$28.2 Million On Hold At One Buc Palace

April 7th, 2015

lovie and lichtAlways good for numbers that get Bucs fans worked up, ESPN shared yesterday, via Pat Yasinskas, that Tampa Bay has $28.2 million under the salary cap.

That’s the third most available dough in the league.

Joe already can hear the screams of fans from the used car lots of New Port Richey to the swanky wine bars in Sarasota. These people don’t get why the Bucs are 2-14 and failing to spend.

First, Joe can safely say there is no correlation to winning the NFL and spending maximum cash. (See New England)

Second, the Bucs aren’t finished spending. Assuming they don’t make ludicrous trades, the Bucs are likely to eat up about $8 million in 2015 contracts to rookies. Yes, Jameis Winston the No. 1 overall pick still gets paid pretty well in this era of the rookie salary cap.

Also, the Bucs are poised to work out a contract extension with Lavonte David before opening day. However that may be structured, it could include a pile of cash under this year’s salary cap. Plus, there are still other players to be acquired.

Money left over can be rolled into next year’s cap.

Calm down. Breathe easy. Lovie Smith said there’s no reason to keep any nickels in the vault, and the Bucs will spend their money.

44 Responses to “$28.2 Million On Hold At One Buc Palace”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    Since we are talking cap. lets finally set the record straight! It was Bruce Allen that fixed the cap. The bucs were under by 40 million when the pop-star took over in 2009!

    Really was never an unclear record. The Bucs had cut spending before the ’08 season kicked off.–Joe

  2. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Right on Joe. This is why I am glad they took the 20 plus million hit from ghost, hawk, and Collins this year. They cleared that cap space for next year. Get the franchise QB ( #5) this year, and use the cap money next year to fill in the holes/ UFA’s will WANT to come play with Jameis.

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    So let me understand this correctly…

    If it was not for Lovie’s horrendous 29 million mistake (dead money) the bucs would have 57.2 million in cap space more than double the current number. Even if the number is half based on the prorates and cap calculations formula that’s more than enough to cover the 4 needed starters on the oline. Nah, Lovie is not hurting this team one bit… what a joke.

  4. Buddhaboy Says:

    Lovie, i wish you well. Maybe just defer the team to Dirk Koetter

  5. Mumbles Says:

    Koenen will add another 3.5mil to the kitty soon!

  6. mac Says:

    Go get Alex Mack… He wants out of Cleveland… Move EDS to guard… Move up in first round and draft a right/left tackle… Draft another guard in the third or fourth round…

    This might not be a horrible line… I’m not a big EDS fan but if he is the weakest link I can except it…

  7. WS99 Says:

    Also, the Bucs are poised to work out a contract extension with Lavonte David before opening day.


    Before opening day? I wish but doubtful. They’ve had months to re-sign him but haven’t. This might be the story of the year, idk. If lovie fails to sign LVD or if LVD decides to test the market I think it’s all over for Mr. Smith. No premium player in their right mind wants to play for a 2-14 team AND get benched in the process.

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    @ Joe

    Thanks for backing me up friend! There are just a couple of the Dominick sheep out there that were misinformed and claiming wrongly that the pop-star had actually done something right during his tenure.

    Also let us hope that some of that cash will be to lock LVD!

  9. tmaxcon Says:


    bucs need 4 starters on oline who is going to take mankins spot… too many people are drinking the kool aid that this wrong side of 30 player is going to magically regain form. mankins needs to be replaced. All of this could have been prevented if the coach had a plan prior to blowing up the line. Everyone agreed the line needed to be blown up but there is a right way and a wrong way and Lovie clearly chose the wrong way. No team should ever, ever need 4 starting o lineman in a single off season that is inexcusable.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    nice WS99!

    real recognize real!

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    The Buc Realist

    I am not a dominick sheep by any stretch just trying to clarify who started with the front loaded deals with most of guarantees in year 1 or 2, was that a dom thing or is their a specific guy that handles contracts for the gm’s. i seem to remember that licht said he has nothing to do with the contract structures.

  12. mac Says:

    @ tmax

    Mankins, Edwards, Omamah and the guard we draft in round three should compete every week for the starting right guard spot…

    I agree Mankins is past his prime but I still believe he is at least average… Keep in mind he played last year with a sprained knee… Not an easy task playing guard in the NFL…

  13. Getaclue Says:

    Go get freeney

  14. The Buc Realist Says:


    Bruce Allen’s deals were always different the way they had “funny money” for example when they renegotiated Donovan Mcnabb in Wash. “Initially reported as being a five-year extension worth $78 million, with $40 million guaranteed, the new contract guaranteed McNabb only $3.5 million.” source from PFT.

    After Dominick’s disastrous 2009 free agents when he was handing out signing bonus like candy. The Glazers made him do business differently. After that we saw the No bonus but salary was guaranteed usuall for 2 or 3 years.

    Then there was of course Big Pay Day McKay. who before leaving for Atlanta ( during the season???) gave out huge signing bonus to players like Rice, Mcfarland and others!

  15. Architek Says:

    I’m hoping LVD really have a break season with tackles, sacks, and INTs.

    He should really be a household name because he’s that dynamic on and off the field.

  16. LargoBuc Says:

    Mankins, EDS, Dotson, Omahmah then we draft Cann and Jackson at guard and Williams at tackle.
    Not a star studed line by any means but you can see a little depth and contingency starting to form.
    I would also sign Jake Long to be a bridge until Randy Williams would be ready. Something I dont trust about Dotson at left.
    Also we should try to get George Johnson from Detroit. We need a starter at right end. As long as we dont lose a draft pick im all for it. We need to draft o line picks 2, 3 and four.

  17. kaput Says:

    The Bucs lack of spending is why I refuse to buy any merchandise or go to any games.

    Last season’s spending spree was a shell game as they still entered the season near the bottom of the spending list for the league.

    Spend some money, please. At least act like you’re trying.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One of the reasons we have cap space now & going forward is that our top draft picks from the past haven’t been resigned…..ie Freeman, Baron, Clayborne etc.

    We could also restructure and front-load some of GMC’s $$$

  19. Tiny Tim Says:


    Tmaxcon is correct. Dom was the GM who started structuring the contracts like this. While you are correct that Allen cleaned up the books so to speak, it was Dom’s ingenuity on how to structure contracts in order to cut someone without 3-4 years of dead money. Teams would sign players with signing bonuses. Signing bonuses would affect your salary cap for the life of the contract. Dom started the guaranteed money (1st two years etc). which means you could cut a player after two years without any dead money. Thats why Jason Licht said he was not going to change the way we do contracts because it is a successful model.

  20. Just draft a QB already Says:

    Realist just for the record Allen taught Dominick who was under him the ins and outs of managing the cap it also seems he taught him the ins and outs of drafting.
    Say what you want about Dominicks drafting but he could manage the cap well thats about all he could do. Also L and L went out and spend tons of money last year on the best rated free agents at the time and won free agency how did that turn out? We need to start drafting well five years of bad drafts. It will take time to build this team not one year.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    tmaxcon Says:
    April 7th, 2015 at 11:52 am
    So let me understand this correctly…

    If it was not for Lovie’s horrendous 29 million mistake (dead money) the bucs would have 57.2 million in cap space more than double the current number. Even if the number is half based on the prorates and cap calculations formula that’s more than enough to cover the 4 needed starters on the oline. Nah, Lovie is not hurting this team one bit… what a joke.

    Are you really that dense tmaxcon? Or is your hate for Lovie just blinding you to any semblance of reality?

    If the Bucs had kept Johnson and Collins and Goldson (which accounts for $14M – about half the “dead money”) then the salaries of those players would have added an additional $10M to the bottom line on top of the dead $ cap hits we are taking this year – in which case there would be LESS cap space available to spend – not more. Yes it was a mistake to sign them in the 1st place – but that’s water under the bridge and L&L did the best thing possible by admitting the mistakes and getting rid of them ASAP – took the cap hits this year and a ton of $ will be available next year when all the dead cap $ hit goes away. (Nicks and Barron account for $7M of this year’s dead cap $ BTW)

    Also just because we have $ to spend and need OLine players – where exactly do you propose that those 4 needed Olinemen come from? If not the draft (which is a set price for drafted players) – then where? Free Agency was no help – there were very few if any good OLine players available in FA – and all that were available had issues, question marks and holes in their games. Spending a lot of guaranteed $ over a # of years (which is what it would have taken) to get a player like Iupati who is known to not be a very good pass blocker (just as an example) would NOT have been a good idea.

    So what is your solution to finding OLine players other than paying way too much for players other teams didn’t want to re-sign in FA or by drafting them. Where is this talent supposed to come from? Or is that just too logical a question to ask and goes against your “Don’t bother me with facts – Lovie is an idiot” narrative?

  22. Just draft a QB already Says:

    I agree Pickgrin!!

  23. tmaxcon Says:


    The point you are missing is Lovie made the mistake in signing them in the first place. Thus there would be no discussion on the dead money. I will not give him credit for admitting his mistakes and eating the money. The mistake should never have been made. Not the fact if they kept them it would have cost xxxx. That is irrelevant to me. The initial mistake was taking chances on players that had never excelled or demonstrated consistency at the positions / roles Lovie was asking them to play. That is undisputed sir.

    I don’t care if they were the highest rated, I don’t care they were need players it was very clear the both never were consistently productive so Lovie gambled that they would be consistent starters even though their history clearly showed they were not. Collins never started a full season and Johnson had one respectable sack season. He’s own agent admitted he was not a premier edge rusher yet Lovie signed him to be that player. Same with Collins you blow up the line and replace him with a player that had never started an entire 16 game season with no experienced backup that’s a not a gamble, really! talking about dense how do you not see that. Yes, I hate lovie. I will not apologize for wanting a consistent winning coach which lovie is not…. He is barely over 500 and is well below 500 against winning teams. He only went to back to back playoffs once in ten years. that’s consistency.

    As far as solutions, you can’t fix it in one year. just can’t do it that is why it so inexcusable that it got to this point.

    In my opinion you have to do it this way

    1. Winston
    2. Best OT / DE that fits
    3. BEST DE / OT that fits
    4. If you really like a mike grab him or if a guard is better value you go that way.

    With all the holes on this roster they at a minimum need to walk away with 3 starters. They only picked one starter last year in Evans. So yes one has a right to be concerned the current regime will get it right. I will not count chickens before they are hatched and I highly doubt the bucs get a 3rd rounder for gleenon but in the case they do pull something off whatever they don’t address in picks 2 or 3 they need to address with any extra mid round. but again i doubt it happens.

    and of course you pray and hope that another teams garbage or casualty gets waived so you can you that all impressive first waiver claim some are so proud of. you can’t build a roster with other teams garbage, prove it deals and having the first waiver wire claim and that is exactly what they are doing this off season.

  24. I know why Says:

    Hey Buc Realist. Let’s set the record straight. Dominik is the one who came up with this new pay as you go contract structure. Now teams are coping his unique style. I think you are terrible at your job too. Let the record show my facts. Which QB do you want again?

  25. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The Lavonte David deal should not be too bad. We may know he’s destined to be great, but he hasn’t become that yet, so the Bucs can get a little bit of a bargain.

    I am hoping they think Wiz might end up coming to Tampa.

  26. Matt Says:

    In all honesty Mankins did play with a sprained Knee , however he shouldn’t of been cleared too play in TB with his knee problems . Whoevers job that is too clear players medically should be fired from Tb. It’s becoming a bit ridiculous. Also who kept him in the games with a sprained knee it’s obvious he hasn’t been himself . He should take a paycut if he can’t perform better next season .
    He gonna really have too give TB his all of he wants respect too come his way. If he stinks again I wouldn’t mind cutting him next offseason or trading him back too the patriots .

  27. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I know why Says
    “Hey Buc Realist. Let’s set the record straight. Dominik is the one who came up with this new pay as you go contract structure.”

    You know, in this case, that doesn’t really make Realist wrong. Bruce Allen DID fix the cap by reducing spending.

    Mark Dominick kept it under control and more wisely structured contracts, and was a marvel at getting picks in trade.

    On a side note, can anyone list Jason Licht’s contributions to the team?

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    Whatever dude. I already said signing them was a mistake in retrospect and they did the best thing possible by admitting it and getting rid of those players ASAP.. At least they tried to fill holes which were left by the previous regime – and the FA players they picked up were widely regarded as some of the best available and most everybody thought the Bucs did good last year by signing those players. It didn’t work out – Oh Well. Get rid of them and don’t make the same mistake again which is exactly what they are doing this year. The lesson learned is that last year’s FA crop sucked about as bad as this year’s FA available players. You can’t buy your way to a good team by paying too much for free agents that other teams don’t think are worth keeping. Building through the draft over time is the only way to really do it right and it looks like that is what L&L intend to do.

    And just because ASJ and Simms were hurt a good bit of last year does not mean they were failed draft picks. SMH.

  29. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I think (not actually sure) the Bucs replaced their strength and conditioning coach this year as a result.

  30. tmaxcon Says:

    I never used the term “Failed” in reference to ASJ and Simms. I am not for everyone I get that but be fair. I clearly stated they need 3 starters and only drafted 1 last year which is accurate. The others were injured and not full time starters regardless of what the reason. The bucs need 3 starters that produce the entire season there is just too many holes. some doms fault, some lovies fault it does not matter whose fault it is / was the fact is I am not confident they can fix it. so by the same logic you guys want to give lovie credit for admitting his mistakes and cutting lose bad choices, I feel the glazers need to do the same and admit their mistake and move on it’s better than a slow painful death.

  31. mac Says:

    @ matt

    He was cleared to play because we had absolutely no one else!!!

    Mankins playing last year says two things to me:
    1) Mankins is a tough mother flunked and deserves some respect.
    2) This speaks volumes as to how horrid the depth on this team is… Especially at O line…

  32. Dean Says:

    Here is some additional info, just so you understand where the Bucs stand.

    They do have 29 Million + available now and they are ranked #2 (not 3) in available cap room, just behind the Jags. They can add another 3.25 Mil if the cut Michael Koenen. That brings the cap space to 32 Million this year. They do need to sign draftees for about 8 mil and Lavonte David will probably cost 10-15 million this year, depending on how they structure his new deal.

    That leaves 10-15 million still available to pick up players cut by other teams following the draft.

    Also the Bucs have by far the highest amount of DEAD money in the NFL this year. They have over 21 Million of dead money from the cuts of the three busts from last year’s free agency (and believe it or not…Carl Nicks final cost).

    The good news is next year and beyond there should be no dead money hanging over our heads.

    Also, if they decide to cut Mankins, there is another 7 million

  33. SteveK Says:


    If we don’t/won’t draft Jameis because of off the field concerns, then I hope we trade back.

    Here is a mock draft by yours truly, I traded back with Washington for the 5th overall pick, the 6th pick in the 2nd round and a 2016 1st. Jameis was gone when I picked, Mariota was passed up:

    Round 1 Pick 5 (WASH): Leonard Williams, DT/DE, Southern California (A+)
    Round 2 Pick 2: Landon Collins, SS, Alabama (A+)
    Round 2 Pick 6 (WASH): Eric Kendricks, ILB/OLB, UCLA (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 1: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU (A)
    Round 4 Pick 10: B.J. Finney, C, Kansas State (A)
    Round 5 Pick 26: Chris Conley, WR, Georgia (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 32: Jake Ryan, OLB/ILB, Michigan (B+)
    Round 6 Pick 8: Xavier Williams, DT, Northern Iowa (A+)
    Round 7 Pick 1: Justin Manton, K, Louisiana-Monroe (A+)

    Lovie ball, baby!

  34. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Great Dominick revolutionized bucs salary cap structure…. Maybe that’s because his signings never worked out. Super bowl winning teams will always have cap casualties, we’re in great shape because dummynick built losing team

  35. tmaxcon Says:


    Man, Loive Ball is like sitting in rush hour traffic sometimes you just want to explode and jump out of the car and in front of the fastest moving vehicle you can find. My main problem with lovie the coach is I do not think you can win playing not to lose. Lovie never plays to win the game. It’s always over conservative let’s not lose. Between rule changes, player changes and style of game changes Lovie just does not work for me. You have to play to win in the off season, preseason, regular season and post season. Not be passive and lose. Not all you gambles will pay off but if you don’t play the game you can’t win it.

    I disagree with trading down. Williams maybe the safest pick but you can’t pass up on Winston.

    Do you think Kendricks with be there… You got to o line higher too in my opinion. But you are Lovie ball for sure… just different philosophies.

  36. tmaxcon Says:


    i misread your top part… i get it now. still think you got to go higher with oline but i missed the if they don’t take mr winston

  37. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Let me set the record straight. Neither Allen nor Dominick created our cap space!

    ManU created the cap space for us. That leveraged buyout consumed all the Glazer’s Buc money and so of course we spent far less…not just on players but on first time (some might say unqualified) head coaches. They put off any major investments in RayJay….there was no money for the Bucs.

    The ManU deal is now successful, the last CBA mandates team spend a minimum amount and so I have no fear that this money will be spent in due time.

  38. The Buc Realist Says:


    post of the day! and since that purchase the Bucs have been playing catch-up from running on a budget years!

    Let the rebuilding continue!!!

  39. mac Says:

    @ realest

    It added insult to injury when Mark Dominik’s “build through the draft” strategy failed miserably because of how putrid all his drafts were…

  40. Johnny Dejay Says:

    Dominick came up with the guaranteed money contract style because the Glazers refused to give him big money for signing bonuses, probably because they were broke from overpaying for Manchester United. It was the only way he could possibly be competitive in attracting free agents. I give him credit for adapting his style to the team’s economic problems, but he would not have developed that style on his own.

  41. The Buc Realist Says:

    @johnny dejay

    Very close, But Dominick wasted a lot of signing bonus money in 2009! we know the big names. but alot of people forget all the players that did not even make it to the first game

    angelo crowell
    Luke mcCown
    Mike Nuggent

    they accounted for 8 million!!!! And the glazers said no more signing bonuses, and that is how Dominick came up with his signature contracts!!!

  42. I know why Says:

    lol yeah two of those guys are STILL playing SEVEN years later, some dumb signings and waste of money. Seriously, what Dominik spent in 2009 in real money compared to what just happened last year isn’t even close. Last year is one of the worst NFL off=season from $$$ and talent that any team has EVER had, think about it. Mankins, Free agency, One pick right in draft, miss after miss after miss and Dominik got us into this mess? I bet if Schiano would have stayed last year and coached the team we would have won the division. Shame on Dominik for trading for a great DC, shame on him for drafting NFL injured players like Clayborn, Foster or McCoy. Shame on him for drafting Barron who went to St. Louis and produced more sacks than any other safety in the NFL in only have a season. Yep, he’s terrible…

  43. pick6 Says:

    having enough budget to walk away from last year’s terrible mistakes was nice. of the ~20 mil that is left after the draft, i’m guessing LVD’s extension might take up most of it. probably some june cuts and dan conolly types will eat up some of that money, but they’ll use what’s left to frontload the heck out of LaVonte’s deal

  44. pick6 Says:

    the motivation to go cheap on the new HC in 2009 after firing Gruden had alot to do with the fact that they were paying JG 15 million to not coach football, thanks to the extension they handed him less than a year before firing him. Cap-wise they knew a floor was coming and that they were horribly untalented, so they probably didn’t see the sense in spending money to win 7 games instead of 4. it’s a shame they didn’t give gruden one more year or fire allen and force him to decide whether to quit. simply by not drafting freeman (he absolutely would not have after years with the soft and soft-spoken chris simms) he would have put the franchise ahead.

    Glazers needed to be courageous enough to either fire him the week after the season ended or to give him another year. instead they did neither, and our best option to take the job was a 34 year old man-child with coordinators who haven’t been called by an NFL team since we dumped them