Needing To Step Up

March 7th, 2014
davin joseph

USA Today ranks Davin Joseph as top OL who needs to turn play around.

Yes, these are not just anxious times for fans, when they wait for the free agent dinner bell to ring, but also for NFL veterans. Especially well-paid veterans. Especially veterans over the age of 30. Especially veterans who played for crummy teams the previous season. Especially veterans who were not chosen by the man who sits in the general manager’s seat and the new head coach.

Sadly for Bucs offensive guard Davin Joseph, he fits every one of those categories.

Returning from knee surgery, Joseph did not have a great year. Even he would admit that. Given how all signs are pointing the wrong direction for the former first-round pick, if Joseph survives the aforementioned obstacles, he will have to improve his play or he may be looking for a new team in 2015.

In fact, Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today believes no offensive lineman in the NFL needs to turn around his play more so than Joseph.

When healthy, Joseph has been a mainstay on the Buccaneers offense, starting in all 16 games in 2013 and 2011. But that may not be a good thing. The first-round pick carries expectations of Pro-Bowl caliber play at guard, and he’s failed to meet them. Joseph struggles in pass protection, but he is worse at opening rushing lanes along the interior of the offensive line.

Joseph is set to earn $27.5 million over the final four years of his contract. He’s 30 years old and his play is in steady decline. There were rumors that the Buccaneers were shopping Joseph as trade bait, so he may not even be in Tampa Bay before the start of next season. No matter where he is in 2014, however, he’ll need to do better. If he is in Tampa Bay, he’ll be playing for his future.

Joe is pretty sure Joseph will be asked to rework his contract and if he doesn’t, well, he’s on thin ice. Joseph turns 31 this season and was frustrated with his play this past season but seemed to improve in December. It could be that big guys recover from knee surgery slower than other players. Bucs coach Lovie Smith did not totally disagree with Joe about this when Joe had a chance to talk to Lovie.

That, to Joe, is the key. If Joseph’s contract is not renegotiated, then Joseph is walking a nasty tightrope hoping he has fully recovered from knee surgery. Otherwise, Joseph’s days as a Buccaneer may be numbered.

27 Responses to “Needing To Step Up”

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    If were going to improve, not everybody is going to be able to restructure there contract. All that does is give us more cap space but the product on the field stays the same. I think Joseph gets cuts and Penn gets restructured.

  2. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    IMO-I think Penn/Joseph/Zuttah get cut or traded. And continue their careers with whoever loses out on resigning their own free agents; for those prospective positions.

  3. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    I may differ in opinion. I think you cut Penn and ask Joesph to take the pay-cut. depending on how you feel Davin coming off surgery. Do you give him a little more time to see what he can do this year? If both or 1 is on this team they will have to have people to step in, if they can not get it done. The rope is very short for both of them.

  4. patrickbucs Says:

    I’m not sure why they are waiting on some of our current players including Joseph. Maybe they are using these constant rumors as motivation for Penn and Joseph and see where they are in training camp or the draft.

    Either way these guys are making a lot of money and need to perform much better this year for the Bucs to have any success.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    I think Penn’s restructure will include weight clauses if they can do that, because he’s obviously only effective when he’s on the lighter side.

    They may offer Joseph to restructure for the equivalent of backup money, and make him prove he can do more / earn more. But it honestly it wouldn’t surprise to me see both gone. I think we will see far more turnover than many fans expect.

  6. SAMCRO Says:

    I agree, How does restructuring a players contract make them play better? Cut Joseph, restructure Penn and move him to RG. Move Zuttah to left guard. Grab a center and couple guards FA and draft a LT with our first pick, and we should be set for a good couple more years.

  7. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    Penn has always been a better player than Joseph except for in the eyes of the delusional. If you have to give a benefit of the doubt to one of them, it should be Penn, not Joseph who has been bad to terribad for several years now.

  8. Macabee Says:

    Davin Joseph will be quality back-up at the right price if he is not required to play every offensive snap. Along with a salary cut, the Bucs should offer reasonable financial incentives to motivate maximum effort. If joseph can manage his pride and ego, this could be a win win! Personally like the guy, great locker room influence.

  9. Macabee Says:

    correction: Not if, when he is not required…..

  10. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ok, we’ve got one comparable on the quarterback side:

    Henne’s deal is worth $8 million, including $4.5 million guaranteed in the first year

  11. lurker Says:

    with henne’s signing, the jags might take clowney or mack, if available, and draft a qb in later rounds.

    all signs pointing to a qb falling to 7.

  12. Capt. Tim Says:

    Jonny 2.3
    Great post, and spot on. You,sir, know your football.

  13. Capt. Tim Says:

    Always liked Joseph. Great guy, great player.
    But the concern about him has always been that, he is a big man, with a smallish frame.
    He has started to break down the last few years, and his play reflects it.
    And that downward spiral is chronic

    Penn is still above average. But will soon begin to decline. I think the world of him- but I believe we should trade him. Let him go to a contender, rather than waste his remaining years babysitting some Rookie QB. We can get a decent pick for him, and he can chase his ring!

  14. RastaMon Says:

    “Needing To Step Up”….Bitch ! Slap !..the writer…stepping up is NEVER anything Davin Joseph…failed to do…he lost a leg in battle at the top of his game…..Bitch Slap…..

  15. Mr. Patrick Says:

    I don’t think that people realize how serious Joseph’s knee injury was. It wasn’t just your routine ACL tear, but the MCL and Patella Tendon also. Some players never come all the way back from that

  16. Macabee Says:


    You don’t know who to believe this time of year, But the Raiders have said they will not draft a QB in the 1st round. Now analysts are saying that Jax will not either. All could be lying but if true, for sure a top 5 QB will be there at #7.

    Ryan O’Halloran @ryanohalloran

    League source on #Jaguars: “With Henne back, I don’t expect them to take QB until 2nd round and maybe not until 3rd or 4th round.”

    2:06 PM – 7 Mar 2014

  17. Kevin Says:

    Coming off injury…I can see why he didn’t have great year. If they keep him they obviously think he can get back to his old self

  18. SAMCRO Says:

    Amazing, ..two of the most desperate QB- needy teams, at the top of the draft, and they are not going to select one of the three projected 1st rounders.

    What the he|| does that say about the top of this QB class? ….

    weak.. very weak

  19. RastaMon Says:

    any team with Henne……needs a QB…. another Ray Rice bitch slap.

  20. lurker Says:

    and as I stated, rasta, this will allow them to pick one up in the second.

    so slap yoself

  21. owlykat Says:

    Try Penn at RT after restructuring his contract and move our RT to LT where he will flourish and use Chase Daniel to challenge for that job and RT. Keep Zutah at Center and draft a backup C/G. Sign a free agent RT to start there. Keep your RG and see if he can regain his form from surgery and keep Meredith as your premium backup for him.

  22. lurker Says:

    dang owlykat, I just tried drawing that out on paper bust it just look like a gruden play turned sideways.

  23. lurker Says:

    *…but it just looked like…

  24. bigpoppabuc Says:

    That knee injury he suffered was pretty rough, I remember watching it. I believe Joseph is one of the few leaders in the locker room that have been around for a while and stuck through some schnit. I’m a big fan. He’s played very well in the past, it’s just a matter if he can get back there. I also think he will take a slight pay cut, prove himself again and stay a Buccaneer…. I hope.

  25. Capt. Tim Says:

    LTs don’t switch to Rt. LT pays a hellava lot more.
    With Dotson playing less than 20 preseason snaps,in his career, at LT- why do you persist in delusionally proclaiming him to be capable of playing LT. A position most consider to be the 3rd toughest position to play in Football- behind only QB and CB. I’m a Dotson Supporter. Think he has done great.

    But he struggles in space with power rushers. On the rare occasion he faces a speed rusher at LDE, they leave a TE on his side, to maintain the edge.

    Dotson did well this year. If he keeps working hard, he will be a great RT! He has the talent. And that’s nothing to Sneeze at.

    But LT? Lol. Please stop saying that. This isn’t Madden. LT is a pretty unique skill set- that’s why it pays so much more than other linemen.

    Zuttah was horrible at Center. Joseph was was terrible at RG. Meredith was ok at best.both Tackles played well, but our interior line was inept.

    Need to replace all 3 interior positions

  26. Lutz Bucz Fan Says:

    I saw Joseph in Publix a few weeks ago and he looks great. I think a contract restructure is appropriate. Since we have no depth at guard, I’m not sure cutting him is the right thing to do. I saw progression in his play towards the end of the year as he got healthier and into football shape. He may not play at a pro bowl level anymore, but I prefer Joseph to a rookie and journeyman backup.

  27. Capt. Tim Says:

    Rastamon- it turns out that you were correct.
    Joseph does not need to step up.