elliott – $1 mil/1yr

    Free Agents

    CJ Mosley 9.5 mil ($38 mil/4yrs. 2 yrs guaranteed) – The leader of the 3-4 defense. He brings experience in this attacking system from perennial powerhouse Baltimore.

    Mario Edwards – $1 mil

    Draft

    Rookie pool expected to be approx. $9 million according to ESPN.

    #1 AZ Kyler Murray. Trades Josh Rosen to New England for their 3rd round compensatory picks.

    #2 NYG(trade SF) Dwayne Haskins. Outbids Jacksonville to move up and draft NJ native and eventual Eli Manning replacement.

    #3 OAK(trade NYJ) Nick Bosa. Moves up one spot to secure Khalil Mack’s replacement.

    #4 NYJ Quinnen Williams. Clean player, highly productive, perfect need and BPA.

    #5 BUCS DE Josh Allen-Kentucky. Trading down is always an option, but this DE could be best in class and if he’s there, you take him.

    Rd 2 #39 – OG Chris Lindstrom-Boston College

    Rd 3#70 – CB Amani Oruwariye-Penn State

    Rd 4 #107 – OLB/ILB Te’Von Coney-Notre Dame

    Rd 5 #145 – RB Daryl Henderson – Memphis

    Rd 6 #181 (from Buffalo) – C/LS Alex Eberle – Florida State

    Rd 7 #215 – P AJ Cole – NC State

    53 Man Roster

    QB(2)

    Jameis Winston, Ryan Griffin

    RB(5)

    Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones II, Daryl Henderson, Andre Ellington, Shaun Wilson

    Wide Receivers(5)

    Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, Chris Godwin, Justin Watson, Bobo Wilson

    Tight Ends (4)

    Cam Brate, OJ Howard, Austin Auclair, Donnie Ernsberger

    Offensive Lineman(9)

    LT Donovan Smith, LG Ali Marpet, C Ryan Jensen, RG Chris Lindstrom, RT Demar Dotson, RT Caleb Benenoch, RG Alex Cappa, OL Cole Boozer, OG Ruben Holcolmbe

    Defense

    LDE(3)-William Gholston, Beau Allen, Demone Harris(LDE/RDE depth)

    NT(2)-Vita Vea, Stevie To’ikolovatu

    RDE(2)-JPP, Mario Edwards

    LOLB(2)- Carl Nassib, Te’Von Coney

    LILB(2) – CJ Mosley, Adarius Taylor

    RILB (2) – Lavonte David, Kevin Minter

    ROLB(3)- Josh Allen, Noah Spence

    CB(5) – Carlton Davis II, Amani Oruwariye, Vernon Hargreaves III, Ryan Smith, Jadavion Elliott

    SS/FS(4) – Whitehead, Justin Evans, A. Adams, MJ Stewart

    K – Cairo Santos

    P – AJ Cole

    LS – Alex Eberle

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    • I know everyone hates D.Jax and LOOOOVVVVES Gerald McCoy. I know the GM and Coach said the right things this week when asked about how they fit in the future. How McCoy is the ideal 3 tech. How D.Jax wants to be in Tampa.

      Try to be objective for a minute. A look at history from Bowles and Arians…

      If the Bucs play in the 3-4 that Bowles ran last year in NY, he will have
      ……..LDE….NT…..RDE…….
      ..LOLB..LILB….RILB..ROLB..

      ….Gholston…..Vea……..JPP….
      Nassib…Mosley…..David….Josh Allen

      That is a front seven that can attack. That protects the secondary from trying to cover too long and getting exposed. They can press and hold it for 5 seconds before someone gets home. And JPP is a guy that plays with his hand in the ground. He isn’t a coverage player. He will get exposed by a TE or RB in coverage. Why change him? He’s GOOD at getting to the passer! He is a RDE in a 3-4.

      As far as D.Jax? I’ve said it on here plenty that D.Jax is a round hole and Winston is a square peg..In Koetter’s offense. The thing is, Bruce Arians has always employed a “Smoke” WR. D.Jax was the #1 Yard Per Catch(YPC) WR last year.

      Doesn’t the new coach deserve the players he needs? He has the best in the NFL right now. I have no doubt that the right compensation will lead to a trade, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the player he covets remains with the team.

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      • Josh Allen is probably a pipe dream, but man would it be sweet.

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        • I think Bosa, Q.Williams, or Allen will be there at 5. I have no doubt. I would bet the farm on QB going 1 and 2.

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  11. Kind of disturbing hearing Licht say that Benenoch is a RT after wasting a whole year of development at RG, and Spence is a better fit as a 3-4 OLB. Either Koetter and Co. disregarded Licht’s desire to see Benenoch at RT or he just sat aimlessly by and let the staff play guys out of position. And if we’re now just figuring out Spence is a 3-4OLB (what most thought anyway), why waste a 2nd round pick on one when you’re running a 4-3 D and Nassib, Ngakoue, and Kaufusi were still on the board. I’m no draft expert and like Licht’s overall body of work, but troubling comments nonetheless.

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  12. If what I’m reading is true and Bruce Arians doesn’t want Fitzpatrick as a second string quarterback in the locker room my question is who’s going to win the other two games for them to get to 5 and 11

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  13. If Jameis Winston was a good quarterback why would there be a division in the locker room anyway it makes sense to get rid of the better rated quarterback if you have a division in the locker room the moron thing said just keep coming by this general manager also starting to wonder about the Bruce Arians is he really saying this stuff or is he just lying through his teeth like he did the first day he got here talking about how much respect he had for the glazers

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    • Mccoy and the defense stunk last year. Check out the rankings above. Winston needs a running game and a defense. He’ll be fine.

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  14. Yeah right big sombrero I’ve been hearing this crap for 4 years

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    • You’re a numbers guy…The defense was really bad last year. With Mike Smith, after Mike Smith, whatever. Buckner said the only guys on the defensive line that were special were JPP and Vea. That’s it.

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    • On defense, the Bucs allowed a league worst 110.9 QB passer rating to opposing QB’s last year. Tampa finished 31st in points allowed (29.0/game), 27th in total yards allowed (383.4/game), 26th in passing yards allowed (259.4/game), and 24th in rushing yards allowed (123.9/game). The Bucs finished 31st in turnover ratio (-18) and tied for 26th(9) in interceptions.

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  15. Im praying the Bucs trade back and get Jachai Polite. He will be a sack monster in the right system.

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  16. Good report Scott; I enjoyed it. Lots to think about. I am not a fan of small DB’s; I hope we make some corrections there.

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  17. Buc-ass-Bob, is there any chance you can post anything other then hatred towards the starting QB? Do you not sleep at night with your hatred towards Winston? Your a broken record dude who can’t stop with the same shit over and over and over again.

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    • skipper, there actually IS a chance of it. In fact, I’ve seen it. Sometimes dude talks about something else and ….. Nope, nevermind. He’s still an incoherent rambler

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  18. Let’s not forget the use didn’t pursue Drew Breed in FA because they had Simms which was cheese stupidity on the part of Gruden and Allen.
    Later on, when Gruden tried to pursue Brett Farvs when he had Jeff Garcia, he was skewered by the press for not showing any loyalty to Garcia
    That showed me the intelligence of the local press Corp.
    Winston could win the Super Bowl next year 42 -0 and run and throw for all six scores and BucAssBob would still find something wrong with his game because his hatred of Winston runs so deep.

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  19. I definitelly liked that Devin Bush guy way over the LSU guy. I started seeing it a little bit with the LSU linebacker(forgetting his name), but certainly not at pick 5. Now, I’m absolutely against drafting that LSU linebacker at 5.

    Likwise, before I saw the Byron Murphy video, I liked the Deandre Baker guy better than Greedy.

    I also like Darrel Henderson more than Ronald Jones.

    All this is very annoying because I’d try to solidify the DL and OL. This years Ol doesn’t look nearly as exciting as the DL. I’d get a De and a Dt with the first two picks. The Bucs can even trade down and get a good De and Dt in this years draft . With our star De and Dt getting well past just 30 years old, I’d try to make a complete set of dline.

    Honestly, I’ve never been that high on McCoy. He’s more talent than football player. There’s at least one name not mentioned here.

    Honestly, I’m split between Darrel Henderson, who I really like even over Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber. I’ve supported and liked Barber, and believe Ronald can be a good speed back complement, but I think Henderson is a hands down better back than the both. We can probably still trade down and almost certainly get either a Dt or De in the second. Shoot, we could trade back up into the second and get a good De and Dt in the second round, this after getting Darrel Henderson in the first . . .

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    • Check that, stick with Ronald Jones, trade down a little, draft Devin Bush, and Khalin Saunders in the second, and best player available after that.

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      • Well, I guess I can see how Khalen Saunders could fall.

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  20. Well, I guess I can see how Khalen Saunders could fall.

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