Faine On “The Hot Seat”

February 27th, 2012
“Tell Dominik you’ll only re-sign if you play guard, and I’ll give you 1 percent of my oil wells, 2 percent of my bars, 3 percent of my restaurants, and all the old clothes from my failed haberdashery.”

While Joe is no fan of Jeff Faine, Joe has no problem with the center/captain/bonding dodger returning to snap the ball to Josh Freeman in 2012.

One could make the case that Freeman has enough to worry about and doesn’t need his trusted center sent packing, even if Faine is overpaid for his performance. On the other hand, Faine is getting old, is injury prone, and he’s not part of the Bucs’ future. Joe has written previously that Faine and the rest of the captains clearly failed last year.

ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas churned out some salary numbers and put Faine “on the hot seat” today.

Center Jeff Faine will turn 31 in April. He’s missed at least one game with an injury each of the past three years. He’s scheduled to count $5.925 million against the cap. The Bucs would free up $5.725 million against the cap if they release Faine. They would have flexibility there because Jeremy Zuttah can play center as well as guard.

Joe realizes the call on Faine relies greatly on whether the Bucs can re-sign Zuttah and how much they have to pay him.

The depth along the Bucs’ offensive line was a strength in 2010 and was still there in 2011, despite Ted Larsen and James Lee not playing up to their 2010 form.

Do the Bucs want to mess with the O-line? Joe’s not sure this is the year to do that. These guys are a good pass-blocking unit and blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in 2010. Joe wouldn’t mind giving the whole group one more season.

31 Responses to “Faine On “The Hot Seat””

  1. Garv Says:

    Just thinking…….OG Nicks from the Saints to Tampa, move Zuttah to C and move forward with more depth through the draft?

    GM for the hour……

  2. this guy Says:

    good pass blocking unit? yikes!

  3. deminion Says:


    I was thinkin the exact same thing, Faine is good to miss at least 3-4 gms with some injury zuttah acutually plyd good at C if Nicks somehow hits F/A gotta gt him

  4. Meh Says:

    We need to make a line upgrade this year. We really need 3 of them, but no way we’re doing that kind of overhaul. So let’s just get a center in free agency or the draft and cut Faine. Or get a guard, and slide Zuttah over.

    Next year we can replace Trueblood.

  5. Dave Says:

    If they get rid of him or return him does not matter to me either. He is decent and I am not positive if Zuttah would be better at that position over the long haul.

    My issue is saying this “The Bucs would free up $5.725 million against the cap if they release Faine.”

    I am going to go on a limb and speak for all fans: We do NOT want to hear this anymore. They are so far under the cap it is ridiculous. We do not care how much players cost and what they will save. Just put a winner together.

  6. thibs5599 Says:

    It is not that hard to snap the ball, that is about all Faine does well. He is a smart guy, however Freeman calls out the protection calls and everyone else is a veteran anyway. Time for Faine to go.

  7. Macabee Says:

    Zuttah will be re-signed. He is younger, bigger, stronger, is very intelligent, can play Center, read defenses, and relate to Josh Freeman as well or better than Faine at less cost and twice the durability. He can be backed up by Ted Larsen who is also a natural Center. If anything, he would want to work on snaps from the shotgun during the offseason.

    We need another Arron Sears at LG. Perhaps Carl Nicks/Ben Grubbs in FA or Cordy Glenn/Kelechi Osemele in the draft. Replace Trueblood in 2013, Penn in 2014 if needed. Time to make the change now!

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    If we don’t have a G to replace Zuttah (whom would switch to Center), then we shouldn’t do it. I say keep Faine at least 1 more season.

  9. stevek Says:

    Cut Faine, sign Ben Grubbs and move Zuttah to C, draft Konz in the 2nd.

  10. raphael Says:

    Need more ads joe ,I don’t think there are enough yet…Faine is overrated and injury prone.

  11. Bobby Says:

    @Dave….you may not want to hear it but smart business says that they count the cost of EVERY move. You don’t want to end up in a situation like the Steelers down the road when the Bucs are ready to contend and have to let go of one of your key players because of cap issues. Everyone knows they are way under the cap right now. You have to always look down the road to players that will become FA you know you will want to keep. You don’t speak for me in this regard. I always want the spending to be smart but I do want them to spend.

  12. eric Says:

    The comment made by Faine that Freemam’s offeseason practice sessions were not like real practices turned out to be absolutely correct.

    Centers can play a long time. Keep the man, too many other more problematic areas need upgrading.

    Schiano is not going to cut him. Would be a really dumb move.

  13. BamBamBuc Says:

    If a replacement is there in FA, cut him. But only if we’ve already got the replacement. Whether that’s Zuttah moving over and a new guard coming in, or a new C coming in and keep Zuttah where he’s at. Don’t create holes, we’ve already got enough.

    And yes, it does matter about “cutting cap money” even when we’re under the salary cap so much. Not that it would cut much cap, but I’d let Black go, and maybe Trueblood if we found replacements for them. I never want overpaid players on the team. If pay exceeds ability, it encourages laziness throughout. If Faine isn’t worth what he’s being paid, get a replacement and pay him what he’s worth. Also, regarding cap money, it might be a good idea to work on restructuring Freeman’s contract during the off-season. I think he’s on the last year or two, and after an abysmal year last year, we might be able to lock him up for an extra couple years without breaking the bank for the future.

  14. stevek Says:

    Grab Green Bay’s Center, Scott Wells.

    He would be an immense upgrade from Faine.

  15. stevek Says:

    $60 million+ to spend on salary cap.

    I really hope the Glazer’s are going to see it fit to spend for FA this year.

  16. Architek Says:

    Better cut ties now!

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    @ stevek

    Please explain to me how Scott Wells is an immense upgrade over Faine. They are the exact same player essentially. They are both undersized Centers for a power running team like we supposedly want to be, according to what our new coach says.

  18. Josh Says:

    I have a feeling they will be drafting at least one OL in the first four rounds. All the talk about the run. No way does Schiano and company pass on upgrades for the unit. The first thing Dominic said recently about Schiano was, “what do your guards look like?”

  19. FlBoy84 Says:

    Would think most would agree that the team needs better depth on the O-line. Grabbing Nicks/Grubbs/Mathis/Gaither/Wells (one or two, not all) and adding a highly-rated OL in the draft would be a great step towards that process. It would instantly create competition, and make everyone better. If you’re backups are guys like Zuttah and Trueblood, that’s what you want ideally.

  20. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Garv

    I think that idea has been floated around this site about a million times now. I cannot see Dominik devoting $100+ million to a couple of Guards.

  21. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Love the picture caption, Joe!!

    Faine and the rest of the OL are low on the priority list, assuming Zuttah gets resigned, which he deserves to be. If Claiborne was off the board, and Kalil somehow still was on it, I would rather see us get Kalil than either Blackmon or T-Rich.

    Blackmon doesn’t appear to be the speed threat many, including myself, hoped he would be. I think he’s a Mike Williams clone in profile, but might produce a little better, who knows but we don’t really need another Mike Williams.

    And T-Rich is nice, but a lot of people could put up gaudy stats running behind Bama’s O-line and no 1st round RB has panned out the way they were supposed to in the last 3 years.

    Upgrading tackle, by demoting Trueblood to backup, sliding Penn to RT and drafting a franchise LT would sure help this OL out immensely. And besides, an upgraded OL with Blount + someone else, could pay off more dividends in the run game than having just a mediocre line with T-Rich running behind it, praying for holes.

  22. FlBoy84 Says:

    Great point. Curious to see what type of center Schiano and Bostad look for. Bostad’s history with Konz and Zeitler might come in handy in April.

  23. FlBoy84 Says:

    If ESPN’s John Clayton’s stats are correct, in that there’s typically about a 25 player roster turnover whenever a new HC comes in, this roster could be very very different in the next couple of months.

  24. Buc Neckid Says:

    Cap Space?!?!?
    Spend the $67 Million you have free to spend then if you need Cap Space,
    Then worry about cutting him.

    Need Good Players to compete at ALL Positions regardless of Salary number.
    If he legitimately is not the starter after a REAL competition,
    Then Cut Him

  25. Wisconsin Bucs fan Says:

    Cut Quincy, Faine, Trueblood, Jones, WinSLOW, and get best players possible FA or draft. With those cuts be around 80 million under, could add Penn too but could be servicable at RT Time to build a real team Pop Star!

  26. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Joe, didn’t you quote an article a week or two ago saying we had one of the worse offensive lines in the league? Our line sucks!

    That said, it should be upgraded in stages since we have so many other holes to fill.

    Also…Zuttah sucked last year as well. People think moving him to center will suddenly make him great???

    Keep Faine one more year. If anything, be grateful for the depth. What if we cut Faine and then Zuttah gets injured??? We’ll be screwed at center like we were before Faine.

    Get a center in the draft or an undrafted free agent and start preparing him over this season, start Zuttah there NEXT YEAR, and that way we have a backup plan in place.

    Meanwhile, focus on the other oline spots (except Joseph) on at a time.

  27. 941Buc Says:

    @ Big Picture

    I doubt Kalil would be there at 5, but of he is we have to take him. He is a once every ten years type talent. We would have a left tackle for the next 10 years. Shoot I would trade up for him if needed.

  28. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Exactly why do we need to free up 5.7 million in cap space?

    Oh, our not-cheap owners (tic) get nervous if we approach the 50% of the cap mark, sure 73 million is much better than 68 million.

    The analysis should not involve the cap right now, get the best 53 and spend.

    To inject the cap savings is foolish, kind of like calling dom a rock star – rock head is more like.

  29. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Why do people think our O Line is OK ?
    It most certainly needs some upgrades, if we are truly to be the Power Running/Ball Control team we fancy ourselves to be.
    I think Tampa will surprise a lot of people when they draft and go after some O lineman this year.

  30. BamBamBuc Says:

    Apple – Why do people think our O-line is ok? Because if they came out and said we have issues on the O-line (and LB, and DB, etc.) then they’d have to admit that last year wasn’t JUST a result of coaching, but of poor talent as well. This way we can blindly think everything is great, since that staff is gone and a new one is in place. We have all the talent in the world!!! Yeah, right.

  31. MTM Says:

    The offensive line needs a tune up for sure. They were blow out on 1st downs repeatedly. Which put Freeman behind the eight ball continually.