Big Games And Big Money

August 30th, 2009

Joe, like all of Bucs nation, has Byron Leftwich on the brain.

One thing Joe keeps thinking about is how Leftwich performed in what was a big, career-changing game for him against Miami.

While it was essentially just a meaningless preseason game in the standings, Leftwich had $2 million on the line (his 2009 salary) and possibly his last chance to win a starting job in the NFL.

What did he do under the pressure? He came out and badly missed throws, fumbled and largely had an off night.

For all the talk about Leftwich winning the QB job. The reality is he backed into it, failing to deliver his A game and completing less than 50 percent of his preseason passes.

Joe is literally hoping beyond hope that Leftwich has a good game against Dallas. Win or lose for the Bucs, a good Leftwich performance will take major pressure off Raheem The Dream. And given his status as a rookie head coach, Joe, like everyone else, is unsure whether The Dream can effectively handle that kind of pressure right out of the gate.

Secondly, Joe also is thinking about the terms of Leftwich’s contract.

Per, Leftwich is due a $3.5 million bonus at the start of the free agent signing period in 2010,  otherwise he would become a free agent at that time. Plus he’d be due another $2 million in salary for 2010.

That’s a lot of bread for a guy keeping the seat warm for, or backing up, Josh Freeman.

Knowing that, Joe believes Raheem The Dream will have a very quick hook on Leftwich if he performs poorly in September and October.

If Leftwich plays well in just two of the Bucs first six games, for example, then there wouldn’t be much reason to keep him in the lineup. At that point, the Bucs could go to McCown, if he’s still on the roster, and see what he has to offer before turning the team over to Freeman.

If McCown played well, he’d have more trade value and he could buy Freeman more time on the sidelines, where it sure seems management wants the rookie to spend the season.

Joe suspects the Bucs will have a strong running game, which will make life easier on Leftwich but also put more pressure on him to move the chains in short yardage. And that’s not his strength.

Again, Joe’s calling on the football gods to smile upon Leftwich.

Raheem The Dream needs good QB play, regardless of wins and losses, to keep Bucs nation from screaming for another QB and dropping a major distraction on the team.

4 Responses to “Big Games And Big Money”

  1. Mr. Lucky Says:

    After watching the 1st quarter of the Bears/Bronco’s game I just cringe as I think how close the Bucs came to have Jay Cutler but we got Byron Leftwich instead.

    I thought the Yuck days were over…

    Hey I just saw wher Orton went out with an injury and Sims isn’t playing…can we give them Luke and keep Josh Johnson instead?

  2. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Mr. Lucky – Was thinking the same thing.

  3. Chris Says:

    Josh McDaniels didn’t want McCown when he pulled the trigger with Chicago (Orton tipped the scales in Bears’ favor), and I doubt Luke put enough on tape this preseason to change his perception.

  4. grumpy4669 Says:

    Good article Joe, you hit it on the head–Shitwich didn’t win the starter position as much as McCown let him have it by not stepping up! Regardless, I don’t think Shitwich will survive the first 7 games, one thing you CAN count on is him getting injured, and after the way he played against the Dolphins, I honestly don’t think he can move this offense.