Norman, Cap Space and Bucs

June 26th, 2016
Lots of factors for not signing Josh Norman.

Lots of factors for not signing Josh Norman.

Joe was like a lot of Bucs fans this past winter.

When the Stinking Panthers decided to cut bait with stud defensive back Josh Norman, Joe thought the Bucs should have pounced on him.

First, of course, the Bucs would have bolstered their secondary. And second, the Bucs would have hurt a division foe. It would have been a delicious one-two punch.

That never happened. Norman signed with the Redskins.

Multimedia maven Scott Smith of looks back at the decision to pass on Norman, and some reasons why the Bucs made that call.

You say you believe the Bucs had the money to sign Norman. I think the more appropriate issue is cap space, but I get your point. The truth is, yes, if the Bucs had wanted to give Norman what the Redskins did, I’m sure they could have found a way. But this happened shortly before the draft, and the Bucs were going to have to allot cap space for the players that were selected. Almost certainly, a Norman signing would have had to be accompanied with some cuts elsewhere on the roster.

Norman’s availability came after the Buccaneers had already made a number of, shall we say, more surgical strikes in free agency, including the additions of cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Josh Robinson. The team also added guard J.R. Sweezy and defensive end Robert Ayers, two players who filled very big needs on the depth chart, and had to pay pretty handsomely to keep running back Doug Martin around. These types of moves seemed like a bit of a course correction after a very aggressive attack on the top end of free agency in 2014 didn’t really pay off. To pay what the Redskins did for Norman would have been swinging back in the other direction, and to be honest, Vincent Jackson notwithstanding, the big-ticket free agents have not worked out that often in Buc history.

Also, signing Norman would have had cap implications for years to come, and I’m not sure a team that has built a young core of talent that it thinks can make it a contender for a good stretch of time wants to take on that issue. Retaining flexibility as the Bucs head into the Jameis Winston era seems like a better idea to me.

Well, the Bucs could have made a helluva dent to make room for Norman’s salary with two simple moves: Cut Alterraun Verner and Evan Smith. Believe it or not, per, Verner’s base salary this year is more than Norman’s with the Redskins.

Scott Smith does has a valid point for the long-term. Soon, players will be due major raises, specifically Mike Evans. Sure, the Bucs may make room for that naturally with Vincent Jackson currently in the final year of his contract.

In four years, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston will be due lottery money, not to mention Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet and possibly Kwon Alexander in three years. The Bucs would have to make room for those increases.

As it turns out, the Bucs may not need Norman after savvy moves by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht. By adding Brent Grimes and drafting Vernon Hargreaves, it sure seems like the Bucs may are deep at cornerback, as opposed to that jailbreak of a secondary last season under Coach My Scheme.

23 Responses to “Norman, Cap Space and Bucs”

  1. ndog Says:

    Plus Norman is a jacka$$ on the field.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We are in good shape short-term & long-term with out cap and we need to stay that way….build through the draft…and that’s exactly what we appear to be doing.

  3. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    Yeah I don’t like Norman

  4. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    We don’t need that kind of ego around here. The guy thinks he the goat because he had one breakout year when he’s been in the league for wnat? 4 yrs now? We’re just fine at cb with Grimes leading the way and the young and talented VH3 behind him, not to mention a young and still growing Banks as well. But to hear that Verner base salary is more than Normans is a bit of a head scratcher. As long as he’s no longer in the NFC (dirty) SOUTH I’m cool with that. I’m sure my man Mike Evans is as well. One less headache we have to worry about for #13. And prob the biggest headache of all.

  5. Kevin Says:

    Im still holding out hope for banks. He can be really good if he puts the work in evwry week

  6. tdtb2015 Says:

    Let’s see if having Verner reunited with his old coach can produce a solid corner out of him. If so, we are about to see a huge turnaround by this defense.

    No less than 8-8 should be realistic with Verner firing on all cylinders.

    Go Bucs!!!

  7. St.Louis Bucs Fan Says:

    Sorry to be off topic but, does anybody know of a web site that I can go watch old Bucs games on? I’m a St.Louis Bucs fan in need of a fix. Can anyone help a brother out? LETS GO BUCS!!!!!

  8. Buccaneers Says:

    I would love Josh Norman but I think we are better off. Down the line we may need to sign a big name elsewhere,like on the D-Line. I think it’s wise for any franchise to build a core and blow their cap money on a big FA when they know that one piece can seal a Championship. The Bucs are too far away to say that with Norman.

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    Another thumbs down for Norman here.

  10. R.O Says:

    I know g-d forbid someone is a jackass in a violent sport where only the strong willed survive..

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    A little ego on the defensive side of the ball to offset the mentally weak soft players would be a refreshing change.

  12. SB with Jameis Says:

    I am telling you guys. Norman was a product of a great Defense as a whole. He was nothing special. By this time next yr noone outside of D.C. will remember his name.

  13. RustyRhinos Says:

    Mr. Norman was very good last season behind a very good DL and LB corps, let us wait and see how it goes with him playing behind the Redskins DL and LB corps. I do believe that there is a slight difference in those two teams Defenses. I hope Mr. Norman does not come back to bite us on our backside, but if it happens it happens. No use crying over the redfish that got away under the sunshine skyway bridge.

    Glad we are planning for the long term rather than the short term. I have been a Buc fan since we moved to St. Pete way back in 1975 from St. Louis. It is beginning to look like we have a better long term plan, than I believe we have seen in the existence of our Bucs team. Mr. McKay had his moments in the sun. But those where different rules he had to work with then. Our current GM Mr. Licht has been around good to great head coaches, GM’s, and scouts since he began his career in the NFL. I believe he has learned different things from all of them. Now he is getting to put into action on his own team, what he has learned on all the other teams he has been associated with in the past. That should be good news for us Buccaneer fans!

    Go Bucs!

  14. Fsuking Says:

    Do Marpet Smith and Kwon not have 5th year options?

  15. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    St. Louis Bucs fan..I have watched quite a few Buc games from last year on YouTube..gotta dig a bit, but they are there. I know I have watched Week8 game like 600 times just to get pumped up.

  16. CalBucsFan Says:

    Really looking forward to seeing how Banks progresses this season. He could very well end up being the Bucs comeback player of the year with some real NFL coaching for the first time this off-season.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, I was amazed … almost. You almost made it through an entire article without mentioning Coach My Scheme … almost.

  18. Joe Says:

    Do Marpet Smith and Kwon not have 5th year options?

    No. That’s only for first round draft picks.

  19. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Good move NOT to sign Norman. Norman is 30 or thereabouts….30 is the downside of most NFL careers. He’s had one career year…on a defense that got great pass rush up the middle. He played a lot of zone….wasn’t left out on island. Also, as Scott Smith stated, would of had major cap ramifications for the future with our key spots likely needed to be extended (QB, OL, ML with Kwon, etc.).

  20. St.Louis Bucs Fan Says:

    Thanks LifeofABucfan! I’ll go search.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    The Kitties let Norman go for a reason.

    As TBBF said, the Bucs are in a solid short and long term cap situation. They need to stay that way and take care of the Home Growns first…

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    “Verner’s base salary this year is more than Norman’s with the Redskins.”

    Yea – that’s because on top of this year’s $5M “base” salary – the Redskins gave Norman $15M this year on top of the $5M as a signing bonus.

    Next year’s base salary is $16.5M – and if he flames out or becomes a head case and they have to cut him they would owe like $28M just to release him.

    No Thanks. Grimes will be better than Norman for the next 2-3 years for 1/2 the price.

  23. finishers Says:

    He had one good year! and he’s a ass****!