Something Doesn’t Add Up On The O-Line

February 12th, 2018

Ira Kaufman is the most revered sports personality and writer in town. He has hung his hat at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also hear Ira on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio Wednesdays during football season, and see him now on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 p.m. on Spectrum Sports 360. Ira also is part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday.

BY IRA KAUFMAN

Buc fans are waiting for the other cleat to drop.

The slogan “Weapons For Winston” has been replaced by a new mantra in 2018: “Toughening the Trenches.”

As a result, the Bucs will have a new defensive line coach this fall.

Jay Hayes paid the price for a woeful pass rush, so he’s out after two years in Tampa.

The timing seems a bit strange because Tampa Bay’s 5-11 season ended six weeks ago and most assistant coaching jobs have been filled by this point.

If I’m George Warhop, I can’t feel too safe at this point.

Fantasy Football

Warhop and Dirk Koetter go back a long way. When Koetter served as Boston College’s offensive coordinator in 1994 and 1995, Warhop was the offensive line coach of the Eagles.

Warhop was hired by new head coach Lovie Smith in 2014 and Tampa Bay’s offense was a mess after the Jeff Tedford fiasco. Let’s give Warhop a pass for that disaster.

When Koetter came aboard the following season to oversee Smith’s attack, the Bucs showcased the best offense in franchise history — with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston taking every snap.

Those Bucs featured a beautifully balanced unit, led by a ground game that averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Doug Martin finished No. 2 in rushing and Winston was sacked only 27 times, thriving behind a line that started two rookies.

That was then, this is now.

For the past two years, this ground game has been grounded. Martin lost his burst, but the harsh truth is the blocking up front hasn’t been nearly good enough.

Buc running backs often have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Give Koetter credit, he’s been patient with the process. He can’t stand the idea of being one-dimensional, but that patience has been tested.

It was supposed to be different in 2017.

J.R. Sweezy was healthy, ready to add a nasty streak at right guard while Ali Marpet shifted to center. O.J. Howard was supposed to add another stout blocker to the mix at tight end.

That turned out to be fantasy football.

Tampa Bay quarterbacks were sacked 40 times last year and the running game finished 27th. If you take out the 2015 season, Warhop’s ground attack has averaged 3.7 yards per carry since his arrival.

The day after the Bucs beat Miami in November, Koetter was asked about Martin’s ineffectiveness (19 carries for 38 yards).

“In my opinion, he is not the reason we’re not moving the ball on offense,” Koetter said. “If you look at the tape, Doug’s making a little bit out of not too much, more often than not. We did not do a great job of run blocking, but that’s an O-line thing, that’s a tight end thing, that’s a lead blocker issue. The running back is going to take the hit.”

Martin won’t be around this fall. Warhop still has his job, for now, and there figures to be changes along the offensive line.

Fault Lines

Let’s not hear any nonsense about injuries wrecking the cohesion up front. Through the first 11 games, Tampa Bay’s starting offensive line remained intact.

That’s a rarity in pro football.

When injuries started to mount, what happened? The Bucs ran the ball with more authority.

When the season ended, Koetter pointed to the fault lines. “Score more points — that is one issue,” Koetter said. “The No. 2 biggest issue is we can’t get pressure with a four-man rush. I’m not telling anybody any big secrets here. Those were our two biggest things that need to be addressed.”

Hayes is toast. Warhop remains.

Guess how many runs of 20 yards or more the Bucs reeled off last fall in 389 rushing attempts?

Five.

How about runs of at least 40 yards?

Zero.

Do the math. Something doesn’t add up.

45 Responses to “Something Doesn’t Add Up On The O-Line”

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    what does not add up is licht and glazers relying on inconsistent injury prone heartless bums led by martin and the refusal to address the RB position either in free agency or draft. snoops boy was a gamble not addressing a need.

  2. Mike Johnson Says:

    Jay Hayes is the new modern day scapegoat. Most smart Buc fans know who the raal culprits are. Thow’em a bone and appease them. Make them THINK..we are tryin to correct the problems. I’ve done the math ira and Our Offense can hold its own. The ship will go down under pressbox Smitty and his binoculars. He’s the real problem. Him and Koetter could not get it done in Atlanta and they certainly show no signs of getting it done here either. Go ahead Fire everybody under DC Mike Smith. While he..the real Cancer remains!

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m glad someone with some recognition agrees. This offensive line did not produce. It wouldn’t have mattered what RB was back there unless it was Barry freakin’ Sanders.
    Stating over and over the YPC statistic only tells one side of the story. I’m not saying Martin is not without blame, but we have heard nothing but DM’s lack of production.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    You’re right Ira, something doesn’t add up. And as I look at it, it’s the 2 Guards who are holding this OLine back. Donovan, Ali & Dots all grade out reasonably OK … not the highest, not the lowest. But our 2 Guards, Pamphile (#74) & Sweezy (#31), just flat aren’t getting it done. And because of mediocre Guard play, we can’t run up the middle & we don’t seem to be able to run outside.

    The solution is simple IMO: replace BOTH of them. Move Marpet back to RG & find a new Center (either Hawley or via FA or in the draft). Grab a LG, preferably in free agency (Norwell from Carolina is my favorite … has a decent track record & he grades out quite well at #2 among NFL Guards in 2017). I’d keep Sweezy as a backup only if he learned to play LG as well as RG. Pamphile makes a good backup also, if he decides to re-sign with us at a reasonable price.

  5. Lamarcus Says:

    Quentin Nelson. Pick 7

  6. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @DR

    Agree with your assessment. Would be great to dump Sweezy for Norwell; and then draft either Nelson at 7; or defense R1 and a C in rounds 2-4 and put Marpet back to RG.

    If we really wanted to splurge we could sign Ryan Jensen – C; and Norwell OG; and dump Sweezy.

    LT-Smith(24)
    LG-Norwell(26)
    C-Jensen (26)
    RG-Marpet (24)
    RT-Dotson (32)

    That’d be a pricey O-line though considering we’d be then extending Marpet/Smith soon but we’d be set for a while there given everyone being 24-26 other than Dot. Could draft Dotson’s replacement in the later rounds to groom.

  7. LakeLand Says:

    What don’t add up, is the fact that the Bucs was ranked 32nd in pass defense. Giving up over 4,000 yards for the 2nd straight season. And the defensive secondary coaches are still in place. The O-Line was ranked 16th, and they really did an outstanding job , under the circumstances ( poor playcalling).

  8. 813bucboi Says:

    glad we can toss,”oline” out of the window as an excuse!!!!!!!!

    obviously hayes is the scapegoat…..simple as that…..if smitty can use the “no jimmys and joes” EXCUSE as to why his defense sucked, hayes should be allowed to use the same excuse…..this is BS….

    the offense underachieved this year as well but moken gets a promotion…..defense underachieves and and the dline coach becomes the scapegoat instead of the DC….you know, the person in charge of creating the defensive game plan…..

    PS…I thought he was developing Will Clarke nicely…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!!…..GO BUCS!!!!!

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Yeah I’d think the secondary coaches would have been toast over Hayes if anything… Hayes at least had a track record of success but the least talent to work with

  10. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Where do the Doug Martin apologists come up with all this crap about our OL.

    I’m not saying our OL was dominant but didn’t Payton Barber run behind a TB OL?

    Look at the freaking difference…

    Doug Martin – 138 carries – 406 yards – 2.9 average per carry – 3 TD’s
    Payton Barber – 108 carries – 423 yards – 3.9 avg per carry – 3 TD’s

    So Doug rushed for 20 yards less on 30 more carries behind the same team’s OL.

    What part of this are folks not getting. In 2016 Doug rushed for 2.9 yards…AGAIN…Barber averaged 4.1 yards again behind the same Bucs OL Martin supporters are whining about.

    That’s two consecutive years of failure for Doug. The NFL is a what have you done for me lately. Doug has been a loser for two consecutive years. Barber has put up significantly better numbers for the SAME TEAM in both of those years. What does it take to get some here to wake up and smell the coffee?

  11. NFLNut Says:

    Warhop developed Donovan and Marpet … and no team is getting big runs with a washed up Doug Martin and an UDFA back like Peyton Barber … Warhop is as safe as Koetter is imho.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    another Gem of a piece Ira. Best sports writer in Tampa Bay!

    “the harsh truth is the blocking up front hasn’t been nearly good enough”

    That’s what I keep pointing out the last 2 years every time Joe writes a “the Oline is FINE” article. Maybe you should talk to the Joe’s on this one Ira and help them see the light.

    LT Smith, C/RG Marpet and RT Dotson are adequate for this year – but we need 2 new players in the middle. Pamphile and Sweezy ain’t cutting it.

  13. darin Says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if nelson is gone by 7. Also the defensive line should be addressed in round 1. Lets not kid ourselves here. Not going to win many games with mike smiths defense without 2 more DE’s and another DT. Hopefully one of the top 2 DEs get to FA. I love nelson but the D has to be addressed first. The way teams went up and down the field at will Id draft all defense. Sign a guard and RB in FA.

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    @StPete- You cannot argue that having defenders in the backfield at the snap is a RB’s fault. 2nd, Barber ran mostly behind back-ups and one could argue they run-blocked better than their starting counterparts.
    It’s not to say that the O-line is solely to blame, it’s to say that the O-line is EQUALLY to blame for our pathetic rushing attack.
    Martin’s gone and after Barber’s limited success, nobody should be defending Martin. But be real, this o-line was NOT good last year. The numbers prove it.

  15. LakeLand Says:

    Will Hernandez is a good solid OG.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I personally think the lack of run blocking is a result of focusing on the protection of Jameis and the fact that it was pretty much a new offensive line.

    You had Smith (3rd year last year?), Sweezy (nearly two years off the field & new to the position), Pamphile (new to the starting position), and Marpet (new to center). Dotson was the only one with extended experience.

    So it makes sense that it would take more than a year to gel. And as they do gel, the run blocking will improve.

    So I think George Warhop can get the job done if he’s still here.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Lord C, I’d go for an OLine that looks like that even if it is pricey.

    Draft a solid RB in Rnd 2-3 (and maybe even another one in Rd 5-6) and like you said, our offense would be set for years. And there wouldn’t be an excuse in the world for it not exceeding 30 PPG.

    On defense add at least 1 outside CB in free agency (preferably 2) and then use our draft picks for the DLine plus a Strong Safety. Doubt seriously that we could fix everything in 1 year, but by year 2 we should be very competitive in the NFC South.

  18. StPeteBucsfan Says:

    Bucfanman

    My second sentence claimed the line wsnt dominant. Point is that Barber a UDFA rushed for more than a yard per carry more than Doug in 2016 as well as last yesr. Are you sreing a pattern?

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Bonzai, don’t disagree that it was “pretty much a new offensive line” but the problem goes deeper than that. Biggest issue IMO is that no one has stepped up to assume the reins on the field like Mankins did. Young guys like we have (except Dots) need someone like that, and Donovan-Kevin-Ali-JR all just kinda did their own thing it kept looking like. They lacked the glue to bind it all together.

    Lord C hit the nail on the head. Bring in a couple of proven performers like Norwell & Jensen and one of them will surely step up to grab the reins of leadership. And both are proven performers on the field.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    And StPete, Doug Martin is toast. Bucs would be doing him a big favor by cutting ties with him now & let his agent find greener pastures (if they exist).

  21. Fanalyzer34 Says:

    Do not move Ali Marpet back to RG. That move would be reactive because Sweezy and Pamphile were not good this season. When Ali was drafted, the thought was that in the long term he’d make a great Center. It’s about continuity for he, Jameis, and the entire offense. Calling out line assignments and protections and the symbiotic relationship between a QB and Center can’t be understated. This draft is very deep at Guard (KJ Malone from LSU is a plug and play guy from Day one).

  22. 813bucboi Says:

    New Clarity; No Excuses
    September 6th, 2017
    By IRA KAUFMAN
    No excuses.
    Hurricane Irma is scary and dangerous, but this mega-storm isn’t going to hang a loss on the Buccaneers. The Bucs and Dolphins are being tested right now and their response will tell us a lot about both teams.
    But when the Bucs open the 2017 season against Mike Glennon and the Bears, Irma can’t be part of the playbook. These are grown men paid very well to do a job — and that job is to avoid another early-season rut.
    Enough with the 1-3 starts.
    ***************************************************************

    @stpete….I agree…..it aint the oline or the oline coach….its was martin running into the backs of the linemen…..and dirk for sticking with martin for 12weeks…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  23. 813bucboi Says:

    Fanalyzer34 Says:
    February 12th, 2018 at 3:30 pm
    Do not move Ali Marpet back to RG.

    I agree….continue to build thru the draft…warhop has done a get job developing the young guns….

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yea StPete, Doug’s toast. There were still way too many times where defenders were in the backfield. I think Barber’s skill-set lends itself better to a power-run approach, more so than Doug.
    I’m not sad that we’re moving on from Doug. He was NOT the answer last year. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more Barber.
    Bottom line is that our ENTIRE team needs to get better. 5-11 says so!

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Good article Ira, it’s something not brought up much when people endlessly bash Martin. When I watch the games I see the same thing over and over, Martin is handed the ball and there is nowhere to go. This is in particular the case on 1st down in the first half and into the second when Dirk either comes out in an obvious run formation, or if he is passing he goes to shotgun which makes it obvious he’s not running. Dirk rarely ever used a play action pass on 1st down until late in the season, and the moment he did that it opened up the running game. Martin is too expensive, and getting too old, to keep, so I’m not saying they should, but watch the tape, it wasn’t like Martin was missing holes or lacked burst. The few times there was an opening he still showed great acceleration, and unless the blocking AND playcalling gets better it’s going to be the same thing against next year with whoever the Bucs put back there.

  26. 813bucboi Says:

    @realist….you say “fix the real problem, the trenches”….well according to you, the bucs did just that by drafting OJ Howard…….
    ***************************************************************
    The Buc Realist Says:
    August 31st, 2017 at 11:09 am
    While DS76 had a very rough 2 games. I think that this can be fixed by drafting a very good TE that can both catch and block so he stays on the field thru most snaps!!! If We had such a TE it will help the O-tackles by chip blocking and funneling the speed rushers right to DS76 or DD69!!!! The TE can then still run a pass route or block in the second level!!!!
    ***************************************************************

    they draft oj who certainly help Dotson(until he got injured) but it was dirks incompetence that led him to stick with martin who proved to be the worse RB on the roster…..it took dirk 10week to figure out martin is washed up…..

    what’s your next excuse?……

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  27. Gambelero Says:

    Count me in the “build from the trenches tribe” and with Lamarcus on Duncan.

  28. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    @Fanalyzer

    Agree with your observation.

  29. LakeLand Says:

    Gambelero

    The trenches should have been built 4-5 years ago. You don’t paint yourself into a corner and then try to figure out a way out. The Bucs has passed on a whole lot of solid Pro Bowl Linemen during the past 5 years. Defensive and offensive, now it’s desperation time. Guess what, there’s not many elite available, in the draft or free agency.

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    Pickgrin Says:
    September 10th, 2017 at 4:45 am
    The very fact that Sweezy has made it through camp and preseason without a single set back involving the back is quite encouraging. Obviously the right call to take the entire year off to recoup.
    The middle of our line seems to be in good shape with Sweezy, Marpet and Pamphile. Hopefully the tackles play better this year because they looked um – not so great in 2016.
    I believe this line can be pretty good in 2017 though
    ***************************************************************

    well, something doesn’t add up alright…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  31. Capt.Tim Says:

    Warhop should be safe
    It was Koetter and Lichts idiotic idea to move Marpet to center- a position he had NEVER played before. As expected- he was a horrible center.
    Instead of going to his first probowl as a Guard.
    Morons. Just plain stupid

    Sweezy wasnt Good this year. But he wasnt bad either.
    What he was, was rusty. He missed an entire season.
    He will be back to form this year.

    Marpet and Sweezy would be a great pair of guards.
    Smith and Dotson are good tackles, Although Dotson may have become too injury prone.
    We should draft ir sign a center. The entire line played better, once Hawley started.

    The Marpet move was just unexcusably stupid.
    Cant stop repeating that. Just so dumb.

    A Center, another Tackle. Wester/Benenoch progress.
    Then cross train the one guy whos game is suited to play Center.
    Pamphile. He is more quick than mauler. And is very smart, by all accounts.
    Then He can eventually be the back up center- When Hawley and Evan Smith get long in the tooth.

  32. DoNUTS Says:

    I agree with Capt Tim that moving Marpet to center was dumb. The proof is in the W-L record and stats. Its time to get back to the 2015 running game with a new RB combo (? and Barber) and find a center to combo with Hawley, as needed.

  33. unbelievable Says:

    It was pretty obvious all season long that the o-line was just plain bad at run blocking.

    When we lost 2 starters, we improved. What does that tell you?

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    813 – RE – “something doesn’t add up”

    Both OTackles were an obvious problem in 2016 as was Center. Pamphile was pretty good at LG and Marpet was very good at RG.

    Last year(2017), Marpet played well at Center for his 1st year – Dot was our best and most consistent lineman at RT until he got hurt and D. Smith showed improvement overall (still too many breakdowns in pass pro and not enough push on run blocking however).

    The Guards were the problem in 2017. Simple as that – as the simpleton would say.

    Sweezy in particular was terrible most plays at run blocking and his pass pro wasn’t that great. Pamphile was slightly better at run blocking but not good enough at either – Evan Smith was our best Guard which is pretty telling as to the state of our interior moving forward.

    Not sure what all that means but I think its a pretty accurate assessment. Nerd grading backs most of that up as well.

    So what to do about the Oline??

    Pamphile looked like he was coming along pretty well in 2016 and also has legit value as a back-up swing Tackle in a pinch. But his play majorly regressed in 2017 which is a bad look in a contract year. Whether or not he gets re-signed by the Bucs likely depends on what he believes his value is and whether a deal that is fair to both sides can be agreed on. What Kevin put on tape last year as well as splitting time w/ Evan Smith most of the year pretty much screams that as of now – Pamphile is an experienced and versatile back-up level player and doesn’t deserve starter’s money.

    Sweezy – another tough call. He makes marginal starter level $ next year but his 2017 tape showed well below marginal starter results. Can he improve in 2018. Maybe. One would like to think so – but perhaps the back surgery has left JR with less capability than he had prior. That certainly was what it looked like as the year unfolded and the idea that maybe Sweezy was just rusty from the year off faded as the year progressed and his play didn’t improve very much.

    Marpet – had a few issues snapping the ball early on (which would be expected) – then settled into his role at Center nicely as the season progressed. One good thing that came out of last year’s fiasco was Ali getting a bunch of reps at center – so Marpet is now officially “versatile” and can play either Center or Guard – wherever he is needed most.

    D. Smith – seemed to improve as the year progressed and did cut his league leading 2016 penalty count down a bit – but was still the Bucs most penalized player in 2017 and had some obvious “lapses” in pass pro along with not showing much push on run blocking either too many plays. He’s young and still improving so hopefully Smith will put it all together this year in which he’s playing for his 1st big contract. He’s been durable which is an obvious plus – but thus far – I’d say Donovan is an average to slightly below average LT. Smith is not “the problem” with the Bucs Oline – but he’s not exactly looking like he will ever be a top 10 LT either. Can’t do much about it this year as there are much bigger needs – but my overall opinion is that Jameis deserves better protection on his blind side long term.

    Dotson played well last year. Much better than what we saw from him in 2016. Cut his penalties in half from previous year and was our most consistent Lineman at both run blocking and pass pro. Probably fine at RT for this year and maybe one more – but he’s 33 so Bucs need to be planning ahead for that spot. Injuries may become more and more of a factor for Dot as well moving forward because of the age.

    So where does that leave us?

    With 3 out of 5 OLine players that can be reasonably counted on to play well in 2018. (Smith, Marpet and Dotson) Dot is getting old and needs to be replaced soon – so basically we have 2 solid starters that can be counted on moving forward. And 1 of those 2 (Smith) we still need to see improvement from.

    Evan Smith should be re-signed as a solid and experienced back-up. Hawley is under contract as a back-up Center. Benenoch is coming along (I guess) but still has a long ways to go in order to be counted on as a starter in the future.

    If it was my call, I’d dump Sweezy and his $5.75M and not re-sign Pamphile unless its for back-up $. Licht needs to go find us 2 new starting Guards. Or 1 Guard and 1 Center if that’s easier to accomplish. Sucks to be in that position as Jason probably figured we were set up front other than needing to find an eventual replacement for Dot. But Pamphile’s regression and Sweezy’s inability to get the job done once he hit the field have thrown quite the monkey wrench into those Oline plans.

    Yes, we need a # of upgraded starters on defense and also have to find an upgrade at RB somewhere – but if Licht doesn’t figure this Oline “problem” out before Sept rolls around – we are likely looking at yet another year of unrealized potential and inadequate results offensively for Winston and all his receiving weapons.

    Quinton Nelson would go a long ways towards fixing our Oline “situation”. Of that I am relatively sure.

    But with all the needs on defense – do you dare draft a guard at #7 overall? He is considered a generational prospect…

  35. BrianBucs Says:

    Jay Hayes was given absolutely nothing to work with
    George Warhop’s most effective run blockers were backups

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    Exactly BrianBucs..Thats why things are starting to smell real Funky arounf Buc One place. Hayes is being made the scapegoat. Seems like the Bucs are reverting back to the ole Culverhouse bucs…

  37. Duke Says:

    Pickgrin,
    The guards were the problem.
    True but that’s not entirely accurate. Who is a guard most dependent upon?

    Rod,
    You state over and over and..over that Dirks play calling sucked until late in the season. Your idea is that wks 1-12 He simply forgot how to call plays then without any reasonable explanation as to why somehow Dirk opened up the playbook.

    Do you honestly think that is a knowledgeable take? There’s so many lapses of logic and gives leaps from one point to another that it’s mind boggling.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    Duke – My thought is Dirk was either lazy or inattentive when it came to offense. He’s not the same guy that he was in the both on the sideline – he doesn’t see the field well or something because his play calling from 2015 is dramatically different than what he did in 2016 and most of 2017. When his job was on the line in the final weeks of the season, in particular that home game with Gruden doing MNF there, you finally saw him suddenly mixing up the calls – doing this amazing thing called a play action pass. Go back to early in the season and watch those games, in particular 1st downs in the 1st halves of games, it’s the same thing game after game after game – go look at all of last season, it was the same predictable calls over and over again. Then go look at the last few games of the year, in particular the MNF game.

    Now that is just my opinion. If you watched the games and never had any idea of what was coming, be it week 1 or week 17, then great! However keep in mind that not everyone has 60% of their brain eaten away by HIV like yourself. LOL!

  39. Rod Munch Says:

    Pickgrin – Good take. On Sweezy I would have swore I read he was a $2.5m hit on the cap to cut – which would mean an extra $4m to keep, and in that case I’d keep him since. However I double checked based off what you wrote and it’s only a $1.5m hit on the cap, which means you’re freeing up over $5m. Yeah, at $5m, that’s probably too much. But the question is who do you get? Pamphile I’d try to keep if you can keep him at a reasonable price, meaning less than $4m – not sure if that’s doable or not. For Marpet I think he was OK at center, but that’s the problem, he was already playing at a pro-bowl level at G and with a couple more years might have been in the all-pro level. To me you move Marpet back to guard then get a real center from somewhere. Another idea would be to grab the top tackle in the draft, if he’s still on the board, put him at LT, then move Smith inside to guard. If Dotson was also healthy… wow, now you got what should be an very physical and tough offensive line. Smith in this situation could then kick out to RT assuming the new LT is dominant, which is what you’d hope out of a top 10 pick. It’s not gonna happen, but just an idea.

  40. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Fix the trenches, fix the Bucs!!

  41. denjoe Says:

    He can’t stand the idea of being one-dimensional, but that patience has been tested.

    I don’t think he cares about being one dimensional, or he would have addressed it sooner. The guy threw the ball 40 something time in a game that his Qb was still hurting.

  42. Pickgrin Says:

    Rod – If you check Sweezy’s contract details at OTC (over the cap) – click the “cut after June 1st” button and you will see that he has a $0 cap hit if cut after 6/1/18 – thus saving all $6.5M of his scheduled cap hit in 2018.

    If that is correct, then I believe that means we can take him to camp and see how he looks in the pre-season games – and still have the option of cutting him prior to the start of the season without penalty.

    Spotrac shows different #s – a $1.875M cap hit which can’t be avoided. The whole figure if cut pre 6/1 or that whole dead cap # split between 2018 and 2019 – saving $4M in 2018 either way.

    Not sure which is the correct interpretation of JR’s contract – but either way – he’s not worth $6.5M if what we saw last year is the player he is now.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Pickgrin – I generally use OTC, but in that case I Sportrac I believe is correct. I do know if you cut before 6/1 you take the full cap hit this year, if it’s after, you spread it over 2 years, so the only question is what that number is. Remember that Sweezy also redid his contract last offseason, I believe it gave him more money if he played but with less guaranteed, so perhaps that’s where the confusion is. Sounds like it’s a $1m one way or another, which actually to me makes a big difference, if you’re only freeing up $4m total by releasing him, can you get someone for $4m that is better? I doubt it. BUT, if you save $5m, I think you can get someone better.

  44. Pickgrin Says:

    Rod – if you look at last year’s tape – Evan Smith was absolutely better than Sweezy – and I’m pretty sure he can be re-signed for $4M or less. Smith is a marginal starter – but represent excellent, experienced (and versatile) depth.

    Aside from that it doesn’t really matter whether we pay the same to replace Sweezy after the cap hit – or even $2-3M more – most importantly – we just need a good starting Guard that can open up holes for RBs and hold his own consistently in pass protection.

  45. Pickgrin Says:

    I believe the cap hit is inevitable btw regarding Sweezy. OTC has it wrong I imagine because that dead $ matches the pro rated amount still due for signing bonus – and there’s really no way around the cap hit if cut early once you designate an up front payment as a “signing bonus”.

 

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