The Davin Joseph Conundrum

February 14th, 2014

Spreadsheeters don’t like Davin Joseph.

In the Bucs locker room, there are few good guys like Davin Joseph. July or December, win or loss, hot or cold, Joesph is always a stand-up guy, always willing to discuss a game or a practice, and often harshly critiques himself.

If you see Joseph bouncing around Tampa and approach him, he will stop in his tracks to shake your hand and flash that ear-to-ear smile. In the past, Joseph masked that calm, cool, friendly demeanor with a bit of a nasty side on the football field. He donates a lot of cash and work to help out Blake High School’s athletic department and works with programs to help kids stay in school.

But recent years haven’t been great for Joseph, arguably the only first round pick Bruce Almighty/Chucky hit on.

Joseph has missed games injured over the years and blew out a knee in 2012. He sure didn’t seem like his normal self  last season (he was the first to admit it) but that was likely because Joseph wasn’t all the way back from knee surgery, a crutch he refused to use and it was about the only subject that could ever bring a scowl to his face. Joseph seemed to play better in December, which seems to reinforce that his knee, like Darrelle Revis’, wasn’t 100 percent.

The spreadsheeters over at Pro Football Focus have never liked Joseph, for reasons that unclear to Joe. Coming off likely his worst healthy season, the spreadsheeters, led by Khaled Elsayed, have been sharping their knives and believe Joseph’s tenure with the Bucs is hanging a thread and they would only be too happy to slice the cord.

We know where we’d start and that’s saying goodbye to the perennially overrated Davin Joseph to save $6M (with no dead money) in cap space. He was our lowest ranked right guard last year and has never lived up to the hype.

Well, to not live up to hype, there must be hype to begin with. For example, there was no hype with Myron Lewis. Joe can never recall much hype surrounding Joseph. Did anyone see any BSPN features of Joseph? Was he on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Did TMZ follow him around? No.

Before the Bucs start tossing offensive linemen overboard, Joe would suggest it would be prudent to restructure Joseph’s contract. If Joseph refused to do that, well, then consider other options.

Joseph is a smart guy. He knows he has under-performed. Joe is of the mind that rather than throwing him in Tampa Bay, rework his contract to a team-friendly, incentive-laden deal. If Joseph really was just slow to recover from knee surgery, then the Bucs will come out ahead of the game.

31 Responses to “The Davin Joseph Conundrum”

  1. Brandon Says:

    He did make a Pro Bowl. Personally, I think it should be a very rare occurrence where a guard is drafted in round 1 anyways…seriously, a guard? Then to re-sign him and sign Nicks for a ton made even less sense. Wrapping up a huge percent of the salary cap dollars in two of the least important full-time starting positions on a football field is just plain stupid.

  2. Meh Says:

    I’d rather see him restructured than cut, but that salary figure is so far removed from his level of play something has to be done. I like Joseph. I don’t think he was overhyped in the past. However, I think he is unfortunately looking like he’s past his shelf life. I’d love to take a chance on him that the knee was the problem, but you can’t take a chance at that salary figure.

  3. joseph mamma Says:

    The hype was that Joseph was tagged as one of the best guards in the NFL, by some national pundits. But this Bucs fan knows his performance was never consistent. I don’t think he lived up to his first round draft spot actually. Too up and down, for whatever reason.

  4. Drew H. Says:

    C’mon Joe, you know the hype they were talking about was the same “hype” any first rounder gets

  5. Celly Says:

    Thats a pretty ignorant statement to make, Brandon, and I think many teams and coaches would disagree with your statement.

    Riddle me this:

    If you have 1 good left tackle and 3 lousy interior linemen, how will your QB step up into the pocket to make a good throw?

  6. Kalind Says:

    It’s not like we’re particularly deep at guard….I agree with Joe

  7. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Davin seems like a great guy, and he is coming back from surgery, but I think everyone would agree that he is not a ‘dominant’ Guard in the NFL. I had such high hopes last year that our interior line would be a strength for the team…but it didn’t work out that way! Hopefully we get Nicks back this season…as for Joseph…I agree with Joe, rework his contract and bring in some fresh talent in the draft (Gabe Jackson from Miss State at 6’4 and 339 lbs would be an awesome road grader opposite Nicks and is projected as a 2nd rounder) or Free Agency (I’m sure there will be a few decent linemen looking for work) and let’s see if Joseph can get back to his pre-injury form and compete for the job!

  8. deminion Says:

    restructure him and penn if they dont well….

  9. SAMCRO Says:

    Nice guys don’t win games. He hasn’t played well for several years now and it has cost us what is now become a turnstile at the QB position. He’s one of the reasons why Joe is crapping all over Glennon. Now, it’s not just Joseph that is a concern, it’s all the way across the line, including Joe’s other “Mancrush” Donald Penn who has been stinking up the place.

    We need to address this line now or Joe’s newest 200lb “Boycrush” Johnny Manziel will be crushed before his career even starts, which in return will absolutely crush Joe’s credibility at evaluating college players after Joe had the audacity to even suggest the Bucs give up the farm in future draft picks to grab a supposed “franchise QB” without at least giving him some protection from an offensive line that was, let’s say, purely offensive..

  10. Mr. Patrick Says:

    So how does re-working his contract make him play any better?

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Mr. Patrick Says
    “So how does re-working his contract make him play any better?”

    First, he will play better because he will be healed up.

    Second, while I agree the time is right to get a new starter, reworking him would keep him as a reliable backup.

    I would even agree that starting him another year would be okay if we sign a young replacement, just to give the new guy time to develop first.

  12. SpanishBuc Says:

    Guards are definitely not, “least important full-time starting positions…”Just because we never hear their names or notice them during a telecast does not make them insignificant. In fact guards are probably the most important linemen when it come to running the ball.

  13. Hesson0208 Says:

    Joseph missed a full offseason of workouts & strength training bcuz of rehab. Of course he’s not going to be as strong as he usually is. It would be insane to get rid of him (kinda like dumping Bennet after he played thru a shoulder injury during the season). I say we try to keep all our current linemen & maybe restructure their contracts to increase cap space. Then, maybe sign Alex Mack & move Zuttah to guard behind Nicks to come in when Nicks goes down again. Our OL would be BEAST in

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Mr.Patrick

    Restructuring his contract doesn’t make him play any better but we need depth and he provides that at least.
    Restructuing frees up cap space for another acquisition such as Alex Mack at Center….or money toward a FA DE.

    Restructuring could make him play better if it were incentive laden or if it were short term and he wanted a payday the next year.

  15. Jeagan1999 Says:

    @ Mr. Patrick “So how does re-working his contract make him play better?”…It doesn’t, obviously…but it does give the team some financial flexibility to bring in another player or two to compete for the starting job. I think the hope is that with another full off-season, Joseph will be in better shape, stronger and able to regain the form he showed earlier in his career. At least that’s my guess. Whether or not he can ever get back to a Pro-Bowl type form is anybodies guess!

  16. Harry Says:

    I like Joseph. Sure he sucked last year, but if he is getting healthy then rework his contract and keep him. He is no dummy. Then lets figure out what to do with Nicks’ spot.

  17. Hesson0208 Says:

    Ask any defensive lineman, Joseph was our most dominant lineman every single year except last year. People are so short-sighted. I sure hope the New Lovie Order isn’t as stupid as some of these posters & the former regime.

  18. Harry Says:

    On a different subject, I am confused. In January, didn’t the Bucs announce the hiring of John Garrett as WR Coach? Then, in an article yesterday, you mentioned that Hayes-Stocker is the WR coach?? And I found articles that announced both of those as correct (about a month apart). What am I missing?

    Garrett was the 2013 WRs coach and was fired. –Joe

  19. BirdDoggers Says:

    Cutting him will only create bigger holes on the O-line. With Nicks career in limbo and no real depth on the roster, it would make sense to keep Penn and Joseph around for at least another season while the line can re-tooled through the draft and/or free agency.

  20. Harry Says:

    “…restructure him and penn if they dont well….”

    should have seen this coming… Penn bashing. Look, Penn’s salary is average when compared to other OTs. And his play is average, so its an even break. But, in his defense, IMO Penn struggled last year in part due to the overall bad play of the O-line. They always say the O-line works as a team, so if your “team” is struggling, and the guy next to you is struggling (and he definitely was) I would think everyone is going to struggle.

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    THe worse oline player we have is Larsen. HE should be sent packing. He sucks at both positions he is said to be compatible with.

    Zuttah is good enough at center.

    And while I agree the line is aging, I think it is wise to rotate in new guys in the beginning. NO player should ever be handed the starting job without earning it.

  22. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Thanks guys for making my points for me.

  23. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    Davin Joseph is a bad football player and being paid like one of the best at his position. We should have never given him a 2nd contract after a disastrous 2010 season. Poop Star overpaid him by a mile. If not for Bucs overpaying Joseph in 2011 with a lot of guaranteed money and undeserved hype/praise generated by the local fanbase, he would have been out of the league by now.

  24. ROBERT6 Says:

    not sure if this is specific to joseph, but the way the line played last year…none of them deserve above the team minimum except Dotson. Penn, yeah a bit more, but he is past his prime and is a liability at this point.

  25. Bob Digital Says:

    Why do fans give a crap if Joseph, or any other player for that matter, is “overpaid?” It’s not your money, it’s the Glazers, and they have plenty! And the Bucs haven’t been anywhere near the salary cap limit in a decade. Cutting Joseph makes a bad line worse.

  26. pick6 Says:

    i’m no expert at evaluating OL, but the state of the bucs organization since the gruden firing, combined with Davin’s injuries, have probably not given him a chance to show his true ability. i don’t know how many position coaches and OCs he’s had in the past 5 years, but the team went from power to ZBS back to power and then back to ZBS in that time and he was injured or rehabbing for about half of the last 5 years. he’s certainly earned a paycut, but i really like the guy and hope he sticks around. i still believe that interior tandem of nicks and joseph can finally dominate if no further freak injuries befall them, and we have more cap space than can reasonably spend on quality free agents, so why dump a guy who we have no replacement for?

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    There are some good points in this article. The bottom line is that you simply cannot cut or fire everyone who didn’t play well. There are so many holes in this roster. The Bucs can’t afford to replace both Nicks and Joseph. Joseph is service-able and should be re-signed.

  28. BucTrooper Says:

    I had a personal conversation with Davin at Gaspirilla this year and he told me to my face that he was feeling so much better and that most of his problems were attributed to recovering from knee surgery and the staph infection he had (NOT MRSA, just staph). He said that he was looking forward to a bounce-back year.

  29. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    @Bob Digital: I personally don’t give a crap if good players are overpaid. Take Vincent Jackson for example, great WR, destroys his opponents if his QB allows him to, has his limitations with speed and consistency of hands, but the good is far greater than bad. VJAX could be making about $20 Million and I would not care. Joseph on the other hand is what we call a “bad player” and has been that for several years. Like I said before, if not for the ridiculous contract he got with guaranteed dollars, he would have been out of the league by now with that substandard play. Bad teams are bad because bad players on them get unnecessarily rewarded. It sets a bad example. Tomorrow Ted Larsen would not be too wrong in expecting a $5 Mil/yr deal from us because he is only very slightly worse than Joseph. Its a good thing poop star isn’t of GM or else Larsen could have made that money.

  30. Kevin Says:

    I will bet money he re-structures. He’ll do it.

  31. philip Says:

    @Jonny 2.3
    You’re an idiot.