Prepping For A-List, Splash Free Agent?

March 7th, 2015

lovie smith 0113The Buccaneers climbed the high diving board last year and plunged ass head first into the NFL free agency pool.

They made quite a splash — and they’re still cleaning up the mess.

So will the Bucs do it again? Will they throw around big Team Glazer bucks for a big name?

They certainly have the available cash, about $30 million under the 2015 salary cap right now, and that could increase significantly if guys like Dashon Goldson, Michael Koenen, Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson are booted in the coming hours.

Joe thinks the Bucs will be active. Jason Licht and Lovie Smith have said they will refuse to operate in fear and the team must fill holes.

The big question is whether the Bucs will make a play on a true A-list free agent.

Bucs beat writer Woody Cummings, of The Tampa Tribune, believes the Bucs are preparing to pony up some gargantuan cash.

Joe’s not sure there is an A-list guy (A-list, as in $6 million a year) out there that really fits the Bucs’ pressing needs, outside of naughty defensive end Greg Hardy, whose status is questionable. The middle linebacker crop is weak, as is the left tackle crop.  And if the Bucs are going to keep Logan Mankins, so they claim, then they won’t be bidding for an expensive left guard.

Of course, the Bucs could always make a splash for the sake of an impact upgrade. That might be easier if they had a sense of who the next quarterback of the future will be.

73 Responses to “Prepping For A-List, Splash Free Agent?”

  1. modern man Says:

    To be clear, you were banned one month ago for “forcing Joe to babysit your comments for malicious content. That does not help Joe cover the Bucs. It wastes Joe’s time,” which doesn’t help anyone. –Joe

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    Free agency and the draft is the most exciting time to be a Buc fan. Lets Enjoy this part of the year as hard time always start after training camp!!!

  3. BucFanForever Says:

    Being a Buc’s fan is exciting right up until the start of the fourth quarter of the first game of the season, where you begin thinking, “not again.” Then there is four more months of Lovie Ball, and then it is time to get excited again.

  4. BamBamBuc Says:

    First, let’s get it straight. Last year the Bucs didn’t sign A-list players, they paid A-list money to B-list players. Collins was a backup that started some games and did well, but he wasn’t a top left tackle in his prime. Johnson came off a poor year that followed a great year.he hasn’t shown to be an A-list Jared Allen type edge rusher.

    That said, the Bucs should be active in free agency. If there is a true A-list player, they should pay A-list money. I don’t see much for them to go after, but won’t be upset if they sign and pay for A-list.

    What they should do though is look for B-list players for B-list money. Young players coming off of rookie contracts that have shown promise but haven’t had all the success yet. We could sign more of them, they could be critical role performers on special teams if they still need to develop, and they may just be “on the cusp” and explode their first year here. Most of the A-list will be on the back end of their prime and not worth the money. Go get 7 or 8 B-list guys, maybe more.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m just hoping that whoever we pick at least earns their salary…..whether it be $6 mil or $600K….
    I like the idea of quality depth/challengers for starting jobs….
    Guys like Clinton McDonald, Major Wright

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    $8M has to be set aside to pay the draftees – and another $8-9M will be needed from this year’s pool in setting up LaVonte Davis with a new contract. So its not like the Bucs have a ton of $ to spend although cutting Goldson, Collins and Koenen (all of which should happen) will add $10M to our available amount to spend. Licht has been pretty adamant that he’s looking for Clinton McDonald type players instead of Michael Johnson type contracts.

  7. Eric Says:

    Takes a little time to clean up after Dominik.

    Go Lovie.

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Lavonte David

  9. salish_seamonster Says:

    A well informed media source (SR@PR) says that the Bucs are likely to sit out the initial wave of overpriced “impact” free agents. Historically, he tends to have a very good idea of what’s going on at OBP (though his ridiculous idea of chasing Suh had me rolling my eyes)… I could see maybe one splash guy and then a steady stream of mid-tier players who are scheme fits, role players, and special teamers.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    I think a lot of people do not realize that the GM has to overpay for free agents. The Bucs have been historically Bad! and because of that and the instability of the whole franchise the Bucs must over pay play about 20% extra.

    and BAMBAM Verner and Johnson were A-list free agents. which speaks of free agency last year doesn’t it!

    a-list player rarely, rarely see free agency!

  11. ADown88 Says:

    I’d like to see a move for D. Murray. I know it’s not a pressing need, so to say, but it would be amazing to have a top notch back to help Winston. Douggie is not elite by anyone’s standards. Now none of this will matter if we don’t fix the o-line, but we easily have the money to do both.

  12. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Realist I agree the Bucs HAVE to over pay, because not too many players want to come to Tampa.

  13. Bucnnole Says:

    Iupati and Rodney Hudson. Let’s go

  14. Destinjohnny Says:

    I don’t think i am comfortable with L and L’s personnel moves.

  15. ADown88 Says:


    But with big money contracts, the no state tax alone can profit someone an extra mil. With that fact alone, if we match another team from say, Californias contract, we are essentially making the guy an extra 7.5%.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Glad to have you back buddy.

  17. Matt Says:

    I, too, think that we will be smarter this time and not overpay on FAs right out the gate. In fact I think we will be shocked at the sheer number of FAs we bring in for competition. I expect 3 solid young olinemen, Collins to be cut any second now and a mid tier LB that really blossoms in Lovies D and makes a name for himself.

    I hope we don’t pursue McCourty, Iupati, Cobb or JMaclin. They will all be over 8M a yr.

    Now if we could get Harvin and Hudson at say 5-6m/, we address 4 positions of depth with 2 guys. (Harvin kr and wr and Hudson C and G). I think Harvin is a dog that the bigger badder dog Mike Evans will keep in check. Plus if we have Harvin and Winston we will be the talk of the league and ticket sales will soar.

  18. poorglennon Says:

    Percy Harvin with Mariota…..sounds good to me.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Sign Suh!

  20. salish_seamonster Says:

    Harvin, yeah right… Sink millions of dollars into a guy who is always hurt and is not exactly the best guy in the locker room. That makes ZERO sense.

  21. Broy34 Says:

    We need Iupati and he will be target one. They couldn’t run between tackles last year and it’ll help having mike and mankins. HAVE to get a third wideout. We shldve traded for marshall a 5th rounder wouldve given is the best WR trio ever. I think cobb should be considered. He’s an unreal talent and perfect or winston. I like Thomas but Seferian needs to be evaluated when healthy first

  22. salish_seamonster Says:

    Suh is an even worse idea. I mean, if they wanted to really overpay a guy, they would’ve kept Revis last year, which arguably may have been a good move.

  23. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    ADown88…oh yah I factor in the no state tax thingy…

    That still doesn’t matter, nobody wants to play for TB.

  24. Bird Says:

    Devin McCourty would be a+ ? Probably a pipe dream. Hope they get a Guard boling or blalock for cheap and /or RT Orlando Franklin maybe possibility. Eddie royal slot receiver and to return kicks and DE Trent cole or jabal sheard I believe his name is from Browns .
    Boom in FA and then get ready for draft. And sign lavonte for crying out loud

  25. ADown88 Says:


    Lol. Point taken. And I agree. It does help though.

  26. poorglennon Says:

    Anyone buy Winstons “ultra leader” act at the combine. Seemed over the top to me. The guy reminded me of Freeman. Explaining to teammates how they can get to that 5 yard underthrown ball. I like a QB that can pat his own chest. To acknowledge HE made a mistake. With Winston it’ll always be someone else’s fault. When the guy was facing a loss. He lost his &hit. Loagan Mankins will knock him out cold when he starts yelling at the o-line. I must admit i wouldn’t mind watching the drama. Heck the Bucs will be in the spotlight. Everyone will be watching Winston melt down. Can he bring Lovie to tears? How many games will it take for the drama to begin?
    . This season is a write off. We have sooooo many holes to fill. I know some of you be like “get off his back alright, knock it off”. This guy is the next Ryan Leaf

  27. Pat Says:

    Before signing Suh, ask if L&L trusts MG8…if yes, bypass Suh, and grab Williams.

  28. poorglennon Says:

    Every owner should have a personal guy to keep the GM in check. To guard against desperate GMs sacrificing’s the future to save their ass. If these clowns over pay players and hand the signing bonuses (dead money). They can cripple us for years to come.

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Revamped Defensive line

    (Spend Rushers)
    • #58 Trent Cole (32 Age) 6-3 || 271
    • #91 Derrick Morgan (26 Age) 6-3 ||261
    • #56 Jacquies Smith (24 Age) 6-2 ||260

    (Inside –Outside Lineman)
    • #92 William Gholston (23 Age) 6-6 ||281
    • #94 Preston Smith (22 Age) 6-5 ||271
    • #77 Henry Anderson (22 Age) 6-6 || 294

    (Interior Lineman)
    • #93 Gerald McCoy (27 Age) 6-4 || 300
    • #90 Ndamukong Suh (28 Age) 6-4 || 305
    • #98 Clinton McDonald (28 Age) 6-2 || 297

  30. Dick2111 Says:

    As an absolute minimum, the Bucs need TWO new starting offensive linemen, a Guard and a Tackle.

    No matter what else we do (or don’t do) in free agency, we have to sign at least one quality, experienced offensive lineman who can start. That’s assuming that we draft at least one more OLineman who can also start right away. And that doesn’t even begin to address our depth issues (or lack thereof).

    The Bucs need to focus on the big guys in the trenches and stop screwing around.

  31. Matt Says:

    Last year was an orchestrated tank job. Lovie put leashes on his dogs McDonald and ME13. We’re gonna add two more dogs in FA and draft and then turn em all loose.

    ME13 will make Harvin fall right in line, Harvin has learned his lesson this time.
    Our entire franchise will turn around this year when one of our dogs gets in GMACs face after he jumps offsides on a 3rd and 3 or ME13 gets in the face of an offensive player after making a boneheaded play. Who is going to be our lead OMDB (over my dead body) spokesman who proclaims that the losing days are over??!

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    ^Thats one very young & disruptive defensive rotation^

    W/ these Dudes roaming around being out son!

    • #54 Lavonte David 25 ||6-1 || 233
    • #52 Denzel Perryman 22 || 5-11 ||235
    • #51 Danny Lansanah 29 || 6-1 || 255

  33. MadMax Says:

    If we could get DE Trent Cole, Iupati, and Devin McCourty…..draft Winston, hope that OT TJ Clemmings can be had late first (moving up….or maybe falls to us in the second), then LB Stephone Anthony in the 3rd, nickel CB Senquez Golson in the 4th. That would be one HE!! of a haul and major upgrade!!!!

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    You know I respect your opinion broths-but like a said a couple months back. TJ Clemmings is a HUGE project–not one you spend a premium pick on brotha.

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *You know I respect your opinion brotha (F*K apple voice recog) lol

  36. MGM4Life Says:

    This should be Lichts priorities –
    Mike Iupati, G – 49ers
    Bryan Bulaga, T – Packers
    Orlando Franklin, G/T – Broncos
    Stefen Wisniewski, C/G – Raiders

    Whatever $$$ is left, D-line and a 3rd option receiver.

  37. patrickbucs Says:

    Joe says: They certainly have the available cash, about $30 million under the 2015 salary cap right now, and that could increase significantly if guys like Dashon Goldson, Michael Koenen, Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson are booted in the coming hours.

    Outside of Johnson beacuse they are essentially paying a couple of million for him over what thye owe him why are those other guys still on the roster? Possible leverage for the Bucs to reduce their salaries? I have zero idea other then that. No way they can keep Goldson and pay him $8 million, Collins $6 million or so and Koenen for around $3 million. Bucs free agent cash available should be much higher then $30 million and I hope they do lock up David but they need to use him much more aggressively.

  38. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *With these Dudes roaming around —behind out son!

    • #54 Lavonte David 25 ||6-1 || 233
    • #52 Denzel Perryman 22 || 5-11 ||235
    • #51 Danny Lansanah 29 || 6-1 || 255

  39. WS99 Says:

    Mad max

    I’m with you but I like Perryman or Beasley in the 2nd.

  40. MadMax Says:

    @Luv, ideal size and athletics though. Break him in at RT (his college position) while Dotson plays LT. With the right coaching and some time, he could be an awesome LT in the next few years.

  41. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Trade || Restructure || Release – Bad contracts

    Spend majority of the cap space on defensive side of the ball DE || DT || SLB || CB || *cheap safety

    Trade down || Use draft picks to completely revamp Interior offensive line || X, Z Y (WO’s) || DE || MLB || CB || S

  42. MadMax Says:

    If Beasley was there in the 2nd, heck yes. He’s prob going top 10-20….I like Perryman too, we just need so much O line help though…..especially to protect our shiny new QB.

  43. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    He just as big of a project as Dotson was.

    There’s a kid from neck of the woods (North Carolina State) Rob Crisp. Big athletic kid (6-7—sure he’s dealt with a bunch of injuries–but you’ll probably be able to get in him in the 6 round.

    IMO thats where you spend project money.

  44. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Damn we’ve got a bunch holes

  45. MadMax Says:

    “Damn we’ve got a bunch holes”

    LMFAO, exactly why we pass on Suh 😉

  46. Ray Rice Says:

    Free Agency is almost here. I’m getting the RUNS already!

  47. MadMax Says:

    But the biggest hole on D imo is Safety, then DE then MLB.

    And if we do draft a QB with our 1st overall, there better damn well be some screaming matches going on at One Buc to FIX THAT O LINE!

    Know whats funny Luv, I saw a mock where we traded our #1 to philly for their 20th, 2016 1st and 2017 1st plus Foles….LOL, NOT! It would have to be at least 1st and 2nd this year plus the next two years!

  48. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Lol, outside of Suh being one of most dominate interior rushers era. I keep putting Suh on the list because we can afford him. We would instantly have the best interior tandem in NFL history.

    We could easily replace players (w/ bad contracts) with the current 8 draft picks we’ve got.

  49. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Welcome back BamBam.

    I agree 100%.

    On the topic of Greg Hardy, Joe, he won’t get $6m/yr. He won’t get $3m this year even. Keep in mind he’ll be suspended probably all season.

  50. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yeah, I seen that one.

    I would take

    -Nick Foles
    -Lance Johnson
    -Zack Ertz

    2015 * 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 4
    2016 *1 || 2 || 3

    + One or two of our bad contracts

    In a heart beat though

  51. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I figure if we’re compromising and taking Winston, we may as well go after Hardy too, but go with a very incentive structure contract.

  52. 77bassguitarist Says:

    @ luvmybucs I’m with you on signing suh

  53. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I bet Baron is brought back.

  54. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    zero chance Suh comes to Tampa.

  55. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Thank you brotha

  56. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Buccs fans who want Suh likely wanted Revis to stay last year as well for astronomical money. Some Buccaneers fans are just irrational.

  57. feelthepewterpower Says:

    First, let’s get it straight. Last year the Bucs didn’t sign A-list players, they paid A-list money to B-list players. Collins was a backup that started some games and did well, but he wasn’t a top left tackle in his prime. Johnson came off a poor year that followed a great year.he hasn’t shown to be an A-list Jared Allen type edge rusher.


    It’s hindsight – Most thought Johnson was an A-list type player, the best available.

  58. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I didn’t want him at the time. I also spoke against McCown.

  59. Brian Dorry Says:


  60. 77bassguitarist Says:

    @ feelthepower you tell me what the hell is wrong with having two of the best DT in the game….sounds like you’re irrational

  61. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Sign stefen wisneiwski! And greg hardy to a 1 yr deal

  62. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Have u guys heard a ILB by the name of Stephone Anthony. He seems worth a 3rd rd pick.

  63. bucs4lyfe Says:

    get ready lovie

    get ready for fans to ask you to go out and get this big name free agents then listen too these same fans complain when they dont measure up to the standard. i mean your the head coach so it’s all your fault when a highly rated free agent by every ball club chooses you and dont play up to expectations right

    my vote is in for mccourty, wisneiwski at the top of that list

  64. BucIt941 Says:

    i’d like to see us get
    Jerry Hughes DE- Bills or greg Hardy De Carolina
    Devin McCourty -S- Pats, or Rahim Moore S Broncos
    Orlando Franklin-T/G Broncos
    Mark Ingram- RB- Saints
    and possibly Rolando McClain MLB Dallas

    That would be the dream sweep if possible. Grab Jameis Winston QB, Marcus Peters CB, Tre Jackson G with our first 3 picks.

  65. iamkingsu Says:

    Take some of dat money and lock up David!

  66. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Cut VJax, koennen, collins, n dashon. and sign randall cobb, greg hardy, Bruce carter, there are a few safeties we could choose from. we also need a LT and OG. but its a huge upgrade at about the cost of the players we should cut. we would still have atleast 20

  67. BirdDoggers Says:

    I think Lovie and Licht learned a thing or two from last years free agent splurge. They will spend but not in the same way. I expect smarter signings, not necessarily big signings. That’s my optimistic prediction.

  68. Mr. T Says:

    Signing Suh is not going to happen, it not a pressing need and it will take 15 to 18 mill/yr for anyone to sign him and with that amount of money we could sign 3 to 5 players to fill multiple needs we have.

  69. jfat Says:

    McCourty is the only guy I would want them to pay top dollar for. Bulaga @RT, Franklin or Carpenter @G. Above all, save a bit and get Lavonte locked up.

  70. ddneast Says:

    The Bucs most pressing needs are ROG, LOT, MLB, RDE and FS.
    All this talk about getting Suh or a RB is just stupid until you feel those needs.
    And you don’t sign a ROG and give him millions of dollars and then move him out of position to ROG.
    Despite what some of you children think, that is a major switch in the NFL.
    Look at the team trying to fill three to four of those needs in FA. The other one or two in the draft.
    I left the QB position out of FA because other than possibly Lockler, none of them have as much upside as Glennon and it is now just a foregone conclusion the Bucs are going to take a QB at No. 1.

  71. bucs4lyfe Says:

    People throw out known names just for the hell of it never thinking about if that player fits what we want to do…. Big name spit it out as of that has gotten us more wins at any point in our history. Yes overpay…..I know his name so he’s with the pricetag lol. Most of these players like Randall Cobb and Aaron Rodgers had to make a name for themselves you know, it’s called a draft and some of you talk as if you never heard of it

  72. MadMax Says:

    “And you don’t sign a ROG and give him millions of dollars and then move him out of position to ROG.”

    Im assuming you meant LG? Lg to RG, RG to LG it happens. Id actually rather move Mankins to RG and sign Iupati for the left. But since you’re more caught up in talking trash and name calling, Im not surprised you missed that….seems to be your MO….carry on keyboard warrior.

  73. pick6 Says:

    we likely have 50 million dollars to spend. you can’t spend that kind of scratch in this sort of talent pool without at least paying a couple guys like a-listers when they are in fact just anthony collins.