Bucs Will Court Robert Ayers

March 9th, 2016
Bucs have second-tier target

Bucs have second-tier target

There’s an old, discarded free agent defensive end headed to Tampa.

The Giants, a team that was in desperate need for pass rush help a couple of days ago, decided to re-sign digit-challenged Jason Pierre-Paul and pay insanely fat bags of money to Olivier Vernon this evening.

One reason they did that is because they didn’t want defensive end Robert Ayers any longer. Ayers turns 31 in September and had 9 1/2 sacks last season in 12 games. It was the best sack total of his seven-year career that spanned five years in Denver and two with the Giants.

Ayers battled ankle, neck and hamstring injuries in 2015, which sure seems like on big old red flag.

Joe can only imagine what Ayers is seeking this crazy free agent market. If he’s got a pulse and is healthy, then Joe is happy to have Ayers as a rotational guy competing in the mix. But Joe’s not sure Ayers will be able to beat out Will Gholston.

Right now, it feels like the Bucs are pecking for crumbs after other teams feasted on roast turkey and mashed potatoes.

64 Responses to “Bucs Will Court Robert Ayers”

  1. Waterboy Says:

    Oh wow a 30 yr old DE who had 17 sacks in 6 seasons prior to last season boy I’m getting more and more excited about next season by the minute.

  2. wesley Says:

    Yeah this sucks.

  3. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Teams with less money are smoking us. We need a safety qb de and wr. Don’t get it. Disappointed.

  4. GhostofSchiano Says:

    At this point forget DE free agents and get 2 in the draft. I can just see opposing QB’s shake in fear at the tandem of Smith and Gholston……eewww, scary.

  5. Waterboy Says:

    I’ll be watching Mario Williams closely next season. Licht fumbled on that one.

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    Say Joe, you be..grasping at straws now huh? Or should I say that’s what out Bucs are doing. I would give Ayers a..free rental car for one yr, free meals at Buc one place and the league minimum. And that’s a stretch..an overpay.
    It would be great to see our Genius GM Licht, perform a miracle and get us another 1st or 2nd rounder in this upcoming draft. we got lotsa holes to fill with much needed Quality players..not quantity.

  7. Lord Says:

    Omg we lost FA already omg

    You guys do realize the big early spenders typically fail with their signings every single year … Miami lol .. You guys think Miami has a good front office? Literally every single team spending big money the last 24 hours have been losing organizations for years.

    You do realize there is more to all this than positions and dollars. We need ppl who love football not just guarenteed pay checks. We need personalities that are not like Michael Johnson and for all we know most these guys are bad cultural fits / me first players

    The only big name signing that has worked out for us recently is Vjax. All others have set this team back.

  8. Alstott up the gut Says:

    Being from NY, I like Ayers coming in. He played well…. He works hard and is in the right system. Broncos are 3-4 and the Giants are 4-3. I think he could easily be the Clinton McDonald on the edge. We were told they may not break the bank (Vernon, geez!!) and Ayers would fill a role here. I like it.

  9. BucFan20 Says:

    No they don’t Lord. They just like to cry!

  10. unbelievable Says:

    ^^ Exactly!

    Remember when we ‘won’ free agency 3 years ago? And then again 2 years ago? What did it bring us? Nothing.

    Teams that win free agency rarely win big the next season. Denver Broncos are the one exception as of late, and they had a lot of pieces in place already.

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Yea – roast turkey and mashed potatoes that cost $300 per plate.

    $85 Million for 5 years with $52M guaranteed?? Are you kidding me?

    No thank you. I’m glad the Bucs didn’t sniff that kind of player.

    For comparison – Jack Smith has the exact same # of sacks in the last 2 years as Vernon had in 2013 and 2015. Vernon had 1 year (2014) of double digit sacks.
    NO WAY is that dude worth $17M per year – all guaranteed for the next 3 years. The Giants are INSANE for paying that much for someone who is not Von Miller or JJ Watt.

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucs should have made a bigger play at Mario, I think that is obvious. Well at least the Bucs will have the most cap room next offseason, then we can all get excited and watch as the Bucs don’t do anything and we hear how Michael Johnson was a bust and because of that all FA signings are bad if they’re not for a minimum salary.

  13. j dubb Says:

    i would rather ayers at a reasonable salary then vernon at that astronomical price, not saying ayers is better but ayers had more sacks than vernon last year and now with a proven dl coach and interior pass rush, he could be a very nice pick up that can provide experience to jacquies and a draft pick if we do sign him. hopefully hes a late bloomer…..i do understand the pessimism because we have so much to spend and dire needs but we shouldnt rush to harsh judgement yet. the draft is deep and rookie pass rushers are making more of an impact in the last few years than they ever have.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Signed G Sweezy

  15. unbelievable Says:

    @Pickgrin, I agree

    BUT… To play devils advocate, if Jac Smith stays healthy all season, he projects to get about 12 sacks. Then he’s a FA, and he will probably be commanding at least 14mil a year. That’s the reality.

  16. Waterboy Says:

    Mario Williams 2 yrs/16 mil. Not quite breaking the bank.

  17. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    I swear we are seeing how much faith the Bucs are putting in Coach Hayes. I bet they draft DL’s and turn the teacher loose. Let’s hope.

  18. Alstott up the gut Says:

    J dubb….. I agree!!

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    @unbelievable –

    Which is why Licht needs to sign Jack Smith to a 3 or 4 year deal NOW while he’s still affordable and we have his rights.

    Instead of the $600k 1 year tender or whatever – see if he will accept a 3 year $11M deal. If Jacquies were to agree – It would probably save $10M or more on the back end if they intend to keep Smith moving forward. And if Smith were to get say 12 sacks in 2016 – forget it – you might as well back up the Brinks truck. Lock him up NOW for the next few years Jason.

  20. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    This seems like every other free agent DE signing we’ve done over the last 10 years.

  21. JayBucsBoi Says:

    Draft people. Bus fans need to not get discouraged by the over-rated Free Agency, we’ll make our team again in this defensive Draft.

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Yea I hear ya, but I think licht will wait it out to see his production. He’ll reward him if he has a big year… but it will become trouble a few years down the line when he have to resign Mike Evans and Jameis (plus D. smith, Ali market, Kwan Alexander). Maybe that’s why we’re saving money now lol

  23. JTHV Says:

    Let’s not overlook Ayers was an OLB in Denver without his hands on the ground. Maybe he’s better set down.

  24. jb Says:

    They’d better have a great draft again. What’s the likelihood of us drafting 3 or 4 rookie starters again? We’d better!
    Jason, what gives? Do these players and agents just not like you? Or are we viewed still as a league laughingstock?

  25. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    I don’t understand why Licht refuses to spend any $ WE HAVE TONS OF IT. We NEED to make a play for M.Sanu. I understand the Roddy White thing, but he will be done in 2 years and Sanu is still young. We already have an old receiver (his name is V.Jax). NO MORE GRANDPAS. Get young

  26. NYbucsfan Says:

    Why? He’s 31 years old and one OK season to me it seems like a waste of money

  27. Getaclue Says:

    Glennon and a 3rd for Denvers first

  28. Bill Says:

    Ayers would be a smart move. Had 10 sacks (that arbitrary number some of you are obsessed with) in fewer opportunities than Vernon, and logged significant time on both sides of the line. Obviously not a long term fix, but a solid short term option.

  29. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    Adam schefter just said that the Bucs wouldn’t trade MG8 for a 1st round pick!!!!! WTF ARE YOU SMOKING? PULL THE TRIGGER

  30. Bird Says:

    Walterfootball has him ranked third for defensive ends. Ahead of Charles Johnson , Mario Williams and JPP. NFL network has him ranked right around 30 in the top 100 so I don’t think he is dog food people.

  31. JTHV Says:

    For what its worth (not much) he’s a 92 Overall on Madden! Jacques Smith is a 79

  32. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    Ian Rappaport just said that there might be a bidding war for MG8. Too many qb needy teams, not enough qbs

  33. Kevin Says:

    If hayes approves do it!

  34. Kevin Says:

    I would love to see glennon have an opportunity to start somewhere else and prove people wrong, but as a bucs fan and looking at it from the standpoint of licht and koetter they know what glennon can do and they know if winston gets hurt they have someone who can win games. BUT if the broncos wanna give us a great pick than you HAVE to trade him interesting to see what happens with that

  35. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “For what it’s worth…..Vernon watched Pablo table dance & he had that Michael Sam “look” in his eyes….Pablo thinks we dodged a very expensive bullet.”

  36. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    I don’t care I bet all these dudes gonna suck maybe 1 will actually hit 10+ sacks

  37. PRBucFan Says:

    He’s #10 on PFF’s top 75 FA list if that means anything lol

  38. Dave Says:

    I will take him and a rookie. Mario followed by Johnson were ideal but it did not appear the Bucs had a shot at either.
    Can’t hold that against them.

  39. Dave Says:

    I have a feeling they are seeking a trade for MG – they could get a 4th and a DB

  40. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Heard Glendon brings a 3rd Ed compensatory pick if we lose him next year.

  41. Rrsrq Says:

    We obviously plan on trading for Muhammad Wilkerson

  42. destro44 Says:

    Good 4-3 DE are hard to find and expensive. I think Snacks got signed but Pot Roast is available. I say get a 3-4 NT and look for a 3-4 edge rusher in the draft, problem solved and lots of $$ saved to buy a WR and secondary help.

  43. dave Says:

    ahh we better draft a few defensive ends if this is the best we’re going to get. at least get a guy with some damn speed, this dude is as slow as gholston and smaller

  44. godzilla13 Says:

    Sometimes the best comes to those who wait. People just don’t understand what a relentless pass-rusher Robert Ayers is. In his two years with the Giants, Ayers has racked up 94 pressures (15 sacks, 25 hits, and 54 hurries) on 602 pass rushes—one of the most productive 4-3 defensive ends on a per snap basis over that spell. Ayers PFF pass rush ranking is ahead of Michael Bennett and only fell behind Olivier Vernon, Von Miller and Khalil Mack. So stop your crying everyone and keep your fingers crossed that we get him signed. Jason Licht is a magician as he has already shown by signing Doug Martin and Guard J.R. Sweezy, whom nine other teams were trying to sign the young up and coming lineman, with a mean nasty streak.

  45. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    @ bull/buc
    They just said on nfl network that the Bucs won’t even take the Broncos 1st round pick for MG8 so a 4th might be low for a qb starved market.

  46. Getaclue Says:

    I’d still rather have freeney than half these guys and he showed he still has some left after coming off the couch mid season to play for the cards

  47. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Derrick Shelby is a young DE from Miami that will cost WAY less than Vernon. But is on a similar talent level. Jaye Howard, from KC, is also a good young DE. Get one or both of them and we will still be ok.

  48. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Depends on what he is asking. But I would certainly give the guy a shot. He is no elite pass rusher. But there aren’t any available. We will be drafting a pass rusher or 2 in the draft. I’m not too worried. I am more interested in which WR the Bucs bring in.

  49. CLBucsFan Says:

    Greeeeeat. The Bucs are once again nickel and diming for the cheapest FA available. On the other hand, how could they pay more for Olivier Vernon than the $85 mil the Giants put on the table. Jesus mary and joseph that’s one hell of a fat contract

  50. salish_seamonster Says:

    Peter King ‏@SI_PeterKing tweeted:

    Reminder to the panic-stricken that your team’s not doing mega-deals today: Lots more bad deals than good get signed on Free Agency day 1.

    (813) 964-1964

  51. Pete Mitchell Says:

    The Glazers are cool with spending fat stacks of cash on a good team that competes deep into the playoffs. Licht said he is thinking of how guys can help this team three years from now. Licht did not, as of yet, drop fat stacks of cash to recruit a free agent (assuming Lovie was pushing those buttons previously). Licht will not get fired in the next three years if he adds conservatively in free agency and builds through the draft, even if the results are mediocre. If Licht drops fat stacks and the team does horrible (and it’s not Lovie’s free agent decisions) then he will be gone too. Simple as that.

  52. finishers Says:

    I am glad we didn’t over pay like these other teams did! 9 out of 10 times they don’t work out! you hardly ever get a V-JAX.

  53. Another J Says:

    I’ve always liked Ayers, He was a beast in Denver, but He was under rated on that defense while he was there, I liked his hustle in New York, and He’d be left one on one playing with McCoy.

    I’d like to see us bring back Wallace Gilberry for a year, and Sign Pot Roast, Terrance Knighton to replace Tony Daniels, or Melton.

    New York, and Miami greatly over paid today, Even with the rising cap space next year. Those teams will suffer buyers remorse.

    We do need to spend some on a corner back, and Draft two Defense Ends next month, along with a CB, and a WR, and DT.

    Gilberry, and Ayers could rotate while we develop the rookies.

  54. salish_seamonster Says:

    I’m thinking Gholston, Jack Smith, Ayers, and a top rookie looks pretty decent. With the assumed better coaching and a more varied scheme, and better coverage, I’m thinking the pass rush could take a leap forward.

  55. salish_seamonster Says:

    ^^ Obviously just talking DE’s

  56. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    I LOVE Another J’s plan…

    and then we draft Hargreaves and I will be one happy camper..

  57. salish_seamonster Says:

    Hargreaves = overrated … Too small, not that fast. Why is he worth the #9 pick?

  58. Guzzie Says:

    Man, I can’t wait for the draft, cause this free agency thing is not for bucs fans, we suck when we pay guys and we suck when we do nothing starting to we just suck at life

  59. Guzzie Says:

    Starting to think we suck at life lol

  60. salish_seamonster Says:

    Might wanna look into some counseling Guzzie…

    Peter King ‏@SI_PeterKing tweeted:

    Reminder to the panic-stricken that your team’s not doing mega-deals today: Lots more bad deals than good get signed on Free Agency day 1.

    (813) 964-1964

  61. jeff Says:

    we needed a de the good teams have no cap space bucs save there money every year same old story

  62. salish_seamonster Says:

    ^^ nice punctuation

  63. Scott Ledger Says:

    So let me get this strait…The G Men upgrade an already substantial pass rush and we get their leftovers? Well Whoopity DO!

  64. lurker Says:

    your turkey and taters suck!

    aged beef is the way to go, whether dry or wet.