March 27th, 2015

Spreadsheeters seem perplexed why Henry Melton would sign with the Bucs.

Yes, Joe thinks the Bucs got smarter this offseason. Rather that chasing sketchy starters with wheelbarrows full of Team Glazer cash, the Bucs went bargain-basement shopping to add depth to a team that had little.

Of course, after striking out big time on the Terrible Troika (turnover-prone Josh McCown, Ghost Johnson and Anthony Collins), Joe doesn’t blame the Bucs for being gun shy.

It seems the spreadsheeters over at Pro Football Focus really like how the Bucs acquired defensive lineman Henry Melton, formerly of the Cowboys. However, Michael Renner is trying to figure out why Melton settled for the Bucs.

Why: 2015 marks Melton’s third straight season on a one-year contract. The first came via the franchise tag from the Bears in 2013. After an ACL injury that season the market for his services shrunk considerably and he signed for one year in Dallas. Now this one-year deal seems to stem from Melton’s limited snap counts. The defensive tackle was solely a pass rusher last season playing 433 snaps, and although he excelled in them, teams were hesitant to dole out big money to a part-time player.

Projection: There is an obvious connection with Melton returning to Lovie Smith under whom he had the best years of his career in Chicago. What doesn’t make sense is why he didn’t go to a team that would have used him as a starter. Melton isn’t stout enough against the run to be Gerald McCoy’s counterpart and certainly won’t unseat McCoy from his starting position. Melton again projects to be a productive sub-package player and should have the same playing time question marks surrounding him next offseason.

2016 Market: It’s hard to see teams changing their mind on Melton next offseason and his market will still be limited to 4-3/1-gap teams due to his size and ability. The best case scenario is a pass rush needy team pays Melton like the run defense needy Falcons paid Paul Soliai last offseason (5-years, $32m, $11m guaranteed).

It is easy to figure out why. Lovie Smith has shown he can get the most out of Melton and Melton knows this. Plus, Lovie was/is desperate to find help for Gerald McCoy in rushing the passer (Joe is as tired of hearing this song as he is “Stairway to Heaven.”)

Lovie ought to be able to find someone to get double-digit sacks from someone not named Gerald McCoy, shouldn’t he?

13 Responses to “Why?”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Melton got a taste of not paying state income taxes in Texas and Florida was a logical choice…..mystery solved.

  2. Kaptain Morgan Says:

    Maybe he takes career/contract advice from Derrelle Revis. Sign as many 1 year contracts as you can; collect signing bonuses; bank.

  3. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Pro Football Focus had a little credit before going to on to say things like this. why? then going on to say he was franchised tag and had his best production under lovie and you ask why lol. they have no credibility just like any of us when your analysis is based off projection. gaines adams was projected to be a first round pick….you never know what someone will do and it’s not like theres a real learning curve for him in this defense

  4. Leighroy Says:

    So the bucs didn’t improve at DE yet. But with 2 bulls steaming down the interior of the DL on 3rd downs, maybe these young guys on the outside can step up with less attention on them and more attention on Melton and McCoy.

    Plus there’s GMC’s injury history, and this guy is an awesome insurance policy.

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Seems like a pretty good pick up for a good price. unfortunately, DT was already a solid position for the Bucs – so instead of filling a hole – Melton just serves as a good situational back up. Now if he can play DE – that’s another story. But i don’t think that’s the plan.

  6. iamkingsu Says:

    What’s going to help the pass rush most is the addition of Sterling Moore. Now teams won’t just single out Leonard Johnson in crtical situations. You’ll just don’t know how good this kid was last year when Mo Claiborne went down. I will guarantee as the season goes along offenses will sfart to key on Verner rather than go at him or Johnny Banks

  7. Armando Says:

    I never get tired of hearing Stairway to Heaven

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If he were to manage 8 or more sacks, someone would give him a longer term deal next year.

  9. Buctebow Says:

    Lovie is using the Joe Maddon “sabremetrics” approach. If you can’t get one guy that can play both the run and the pass well, then you get two guys that can each play one of those roles well and platoon them. Unless Houston decides to trade JJ Watt to us, it’s the best we can do for now.

  10. LargoBuc Says:

    Im not shocked that melton would come here. He knows what to expect from Lovie and his defense.
    And im not surprised Lovie wanted Melton either. Good player that he knows will fit his defense. Not to mention how inexpensive his services were. Itz not everyday you get quality depth at a bargain.

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    So the Bucs went the cheaper route obtaining players this offseason. Good for them! It makes logical sense. I do most of my shopping at the thrift stores too.

  12. gt40bear Says:

    As last year showed, the “spreadsheeters” don’t know a damned thing about football…or football players! Anthony Collins, Michael Johnson anyone? Starting to believe spreadsheeters are like movie critics, take what they say and do the opposite!

  13. BoJim Says:

    I hate ‘Freebird’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.