FAB 2. Evans, David, Dotson Show Loyalty

College football has the transfer portal where players that don’t like their situation can transfer to another team these days.

But did you know that the NFL has its own transfer portal, too?

It’s called Twitter and Instagram where players can go online and unfollow their own team and spout off about their unhappiness.

In some ways, I think Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was right when he was railing about millennials last year. We seem to be living in a front-runner society with an entitled generation that received participation trophies and seems like it wants to bail at the first sign of adversity when the going gets tough rather than to stay and fight.

There was a report on ProFootballTalk.com that multiple Dolphins players wanted out of Miami after a 59-10 loss to Baltimore on opening day. Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was the team’s first-round draft pick just last year, was traded to Pittsburgh this past week as a result. There could be more Dolphins leaving Miami soon.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey looks like he’s going the insubordinate player route to get his way out of Jacksonville. He might have played his last game in Duval County on Thursday night.

WR Antonio Brown
WR Antonio Brown – Photo by: Getty Images

The “insubordinate play” was a move that wide receiver Antonio Brown gave a master class on this summer in Oakland after being acquired in a trade for Pittsburgh between his frostbitten feet, his unreasonable helmet squabble to bailing on training camp practices and drawing fines of $215,000. The Raiders traded a third- and fifth-round picks for Brown during the offseason, then gave him a significant raise when he joined the team.

According to OverTheCap.com, Brown had three years left on his deal worth $38.925 million at the time of the trade. As a condition of the trade, Brown had his salary increased to $50.125 million with $30.125 million guaranteed.

But once he got to Oakland and saw that there wasn’t much talent and that the Raiders likely wouldn’t contend for the playoffs he leveled up on the insubordinate routine to finagle his release. Just hours after the Raiders cut him, New England swooped in and signed him to a one-year deal worth $9 million with a $20 million team option in 2020. The Raiders traded away third- and fifth-round picks for nothing, and are left without a star receiver.

Former Bucs wide receiver DeSean Jackson was vocal about his displeasure last year, stating that he didn’t want to be in Tampa. The Bucs wisely traded him in the offseason.

There are some NFL players that become malcontents unless everything is perfect, which means they have gotten paid top dollar, their team is winning, and if they are on offense they are getting the ball enough. If one or more of those things aren’t happening they want out.

Bucs LB Lavonte David– Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs LB Lavonte David– Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Yet Lavonte David isn’t like that.

Neither is Demar Dotson, who is in his 11th year in Tampa Bay.

The same could be said for Mike Evans.

All three long-time Buccaneers have had their chance at free agency and the opportunity. None of them – not even Gerald McCoy, who spent nine years in Tampa Bay – spouted off to the media despite the continued losing. None unfollowed their team. Neither David, nor Dotson nor Evans has requested or demanded a trade.

All have decided to stay in Tampa Bay to fight to turn the Bucs’ ship around. The same could be said of left guard Ali Marpet and left tackle Donovan Smith, both of whom just re-signed with the team over the past year.

“No, I’ve never thought about leaving,” David said. “I just take what’s given to me and I want to be the best player I can be. I don’t take this stuff for granted. Any day it can be taken away from me. Obviously, I want to be a part of a winner, but I’m the kind of guy that when I commit to something I’m going to stick to it. That’s what I’m going to try to do. I can’t look ahead into the future. I’m only concentrating on this season and hopefully making the playoffs because I feel like we’ve got something special going on here.

“We’ve been through some good times, and we’ve been through some bad times here. We’ve got a lot of guys here that want to be part of the turnaround and do something great – not only for this organization, but for this city – that hasn’t been done in a long time.”

Bucs tackle Demar Dotson - Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire
Bucs tackle Demar Dotson – Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

No players drafted in Tampa Bay have ever been to the postseason. Dotson, the longest tenured Buccaneer hasn’t played in a single playoff game. But this core group of Bucs wanted to be the ones leading the culture change in Tampa Bay.

“No, they didn’t want to leave at all,” Bond said. “Mike is a humble guy and we’ve got a lot of guys like that in this locker room, including Lavonte. I’ve been here for a few years. You want everybody to buy in and be all in for the team. Some guys aren’t like that, but it’s not like that here. Our core guys have all bought in and that really helps.”

Evans didn’t think of living Tampa Bay before he signed his contract extension last year.

“Some guys feel like their time is done in other places,” Evans said. “For me, I don’t feel like my time is done here. That’s why I wanted to get an extension. It wasn’t about the money. The money is awesome, but I wanted to stay here with my teammates like Jameis [Winston] and C.G. (Chris Godwin) and try to be a part of the change and bringing that winning culture back to Tampa. I feel like we’re off to a great start. We just have to keep it going.”

Bucs WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

David understands why some NFL players bitch and moan to get out of their situations, but that’s not the way it is in Tampa Bay – in part because of his leadership and the willingness of others to remain in red and pewter.

“It’s freedom of speech, I guess,” David said. “But if people aren’t happy in their situations why not wait and try to turn it around? Some people just want to get out of their situation and go to a better situation. I respect every athlete. I’m an athlete and I know what they’re going through. I know losing can be mentally draining and it can be tough. But it shows toughness to stick it out.”

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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]

27 COMMENTS

  1. The article is incorrect, Jalen is playing his 4th season this year and his 5th year option was exercised and is roughly 13M next season.

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  2. NO WAY!!! this guy is cancer. Plus Licht will get rolled and give up too much

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  3. IF..our organization was truly smart, They would have traded or acquired a DE when JPP went down. We need to augment our pass rush and kick it up a notch. We don’t need Ramsey. Chemo has no effect on him.

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    • *cough taco charlton cough just passed on him cough cough *

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      • Didn’t want a 🌮 Taco and a Nacho on the same team. Lol.

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        • But we laugh while being losers and the joke of the NFL huh?

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  4. FAB1) not interested at all. Head case/in it for the $$$$/overrated/much better places to spend $20m of cap space.

    FAB2) Donovan Smith didn’t return to Tamp Bay because he’s some great team-player….we paid him….$14m/yr…more than anybody else (sensibly) was willing to pay for the perennially worst rated LT in the league…a guy who every single week gets “clowned” (as Trevor noted). Comparing his “desire” to be a Buc with Mike Evans or LaVonte is ridiculous!

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  5. Dotson better not bitch about being here, he’s lucky to be here, or on any NFL roster. Mike, and David have been paid, and treated very well during their time here, so I don’t see why’d they want out. Both have been part of the losing, so they shouldn’t complain. It’s great they’re low key guys, and good team mates, I’ll give you that. Saying we have to stop Barkley is two easy, every team game plans for him. This game to me comes down to Winston. If he comes out like he did against the 49ers, we’re in trouble no matter what Barkley does. He has to play like a fourth year franchise QB, and Jones has to play like a rookie getting his first start on the road. If it turns out the other way around, we’re in trouble, and the talk will be which QB we draft next year to replace Jameis. The pressure is on us, if Jones has a good game, and Jameis loses the game for us we’re back to square one.

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  6. Big Game! Go Bucs!

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  7. No thanks to Ramsey, I like our young corners and I would like to keep our top picks.

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  8. Will not/cannot mortgage this team’s future with entertaining the idea of signing such a cancer and unstable prima dona like J. Ramsey! We just cleared out a head case and his addition would hurt team more than help! I’m just saying… Go Bucs!

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  9. We should have won the first game but beat ourselves, we won last week but in both games our Offense was stagnant. I hope this week they really start to settle in and find their groove. I have confidence in this Defense because they have held pretty strong so far against the run and getting pressure on the QB but you have to anticipate there will be a couple scores so before we hit the road here it would be really nice to see the Offense get things rollin.

    Starting in the NFL is a long way from Duke and I really hope Vea and Suh and Barrett and Nassib finds ways to welcome him, even though Rookies and backups seem to have our number a lot of times. This Defense gives me more hope than ones of recent years past so we will see.

    Again, I just want to see us continue to improve and get more comfortable with the Schemes and really make use of the talent on both sides of the ball, then the wins will start comin.

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  10. And no way should they waste a 1st rounder (and more) on Ramsey. It would be great to have a young Pro Bowl CB but anyone driving a Brinks Truck to Camp is a Turd and hopefully teams have learned from the Brown situation that it’s not worth it.

    Plus that 1st round pick next year is either gonna be for a OT or god forbid a QB so we need that pick. Hargreaves is showin up, Davis has had too many penalties but Bunting will come around this year or next and Dean will be back from injury. With Edwards bound to get better and better and Whitehead back there our Secondary is young but there is a lot of speed mixed in and they are gonna continue to grow together and $20mil a year for one CB can be spent elsewhere like in the Trenches.

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  11. Just want to throw it out there Scott, Millenials never asked for participation trophies, most think they are dumb too. But it was our parents(Gen X and older), that thought it was a good idea. So if you want to blame anyone for “Millenial Entitlement” blame the generations before them that fostered it.

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    • Damn putting the name shameless in this post! I like it!

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  12. Bucs need to tranquilize Winston before games. Maybe TM meditation. He comes out very excited with happy feet and short strides his throws which cause them to be 5 feet of the receivers head, and 100 mph.

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    • IMO the surefire tranquilizer would be to run the first 15 scripted plays with west coast heavy concepts. If they were to move the pocket with designed rollouts to give Jameis easy quick hitters in the flat that gain YAC it would do wonders to get him in a rhythm. I just can’t figure out why this hasn’t occurred in almost 5 years here. It’s always drop back, sit in the pocket and push the ball past the sticks; rinse and repeat. Then we wonder why guys like OJ Howard don’t make an impact on the game, when guys like George Kittle are being moved around like chess pieces getting the ball delivered at or around the LOS and making multiple people miss for 8,10,12+ yard gains on a throw that went about 4 yards. Especially in the redzone. How many easy goal line touchdowns can you remember guys like Peyton or Brady throwing where it was a wide open floater to a guy in the flat? Now how many times have we seen play design like that with Winston at quarterback?

      Sorry for the rant. But yes I agree he’s erratic to begin games I just don’t feel like the gameplans ever do him justice to save him from himself right out of the gate.

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      • Rant away. I agree.

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  13. I can’t stand Ramsey. Not worth the baggage. Another Deshaun Jackson but with even bigger mouth.

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  14. No to Ramsey. Up until this year’s draft, the Ramsey rumors were definitely appealing. Kudos to Licht and coaching staff who drafted DBs and challenged VH3! We’re in no position to be losing draft capital for a DB when we have other needs on the roster for young 1st round talent.

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  15. The Bucs ticket to success this year will be that they will consistently get no love from the media. Thursday was the first taste of this. Big divisional win on the road in primetime – crickets. It will become their fuel to band together and set out to tell the world “F*** you!”. It won’t be this media love affair with the talking heads going “aww look at the Bucs doing well we knew they had it in them!” like many are hoping for. It needs to be a pissed off “you didn’t believe in us so don’t expect us kissing ass on NFLN” after every underdog win this year.

    Jalen Ramsey doesn’t fit this equation simply because the media slurps up anything related to him. Thinks he should be getting 20 million a year and wants to see him on the Cowboys or Chiefs. If he was the one making that game winning tackle against McCaffery it’d be world-news and people would be beside themselves talking about his greatness.

    I personally want no part in that. The Bucs can do it without this guy. Continue to stop the run at an elite level and these young cornerbacks will develop just fine. They are in maybe the best hands possible given their skillsets (Todd Bowles).

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  16. Let Ramsey walk on by.

    Big game on Sunday. Pressure is on Bowles to put a game plan together that welcomes Daniel Jones to the NFL in the tradition of the old Buccaneer defenses of Tony and Monte. And on Rhonde’s big day, nothing would be better!

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  17. Sweet irony what happened to AB today isn’t it? Lost endorsements and now his job. Nobody is bigger than the game…ask Pete Rose! I hope there is a solid game plan dialed up to gang tackle Saquan and pressure this young QB! Let them dogs loose and let’s eat this “W”! Go Bucs!

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  18. Fab 2 is one of the more pointless items I have seen on this site period.

    Who cares? Did anyone learn anything? Maybe just post an op-Ed about how you don’t like millennials, “participation trophies”, and how much you value a contract. Just don’t post it under the guise of something informative or like it has anything to do with the Bucs

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  19. You would play Eli against this Bucs team? He won 5 of the last 6 against us, sure. Yet you fall to consider way more important factors:

    1) This Bowles defense is completely different. We are creating pressure and our secondary looks competent.
    2) Eli has no ability to extend with his feet, and would get crushed. Jones may be a rookie, but he can move and has better tools.
    3) Anyone off the street could have beaten the Bucs the last 6 years (and did). That Eli record against us is a meaningless statistic.

    Bucs 30, Giants 13

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  20. This fab 1 is the reason we have sucked for so many years. Saving money for VH3? We are hoping and praying as a fan base that Hargreaves becomes half the corner that Jalen Ramsey is, then we would be happy to pay him? Instead of paying him and other average players, why can’t we accept the fact that licht just cannot draft corners well, he drafts a lot of them but not good ones (see MJ Stewart and Bunting). Our Achilles heal this season will be the fact that we don’t have anyone capable of shadowing a teams 1 WR, and we will get torn up when we go against teams with a premier WR like Julio Jones.

    When a walking future hall of famer because available in their primes, you break the rules. You trade a little more than you should. You let other average role players walk. Look at what the bears did with Khalil Mack. Is anyone saying today that they gave up too much?

    But my main point is this. Why do players who hate to lose become the villains? In our case, I feel like too many players like Gerald McCoy for many years didn’t care enough about losing. Our team needs more fiery competitors that hate losing more than they like winning. Only when we have players like that will we turn the culture around.

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  21. Who edited the copy of this piece? Embarrassing failure on the editor’s part with constant spelling, grammatical and word misuses. Mike Evans, don’t ever consider “living” us!

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