Numbers Don’t Add Up For Jeff Faine

March 6th, 2012

Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik took a break to welcome Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski to his new job after he was busy getting Jeremy Zuttah’s new contract finished yesterday.

Zuttah, who can play left guard, center and right guard quite well, now joins fellow offensive line mates Donald Penn, Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood as Bucs who inked new deals during the past two years.

But with four offensive linemen getting new, pricier contracts, despite what some people believe, Team Glazer does not have a bottomless pit of cash, especially if they are going big-game hunting for free agents and will need to outspend the rest of the NFL to land them, not to mention just around the corner, Josh Freeman’s contract expires.

So this leads former Bucs defensive end Steve White to conclude that Bucs center Jeff Faine is the odd man out on the Bucs offensive line. White, appearing with Tom Krasniqi on WHBO-AM 1040 yesterday, explained how there is only so much cash to spread around on the offensive line, and why he is of the mind Faine has perhaps played his last snap with the Bucs.

I said this last year and people took it the wrong way: Last year when we started sliding downhill, basically I said we ought to move Zuttah to center and go find a left guard. We needed a little more physicality at center and needed to go younger,” White said. “Everybody has to know that Jeff Faine can’t make the kind of money he is making on our offensive line. We already paid the left tackle, now we are paying our right guard, we paid our right tackle last year, you can’t pay all five guys premium money. Either he is going to have to negotiate way down in price or he is out of here and that is not even a reflection on him necessarily, it’s just the reality of how football teams do business. You get younger and pay those guys and the older guys are kind of pushed out the door. I don’t think he will have a hard time picking up a job; everybody is looking for centers, but you can’t pay everybody on the offensive line.”

To take White’s logic a step further, Zuttah’s signing also would likely preclude Dominik from going out and signing a guy like free agent offensive guard Carl Nicks.

It’s a great interview and if you click on the first link above, you will hear White also discuss why the Saints bounty scandal may be more disturbing than what we see on the surface.

31 Responses to “Numbers Don’t Add Up For Jeff Faine”

  1. Snook Says:

    This team has no shot at signing Nicks. He’ll get interest from a lot of teams. And a lot of teams much better off than the Bucs. I doubt he even considers coming here… But when he signs elsewhere, we can surely expect the “Glazers are cheap” comments to arise once again.

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    We could certainly use some CB’s, but trying our best to sign Nicks should be priority #1. Penn, Nicks, Zuttah, Joseph, Trueblood with Freeman, Blount, Richardson(?) – That’s not too bad right there…not too bad at all.

  3. Meh Says:

    I think faine needs to go, soon, but Nicks is not more important than finding corners.

    Mack won’t be resigned. Talib might be in jail. Ronde might retire. And even when we had all three we needed somebody better than Biggers starting. I mean we need a TON of corners. And at least one safety to replace Jones.

  4. Brad Says:

    @snook. Money talks. If the Bucs offer the most he will come here in a flash. This is the only time Dominik can show his worth. This FA signing period will determine how long Dominik stays as the Bucs GM (IMO). He needs to land at least 2 top FA’s plus about 4 mid level FA. If he doesn’t improve the team this year I predict he gets his pink slip with another losing season. I just hope he’s smart enough to realize this could be his final time to shine.

  5. tonytwocents Says:

    Just like CB is the #1 priority on defense, LG is the #1 priority on offense. Especially since it’s a blindside position, and we all know it’s all about 5.

    I wouldn’t mind if we don’t land Nicks, but I’d be upset if they settle for a 2nd rate lineman (ahem, Trueblood).

  6. jvato24 Says:

    I believe Nicks or Grubbs will get a full court press from the Bucs or the Bucs have a guard targeted in the draft by round 3.

    How does a team talk about being a physical offense and have a backup a LG ?? I believe Zuttah was signed to play center.

  7. jvato24 Says:

    I can’t confirm Faines cap value but what makes more sense ??

    Faine @ 8 mill cap or front load Grubbs or Nicks @ 12 mill cap??

    We are talkin 4 million extra for next 2 years for an all pro???

    And another thing, the Dixie Chicks are rumored to be after Nicks possibly. It is worth overspending to keep him out of Atlanta. Let the games begin

  8. raphael Says:

    I would almost guarantee we land Nicks at this point.Zuttah will be the starting center and injury prone Faine is down the road….

    BTW have you sen the Robinson kid from Central Fl. fastest at the combine and 6 ft tall CB…maybe we double up on Cb’s Claiborne and Robinson

  9. eric Says:

    60 million isnt a “bottomless pitt” but it is a pretty darn deep one. Especially when they have been digging about as deep as a five iron divot in recent years.

    The o-line is one area that Mark hasnt changed, exept re-sign guys we already had when he took over as GM. Thus, it is the most solid aspect of the team – home of our single pro-bowler.

    Arent CB, LB, safety a lot more pressing concern than guard? And a couple of bonafide playmakers with speed for Free. I see the Saints are working out Moss. If they signed him pershaps they give up on Colston?

  10. Bricen Says:

    Carl Nicks? Yes, please.

  11. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Come on people…there are no good CBs in this free agency. Just look at their stats for god’s sake. TALIB is better than the best of them!

    We’re going to have to double dip on CB. Got Mo, and get another later.

    LBs are thin in free agency as well. The real talent in free agency this year is all on offense. Talk is cheap. Look at the lists and stats for god’s sake.

  12. Pete Dutcher Says:

    A Reality Check
    This is for those of you living in a fantasy world where the universe works according to your rules.

    1) Barber.
    There is actually no rush to sign him. As I pointed out elsewhere, he has already stated if he does not play for the Bucs he will retire. So the Bucs can actually take their time resigning him…maybe wait and see how things shake out. They might sign him quickly, but in reality they do not have to.

    2) Sullivan.
    You don’t sign an OC like him and not give him the weapons he needs. Period. Our offensive line has been under-performing for years now. It’s time for fresh blood.

    3) Nicks.
    Signing Nicks would be huge. To say we are not in the market or don’t have a chance is bull. We have the same opportunity as everyone else…yes, it may be harder for us, but maybe not with Sullivan here.

    4) Zuttah.
    Even if we sign Nicks, that doesn’t mean Zuttah get’s moved to center. It doesn’t mean Faine gets cut. While those things MIGHT happen, don’t count on it. Zuttah is a Schiano guy, not a Sullivan guy.

    5) Center.
    We have a center. He might be overpaid for his years, but he is serviceable. Good teams draft centers. They evaluate well and find pro bowl centers in the draft.

    6) Blount.
    He hasn’t had a training camp here yet. Give the kid a break. He can carry the load, and time will prove that. However, bringing in a mid-level guy to share it is okay, since many teams use a 2 back system.

    7) Wide Receiver.
    All this talk about Jackson…there is only one Wide Receiver in free agency that has consistently produced 1,000+ seasons, and that is Colston. He’s had only one season that didn’t reach 1,000 yards. All this talk about his surgeries means nothing…he still produces.

    8) Mario.
    The thought of him being here is a nice one. He would be a Simeon sort of move. But what we really need on the defensive line is an elite tackle.

  13. jvato24 Says:

    If you believe Cortland Finnegan isnt good you are crazy … He is one the best tacklers and Hitters at CB. He brings an attitude. That said he isnt elite … But probably top 10

    He has a similarity and tenacity in ways to ROnde Barber who will be gone very soon.

    Talib has 1 year left .. you really think the Bucs will pony up an 8-10 Mill contract per season for him 1 year from now ???

  14. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Bucs need playmakers and dominators, and Faine is neither. Bucs need to get bigger and stronger at center and left guard or their dreams of being a power running football team will turn out to be a nightmare.

  15. eric Says:

    @Pete Dutcher

    You mean like the fantasy world where you believed Raheem Morris was the next Chuck Noll?

  16. Garv Says:

    Nicks. Do it. Draft CB’s. And find a speed WO somewhere.
    With all that CAP money, I do not see the Zuttah signing precluding
    going after Nicks. No excuses, do it.

  17. CycleTim Says:

    Funny one Eric!

  18. Josh Says:

    I think we will probably see this year Faine still at C, Zuttah at LG with a thought to address LG next year when they ditch Faine and move Zuttah over to C. Rome wasn’t built in a day/year one. There are other larger holes to fill on the team then to blow such a large amount of cap space for a position they currently have average or above average players. God though that would be awesome with Penn, Nicks, Zuttah, Joseph and Trueblood.

  19. mjmoody Says:

    Man, I would love to type some hype about getting a Pro-Bowl Center. About the line of scrimmage being the only place REAL football happens anymore. About the best way to help Free. But then I look at the Jets. Is Sanchez really that bad or does a great Center really have that little impact?

  20. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Joe and Steve White say: “Numbers Don’t Add Up For Jeff Faine.”

    For teams that are not god-awfully cheap this would be an accurrate statement.

    However, our team is god-awfully cheap and we have the cap-space and room to sign Zuttah, Penn, DJ and True (who did not get a premium contract) and still retain Faine – we have 60plus million available.

    This argument about “how we have to save room for when our young players need to be resigned is a bogus excuse.”

    Name me one young player that has proven to us that they must be signed to a premium contract in the next 2 seasons. Free is the only conceivable possibility and that is up in the air – especially if he has another bad season.

    Would anyone in their right mind today say that you would sign any of: Williams, Blount, Benn, Biggers, Talib, Winslow, Jones, GMC, Price etc to a premium contract today? Hell no. Sure one or two of them may play well enough to get extended but some will be adios!

    This team could lose all of those players in 3 to 4 years and be no worse, and probably better, off.

    We need to load up on free agents, have a real draft controlled by Schiano and allow him to turn 75-80% of this roster over in 2 seasons.

    Seriously, if you were to keep Free, the O-Line, Clay, Bowers and Foster – you could discard the remainder (when their contracts are up) and be better.


    It’s true, Talib has superior arrest numbers over all other available d backs. Dude is walking ticking timebomb. He’s the kind of guy I hate to see even make $ in the NFL. Violent off the field. Bound for prison or suspension.

    Finnegan has been in the league two more years and has over double the tackles of Talib (389 to 139). Talib has more ints, but, I’ll take the more reliable d back (both on and off the field).

    But that’s just me. I’d rather be proactive, then wait for another blackeye arrest on the police blotter.

  22. Jimmy Says:

    Dominik is going to have to grossly overpay to get Vincent Jackson, Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan here. Much better teams than the Bucs want these guys.

    Dominik will even have to throw in a key to the cheerleaders dressing room to lure these guys and maybe even that might not work!

  23. ksneil2000 Says:

    Why must joe always feel the need to put in that stupid “rockstar gm.” We get it, you love Mark Dominik.

    PS sign nicks

  24. Bobby Says:

    All for letting Faine go and getting Nicks but we still need depth at center so we either have to draft a center or get a serviceable one in FA. If we sign Nicks don’t expect any other big signing except maybe Carr or Finnegan. That will be it. There will be no more than 2 big signings and the rest will be depth players.

  25. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I challenge you to go back and find where I said Raheem was a great coach. All I ever said was that he was learning right along with the players, and that one day he could be a good coach. COULD.

    He still might be one day if he learns from his mistakes of the past. I always felt Raheem Morris was a long term developmental project as head coach. He likely would have done better if he had never been sallower to play a dual role…and if you look back far enough in the 10-6 season, you will find several comments where I said he was to buddy-buddy with the players.

    So nice attempt to get me Eric. You missed and fabricated you comment, but it WAS a nice try 😉

  26. eric Says:


    Didnt mean to misrepresent your point of view. I should have directed it more generally at the large group that always went with the “look at Chuck Noll’s early record” approach in defending Raheem.

    You people know who you are!

    I apologize Mr. Pete.

  27. gotbbucs Says:

    I wouldn’t hold mt breath on a Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs signing. I think there’s a much better chance of us using a fairly high draft pick on a Guard or Center in a deep offensive line draft class. I have a very hard time beleiving that Dominik would be in favor of dedicating over $100 million to two Guards. If you want to spend that kind of money on another offensive lineman it would make more sense to get a bookend Right Tackle to protect Freeman.

  28. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Hopefully they will pay for Carl Nicks to be our LG. Penn has already been paid as well as Joseph. If we signed Nicks we could move Zuttah to Center and draft either a LT/RT or look in FA for one as well. I personally think to be successful in the NFL nowadays you need that great OL more than ever. Its a passing league and you have to protect your QB. They also obviously help with the run game as well. Nicks excells at both. If Claiborne is gone we should draft Kalil or Reiff. Period IMO!!! Or trade back…but the more likely case is we are stuck at #5 and the OT would solidify our OL. Especially with Nicks added to the mix!!

    Hate to hear him say you can’t pay all 5 guys premium money after we just had the most pathetic season we have had in over 15-20 seasons!!!

  29. Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Tampa should really pursue Nicks from New Orleans. He should be pretty easy to get away from there in light of the certain punishment to come from comish goodell

  30. Pete Dutcher Says:

    eric Says:
    March 6th, 2012 at 3:10 pm


    I apologize Mr. Pete.

    OMG, man…my heart can’t take that kind of shock! I’m an old man here!


  31. Mike110 Says:

    Woww, this guy nailed it! He called everything the way we’re seeing it now! And here we are with the draft approaching, talking about picking Ronde’s replacement… weird