Lovie: “Now Is For Us To Do Better In Free Agency”

January 4th, 2016
jason and lovie

(Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Joe asked Lovie Smith today whether he planned to get more involved in personnel matters this offseason, especially with the extra time he likely won’t spend on hiring new coaches this offseason.

Lovie responded saying that he always has been very involved working closely with general manager Jason Licht. Today’s priority is not the draft, Lovie said, it’s about fixing where the Bucs have failed the past two offseasons.

“Now is for us to do a better job in free agency, and I will definitely be involved in that,” Lovie said.

Yes, the Bucs will be active in free agency. They have too many holes, and surely Lovie knows he must deliver real winning football team next season if he wants to be certain of a fourth season with Tampa Bay.

And then there’s that pile of cash the Bucs have available to spend.

55 Responses to “Lovie: “Now Is For Us To Do Better In Free Agency””

  1. NJBucsFan Says:

    I’d have more confidence if he was not involved.

  2. ElioT Says:

    ^^ This

  3. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Lovie more “involved” with player decisions. Oh-no….

  4. denjoe Says:

    Glazer’s suck!!!!!

  5. bucrightoff Says:

    Really sucks having a desperate coach having to go into FA. If he whiffs he’s gonna get fired AND leave us with a bunch of crappy contracts and probably even more holes to fix for the next coach/GM.

    Also gonna suck having every media outlet blow the Bucs about how great another “Offseason Super Bowl” win feels. Seriously only the Bucs or Dolphins have been considered the “Offseason Super Bowl” champs in recent years, and we all know that has amounted to nothing.

  6. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    he was involved when he grabbed the wrong johnsons in back to back years

  7. BucsQcCity Says:

    I have faith in Licht to not get into massive FA contracts. He’s too smart to fall into that.

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    Lovie sure snookered the Glazers. The fans know more about what it takes to right the ship. This team would play the same way without any coaches. Too many cooks in the kitchen starting with the head chef.

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    “Now is for us to do a better job in free agency, and I will definitely be involved in that,” Lovie said.

    So what are you saying Coach?

    • Up to this point, have you been involved in the Free Agent Process?

    • Coach, can you briefly explain the role you’ve played; the previous two Free Agencies?

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It is quite obvious that Lovie has been retained…or he wouldn’t have given the press conference….

    Any calls for the firing of Lovie Smith will go unheeded….

    Can we please at least lose one more game before the calls continue?

    I’d like to see attention payed to the real things happening like FA, the Draft and Trades….

    As for the subject of this article…We will probably have a good indication of our draft strategy based on our FA acquisitions,,,

    Personally, I’d like to see us pick up a WR in FA that has a track record…all draft picks are risky…but to me the WR position is one of the most risky.

  11. You Go Joe Says:

    If we cut verner thats 6 million added to our already big pool of money.

  12. CC Says:

    TBBF…not so fast. If I remember correctly, Gruden was fired a couple of weeks after the season ended because other teams were looking at hiring Raheem. Same scenario could happen with Koetter.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    They learned their lesson with Gruden…..if you’re going to fire a coach it needs to be immediately……he stays.

  14. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    Not spending time hiring coaches?

    You mean we’re NOT getting a new DC?

  15. CC Says:

    TBBF…if you were given the choice of keeping Smith or Koetter, who would it be?

  16. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    If Lovie wasnt involved then how come so many ex bengals and ex bears, bengals signed based on watrhops great eye for talent

  17. Fowlball Says:

    Remember when Lovie was with the Bears? And remember when he traded for Gaines Adams?

    Just asking.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucfan37 … ‘Too many cooks in the kitchen starting with the head chef.’

    Agree 100%. Especially too many secondary coaches, none of whom are getting the job done.

  19. CC Says:

    Glazers need to make Lovie less involved and if he stays, worry only about coaching. So far he has done a piss poor job with his coaching of this team.

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    (2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
    Salary Cap: 150,000,000
    Player Salaries: 101,740,129
    Dead Money: 390,237

    Carryover: (2015) 9,083,104
    Reserved for (2016) Draft Picks: 5,000,000
    Cap Space Remaining: 51,952,738

    *Additional Cap Savings

    Extention | Restructure | Release Candidate(s)

    Extentions | Restructures
    • Vincent Jackson WR 12,209,778
    • Logan Mankins G 7,000,000
    • Alterraun Verner CB 6,750,000
    • Gosder Cherilus OT 3,500,000

    • Bruce Carter ILB 4,250,000
    • Evan Dietrich-Smith G 2,500,000
    • George Johnson DE 2,000,000
    • Brandon Myers TE 1,916,668

    *We Need Proven Pass Rushers!!

    (Active All-Time Pass Rushers)

    Possible Cap casualties
    • 9. Mario Williams (30) 95.0 2006-2015
    • 8. Elvis Dumervil (31) 96.0 2006-2015
    • 15. Cameron Wake (33) 70.0 2009-2015
    • 18. Justin Tuck (32) 66.5 2005-2015
    • 20. Charles Johnson (29) 63.5 2007-2015
    • 27. Chris Long (30) 53.5 2008-2015

    Unrestricted Free Agents
    24. Von Miller (26) 59.0 2011-2015
    34. Aldon Smith (26) 47.5 2011-2015
    39. Jason P. Paul (27) 43.0 2010-2015
    47. Greg Hardy (27) 40.0 2010-2015

    Note: Lovie Signed DE Julius Peppers at the age of 30.
    He made the Pro Bowl All 3 years under Lovie.

    Julius Peppers
    • 2010*+ 30 8.0
    • 2011* 31 11.0
    • 2012* 32 11.5
    • 2013 33 7.0

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Cap savings…..

    Vjax $9,777,000
    Mankins $7,000,000
    Verner $6,750,000
    Carter $4,250,000
    Cherilus $3,500,000
    EDS $2,500,000
    Johnson $2,000,000
    Meyers $1,750,000

    Thats an additional $37,527,000 added to the $52 mil for a total of appx
    $90 million

    Now I’m not saying they will all be cut….but $90 mil is a staggering amount.

    Myers $1,750,000

  22. Pick6 Says:

    you’ve got more than a player problem at CB and it needs to be addressed. it is not an exaggeration to to say that every CB who lovie has acquired to play in Tampa has played the worst football of their careers here. that doesn’t seem like a coincidence

  23. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Insanity is repeating the same mistake, expecting different results.
    We could not pick decent free agents before, so why all of a sudden, can we be expected to do it now ?

  24. AceofAerospace Says:

    The trust fund babies suck. 2017 can’t get here fast enough. I guess 7-9 next year will be an improvement. Then 8-8 the next year. Then maybe he’ll finally get fired.

  25. Pick6 Says:

    @tampabaybucfan, as we have learned in years past, there just isn’t $90 million worth of talent to blow that cash on. cutting VJax this offseason would be akin to axing revis and penn 2 years ago. perhaps they were overpaid, but in the end they were more worthy of the money than the guys we rolled the dice on. in collins’ case, thanks to his bonus and early termination, he actually cost us more against the cap then the guy he replaced for cap reasons

  26. CC Says:

    TBBF.. you are delusional. Lovie hand picked 6 of the players you named and now you want to give him carte blanche.

  27. CC Says:

    TBBF…Smith or Koetter?

  28. BucTrooper Says:

    Yeah, Lovie….. why don’t you sit this one out……

    You’re the guy who said he had no use for the best cover-corner in the modern NFL and then you give up 70+% completion rates.

  29. Buxster Says:

    how is Leslie Frazier not fired yet????

  30. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I am not advocating any particular cuts….especially Vjax……but are you suggesting we can’t do better than some of these guys?

    That is delusional…..what would you do….keep Verner?…..EDS?….Johnson?

    Do I have confidence that they will strike at rich?…..no….but I would rather swing and miss than save the money.

    My hopes is that they go after some pretty sure bets….even overpay…but make sure we get 2 or 3 top tier players.

    Instead of berating….how about making a few suggestions.

  31. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    TBBF, but the problem is if you have not been paying attention that not just any player can come in and be able to work properly in lovies complex system and thrive see all pro verner and hall of famer revis, nope there is a special kind that fits lovies free agent makeup and they tend to be wshed up chicago bears or washed up cincy bengals….yes lets let lovie d o the shopping again

  32. CC Says:

    Here’s a suggestion. Promote Koetter to head coach.

    We had better before Lovie got rid of players and replaced them with his guys.

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    WHERE’S Bonzai with his cockamamie notions that Lovie has nothing to do with the free agents?

  34. bucrightoff Says:

    87 you know he’s a troll. That’s why he doesn’t come around anymore, not the negativity of this site because it was still way worse under Schiano, but because everyone has figured out his schtick and how to go after him.

  35. Buccaneers Says:

    I quit watching the game yesterday when Rainey fumbled that kickoff. I am a diehard but just couldn’t stomach any more of this amateur hour football Tampa has given to their loyal fans for the past decade.

    To me that fumble kinda summarizes the season. Rainey has fumbled 4 prior returns yet remains on the field for each one. It is not on coaching when a player fumbles but it absolutely is on coaching when players remain on the field to repeat these mistakes. I am not sure how the staff is correcting Rainey’s or other players mistakes but as a viewing fan these mistakes are seemingly ignored as Rainey continues to receive kicks and repeat the same mistake.

    The same could be said about Austin Jenkins(who should be cut IMO), Mike Evans and our heavily pentalitized linemen amongst others.

    We all want to see winning football and you cannot win with repeated mistakes like these. Overcoming 1 or 2 mistakes per game is part of the game. But repeated mistakes have haunted us nearly every drive all season long. Honestly this team has been a joke as a professional team and coaching has to take the main blame here.

  36. Buccaneers Says:

    On contrast to what I’ve said above I’d like to point out the good that I see from Lovie Smith and co.

    -First is their evaluation of the draft. This team has not had a decent draft since the 90’s. That, to me, is why we have been an awful franchise for the past decade……..If the Bucs continue to get good players through the draft they absolutely will be a legit contender.

    -Second is the culture at One Buc Place……..For the past several years this franchise has not been a place free agents desired to come play. 6-10 blows but the team is widely seen as one on the rise and Lovie is well respected(as a players coach) and a guy players want to play for.

    -Third is the staff as a whole. Yes they may have holes but when is the last time we had a coordinator(like Coetter) that the fans all agree as being one of the leagues best? I believe they got a few good football minds at work here.

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ CC

    I would promote Koetter to the HC job….the defense needs to be completely blown up anyway and the leadership will come from Kwon & LVD……

    Koetter & Licht would have plenty of $$ in FA.

    But you asked if the decision was up to me and it isn’t…..that is the problem with fans continuing to call for Lovie to be fired even right after the decision has been made (and I believe it has).
    That’s like calling for Obama’s impeachment right after he was reelected…..it makes no sense.
    I realize they are simply venting their frustration….but please…give it at least until Lovie loses another game….lets try to enjoy the off-season an focus on the realistic improvement of our team.

  38. Buccaneers Says:

    Why promote Koetter to HC? He is been here one year and(with the help of Winston) taken us from a league worst offense to top 10. Koetter is great as an OC and unproven as a HC why mess with that? I say let Koetter do what he does and see where it leads us. Promoting him would just be an experiment. The type of experiment that fails more often then not in the NFL.

    Aside from that, we would be left to search for an OC that’s up to the task. Call me crazy but finding a top OC(like Koetter) is not the easiest thing to do.

  39. Buc1987 Says:

    bucrightoff…welp he just makes stuff up as he goes along dude with no facts to back it up I’d love to debate with him. You’re right though he’s been trolling.

  40. Buc1987 Says:

    Buccaneers Says:
    January 4th, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    “Why promote Koetter to HC? He is been here one year and(with the help of Winston) taken us from a league worst offense to top 10.”

    Because his name has been mentioned a few times in the past as a head coaching candidate while he was with the Falcons. Teams were interested in the past and if others were interested than I say why not the Bucs?

  41. Johnny "America's Commenter" Dejay Says:

    Whoever has been picking the Free Agents the past two years should not be allowed anywhere near this year’s process!

  42. CC Says:

    The Glazers have a lot more money invested in Jameis than Lovie. Jameis is the future of this franchise. So if another team wants Koetter as their head coach, it would be in their best interest to promote Dirk and let Lovie go.
    Simple as that.

  43. Buccaneers Says:

    87-That reasoning is not very encouraging.

    Personally I believe Lovie can build a solid team here. I also respect the opinion he should be fired. In that scenario I want an experienced HC. We just suffered through 2 unproven HC’s who built nothing and left the Bucs in shambles. Also, as I said, hiring unproven coordinators fails more often then not.

  44. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Dominick drafts left this team with a disaster as far as talent is concerned….and yes Licht & Lovie haven’t done a good enough job yet as far as overcoming that….but the last two drafts have been encouraging…if we have one more like it….we will be in much better shape going forward.

    Evans, ASJ (yes ASJ), Sims & Pamphile
    Winston, Smith, Marpet, Alexander & perhaps Bell
    4 more added to that list and we have 13 starters and 2 backups..

    Add a couple of UDFA like Brate & (take your pick…Humphries, Howard Jones)

    The FA market is where we have failed….with perhaps McDonald & Moore being the exceptions.

  45. Sneedy16 Says:

    Promoting Koetter to head coach will take time away from Jameis development. Koetter will be responsible for the whole team and no longer just the offense. They will have to hire another OC to replace him with the hopes that he can continue what Koetter was doing. The same was said about Greg Olsen after Freeman’s great year he had.

  46. Buccaneers Says:

    It should be noted that the Glazers, historically, don’t like to spend to the cap through free agency unless the team is close to a Championship…….That being said signing Doug Martin seems like a great free agent signing.

  47. Buccaneers Says:

    This webpage reminds me of dial up AOL online

  48. godzilla13 Says:

    The problem is that this years FA market is kind of of like this years draft, not very many players stand out. Players that should be cut –

    Alterraun Verner 6.75M
    Bruce Carter 4.25M
    George Johnson 2M
    Mike Jenkins 1M
    Brandon Myers 1.75M
    Tony McDaniel FA
    Bobby Rainey FA
    Evan Smith 2.5M
    Major Wright 1.75M

    19.75M total + 49M = $68.75M under the cap
    Re-sign Doug Martin and Jacquies Smith. Need to sign DE Mario Williams 12M, DE Olivier Vernon, CB Prince Amukamaraor and or CB Sean Lee, SS Walter Thurmond.

  49. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Possible Cap casualties
    • 9. Mario Williams (30) 95.0 2006-2015
    • 8. Elvis Dumervil (31) 96.0 2006-2015
    • 15. Cameron Wake (33) 70.0 2009-2015
    • 18. Justin Tuck (32) 66.5 2005-2015
    • 20. Charles Johnson (29) 63.5 2007-2015
    • 27. Chris Long (30) 53.5 2008-2015

    Unrestricted Free Agents
    24. Von Miller (26) 59.0 2011-2015
    34. Aldon Smith (26) 47.5 2011-2015
    39. Jason P. Paul (27) 43.0 2010-2015
    47. Greg Hardy (27) 40.0 2010-2015

  50. lurker Says:

    ” but the team is widely seen as one on the rise and Lovie is well respected(as a players coach) and a guy players want to play for.”

    that is a far-fetched opinion!

  51. lurker Says:

    ” not just any player can come in and be able to work properly in lovies complex system and thrive see all pro verner and hall of famer revis”


    this is just crazy. i thought verner was a pro-bowler and played in a similar system. i thought most “experts” and media-types said verner would be a perfect fit…hmmmmmmm what happened?

    and revis never received a shot. silly to get rid of some of the “rare” talent to sign failures!

  52. lurker Says:

    promote koetter to head coach and bajakian to offensive coordinator. if oc’s are as precious as some say, promote him so he can stay. he can not do worse than lovie. and the crap of promoted coordinators not being good headcoaches over 50% of the time is silly, where do most coaches come from?

    i never wanted lovie hired, and showed the complaints from bears fans and his poor win/loss record vs over and under .500 teams. what has he improved?

  53. Brad Says:

    It seems as if Lovie is safe. I really hope that the Glaziers try to make a run at Saban after the title game. I know it seems like a far fetched idea, but some people out there seem to think that he would return to the NFL if he had the right QB situation. He never spent more time in a recruit’s living room than he did with Jameis. The QB is in place to take a shot. It’s the only real move that the whole fan base would get behind. Let him have player personnel. Keep Licht around. I would think they may have some ties from his days with the Pats and the relationship that Belicheck and Saban keep. It doesn’t make much sense that Licht, if asked, would be pushing to keep Lovie around. He didn’t hire him, he’s going to get him fired. If you were Saban, what would be a better long-term opportunity in the League for you to have control with a QB? We don’t have a ton of great players but there is a good young nucleus and a great cap situation. He can bring Kiffin with him (he’s not getting a head coach offer anytime soon and also would rather be back in the pros) if Dirk leaves.

  54. Lamdog Says:

    I take Dirk as a man of his word. Dirk has expressed no interest in being a HC. I give the man credit, he stated very simple; he does not have the demeanor for a HC.

    Did not become a fan of Dirk until the 5th game. His offense has never finished higher than 9th until Tampa’s 5th.

  55. Rob Says:

    Please keep Lovie as far away from the FA decisions as possible. For the LOVE of Bucs. Keep him far far away