Free Agency Countdown 18 Days:

February 19th, 2017

Fairley odd?

The free agency dinner bell officially rings Thursday, March 9 at 4 p.m. The Bucs will arrive at the buffet table with a giant pile of cash. But how will they spend it? How much will they spend? Joe is counting down the days with a different look at a potential free agent signing.

Strip away all the baloney, gossip and media spin, Jason Licht has one simple job this offseason: improve every aspect of the team.

So how might Licht approach stepping up the Bucs’ run defense? Help is needed.

Lost in the December home victory against New Orleans 16-11, was Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley sacking Amerca’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, and racking up six tackles, two for a loss.

Fairley, the former Lions first-round pick in 2011, has revived his career the past two seasons, avoiding injury and getting the job done. In 2016, the run-stuffer’s 6 1/2 sacks, plus missing just one game the past two years, will earn him a nice check in free agency this year.

Fairley turned 29 a few weeks ago and it’s reasonable to think he has at least two good years in the tank.

Would Licht consider Fairley the classic “bridge free agent,” a term Licht used last offseason?

Clinton McDonald is 30 and has missed 14 games the past two seasons. McDonald is a great vet to have around, but he’s become unreliable. Soon-to-be free agent Akeem Spence is a solid backup piece, but he’s no Nick Fairley.

Joe doubts the Bucs would turn to Fairley, but he would represent an upgrade and he’s a guy who expects to be a rotational piece.

The Bucs have to spend a good chunk of that available Team Glazer loot. Why not on D-line?

Below is Fairley’s takedown of Jameis. He’s lined up at left defensive end (versatile!) and runs and inside pass rush game. Another rough look for Gosder Cherilus.

24 Responses to “Free Agency Countdown 18 Days:”

  1. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    I can dig it. We need as much depth and talent on the Defensive line as we can afford to bring in.

  2. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    DT tackles for loss,I luuhh dat.

  3. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Coming from a DT I personally view a tackle for a loss on a RB just as impactful as sack on a QB by a DE. The will and hustle it takes to win in the middle of the trenches cannot and should not be taken for granted. The performance Grady Jarret put on in the superbowl. Priceless.

  4. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Sorry…after all the Calais Campbell chatter it’s kinda hard to get excited about Fairley. No Calais then perhaps we have to settle. I hate the word “settle”.

  5. LocalJoker Says:

    No Fairley! No fit!

  6. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Chris Wormley 6’5 1/2 ,305 lb ,DT ,Michigan in the 2nd Round. I wouldn’t over spend on these aging veterans. There’s too many good DTs in this draft.

  7. Bird Says:

    I’ll say it again. Brandon Williams NT free agent from Baltimore. 6 2 and 340 lbs He will make our Dline complete. More NY Giants like. Pay this man his 10 mil per year

  8. d-roca Says:

    I like Fairly. Could be great if he wanted to. At the right price id love the signing

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete, why must it be an either-or (Campbell or Fairley)? Bucs need to add 2 DTs and 2 DEs to who we now have under contract. Williams or Fairley would be fantastic as an experienced FA DT pickup, plus draft one (someplace in rnds 3-5 we should be able to get a solid rotational DT / future starter). Then add Campbell AND RE-SIGN WILL GHOLSTON as 2 DEs. Noah Spence and Jack Smith give us 2 more DEs. Still need 1 more DE in there … oh that’s right, by the name of Robert Ayers. That way, we’d have 5 ‘old-timers’ (GMC, McDonald, Ayers, Campbell plus Williams or Fairley) PLUS 4 ‘not-so-old-timers’ (Gholston, N. Spence, J. Smith & a rookie DT). That’d be a pretty solid DLine that could carry us into the playoffs this season and for at least the 2018 season, maybe into 2019.

  10. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    I like the way you dream big DR.

  11. USFBUC Says:

    Defense Rules – I commented over on the other post that I like the idea of a Gholston, Williams, McCoy, Ayers front four.

  12. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Is Williams unrestricted???

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    NosBos … Spotrac is an excellent website that provides all the details on free agents (and other stuff).
    And yes, they show Brandon Williams as an unrestricted FA … with a Market Value of $12.5 mil.

  14. USFBUC Says:

    The little bit I have read said that the Ravens will not likely use the tag on him either because of the cost of it.

  15. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:


  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Blake_bucsfan … That’s not dreaming. That’s what it’ll take for the Bucs to field a champion in the NFC South. Atlanta’s young, and you know they’ll be improving their defense significantly before this season starts. Humorous to me when folks predict that Falcons will have a huge SB letdown because they lost. Very doubtful … Arthur Blank will add impact players in FA & the draft in a push to get them back to the SB (their ‘window’ looks to be the next 2-3 yrs also). And with their high-flying offense, plus several improvements to their defense, they just might make it back. If anything stands in their way in the NFC South, it’ll be the Bucs … plus their own new OC.

  17. USFBUC Says:

    What that status of Devonte Bond or our other LBs to take over for Smith in that SLB position?

  18. bucs_365 Says:

    So, the Bucs have ~60 million free. Signing their own priority free agents will probably add up to 15-20 million, with Gholston getting the biggest chunk at about 6 million. So now, we have say 45 million to play with… But then you have to hold ~10 million in reserve for drafted players. So now we’re down to 35 million. They’re not going to commit to all 35 because there needs to be some in reserve for in-season claims plus some in reserve for extending core players down the road. All those things taken into consideration, they don’t have that much to throw around at big name free agents. I see them sticking to the same plan as last year. Strategic targets. Bang for the buck.

  19. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @bucs_365 Bucs are currently at 72+ million under the cap. And we still have Around 15 million that we could free up with some strategic cuts.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    bucs_365 … I too see them going for strategic targets. Gut feel is that they’ll spend up to about $30 mil in FA (beyond our own FAs). That’s enough though to target as many as 4 VERY GOOD FAs. Hunch is that priority #1 will be a WR, probably in the $7-9 mil range. Priority #2 will be a DE/DT, probably in the $8-12 mil range. Priority #3 will be a Safety, probably in the $5-6 mil range. Priority #4 will be an OLineman (C or RT), probably in the $6 – 8 mil range. Just a gut feel though. All depends on who’s really available and how serious the Bucs management is about making a push for the NFC South crown this year.

  21. StPeteBucsfan Says:


    If you’re talking about adding BOTH Fairley and Calais I’m with you. We’d have a beastly DL without spending a draft pick until later rounds on a “project”.
    But if it’s a choice between the two I simply prefer Campbell although Fairly would be a nice addition at the right price.

  22. USFBUC Says:

    I don’t see us signing two FAs not counting our own FAs on the DLine. My guess is that we keep our own and sign one FA on the DLine another at WR and one at S.

  23. bucstradamus Says:

    At some point, you almost have to wonder how the Bucs can even spend all the available cap space. Assuming the Bucs miss on DeSean Jackson, look for Alshon Jeffery to sign for around $13M/year. They will also sign an elite pass rusher at around $10M/year. So then what?

    You figure the Bucs replace Alterrean Vernor’s $6.5M cap hit with a secondary FA signing for around (likely $2M less) the same cap hit. Then a solid OL signing will run around $5M/year (cutting either Evan Smith or JR Sweezy would make that a wash).

    I believe the team will look to draft the top available center, the second or third best tight end, and a RB for depth.

    That leaves a need for another WR for depth. Say that costs $5M/year. Then likely resigning Jacquizz Rodgers for $2-3M/season, which I expect to be completely offset by the restructuring of Doug Martin’s contract.

    One position people tend to forget is QB. A serviceable veteran backup will cost around $5M/year.

    So, after all of that, you are still left with around $34-38M in cap space, assuming Smith or Sweezy aren’t cut. Once you account for new contracts for Brate and Pamphile, and rookie contracts, there should be around $20M left for, say, surprise signings, assuming the Bucs spend close to the entire cap.

  24. USFBUC Says:

    @bucstradomus another poster broke down the available cap space and it gets eaten up pretty quickly once you factor in an extension for Evans this offseason or next and then the Jameis, Kwon, Ali extensions.