Cupboard Contents Will Restrain Jason Licht

January 20th, 2017



Every once in awhile, the guys who astutely run this website have to be slapped back into reality.

This is one of those moments.

The same pundits who foolishly labeled Mark Dominik a “rock star” and prematurely assigned Jameis Winston with the title “America’s Quarterback” are now giddy with the prospect of the Bucs going hog wild in the offseason.

They can’t sleep at night, imagining the sight of Adrian Peterson, DeSean Jackson and Calais Campbell wearing pewter.

Pump those brakes, gentlemen.

Yes, the Bucs have all kinds of money to spend on free agents. Yes, a 9-7 season suggests the right upgrades could help Tampa Bay make the leap to perennial playoff contender.

But let’s not forget the Glazers are adamant about re-signing core talent to extensions — and that takes big bucks.

The biggest problem around here since 2002 has been the lack of young foundational players who needed to be retained.

But thanks to the savvy drafting of Jason Licht, the cupboard is no longer empty.

Winston has the look of the first franchise quarterback in Buc history. Mike Evans is likely the best wide receiver to ever work out of One Buc Place.

After only two years, Ali Marpet has established himself as Tampa Bay’s most accomplished offensive lineman. Kwon Alexander is the heart and soul of an improving defense.

When the Bucs get to where they want to go, those players will lead the way. And they will be on second contracts.

That takes CASH.

Campbell Embrace, Glazer Review

Don’t expect another 2014 land rush that ushered in free-agent busts like Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson.

“That was not the way,” Licht said in retrospect. “I was never around an organization that did it that way, but I did it and I accept responsibility for it. It just took me back to what my core values and beliefs are regarding free agency: you can’t buy a championship, you’ve got to build one.”

The Bucs will be more selective this time around, targeting high-character players.

Campbell appears to fit that mold, and Licht will have killer intel on Arizona’s 6-foot-8 defensive lineman because Cardinals GM Steve Keim is a close friend.

Campbell, who turns 31 in September, is a versatile player — a 300-pound rock difficult to budge inside, yet a good enough athlete to be a dynamic force off the edge.

Ira consults with Team Glazer and Jason Licht

Ira consults with Team Glazer and Jason Licht

Pursuing Campbell makes sense, but the Bucs will have fierce competition if Arizona lets him test the market. There is growing talk the Broncos are interested in Campbell, who will likely command Michael Bennett dollars ($31.5 million over 3 years).

For perspective, let’s go back to the spring of 2011, when the Bucs were coming off a 10-win season. At that point, I asked co-owner Joel Glazer if the organization felt the need to be more aggressive in free agency.

“Our thinking doesn’t change,” Glazer said. “We’re going to stick to the plan. The road that leads to sustained success is drafting well, keeping those players and growing the team that way. You never close the door on anything, but it has to fit your formula for success. Big contracts come along with this formula because if you get it right, you’ve got to pay big salaries — and we look forward to that. If there’s a player out there in free agency that gives us a great chance to win a Super Bowl, you have to look at that.”

Unlike some others, I’m not jumping on the Peterson Express.

Shopping Orders

A running back who turns 32 in March has a lot to prove, especially coming off knee surgery. Peterson is already publicly shopping himself to the Bucs, Texans and Giants, but he remains under contract to Minnesota.

Peterson won’t come cheap, and he’s only a stop-gap measure. Despite Peterson’s claim that he has five good years left, his history and age suggest the Bucs would be lucky to squeeze out two solid seasons from him.

Yes, the Bucs will be active in free agency, but they will be strategic. As Glazer notes, teams that appear to win free agency in March with a spending spree rarely find success in September.

“The best players are not in free agency,” says Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian. “They are tagged or signed. By definition, you are getting a guy that is not somebody else’s No. 1 … and you are probably over-paying for him. When you have a good team and a good personnel department, then it behooves you to be restrained in free agency.

“Fans want you to go out and play fantasy football, but that’s the last thing you should be doing because that money, if you miss, is gone and it’s never coming back.”

Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter pens columns for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and he churns out his popular podcasts here Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also listen to the podcasts on iTunes or Podbean

59 Responses to “Cupboard Contents Will Restrain Jason Licht”

  1. Joe Says:

    Ira, Ira, Ira … …

  2. Joeypoppems Says:


  3. USFBUC Says:

    Ira what free agents do you think make the most sense for our team?

    Picking up AP in FA is just a silly idea that would likely backfire on the Bucs. I feel like any FAs should be guys who are still younger and could serve in a key role for the team. Guys like Cordarelle Patterson come to mind with his kick return ability.

  4. Joeypoppems Says:

    This is my favorite article so far tis offseason lol

  5. Guzzie Says:

    Resigning Jameis Evans Kwon and Marpet is going to take a significant part of our salary cap in 2018, this is probably the final year for GMC and David

  6. tdtb2015 Says:

    Ira, Ira, Ira!!!!

  7. gotbbucs Says:

    Signing veterans like Ayers and Grimes to two year deals is the smart play if your convinced that you can do well in the draft on most years. Free Agency should be used to fill holes, not build foundations. It’s taken me quite a few years as a Buc fan to understand this.
    You can’t drunkenly open up the wallet and pay out the nose for guys just looking to get paid. There are plenty of veterans out there still looking to prove something that can help most teams out come game time.

  8. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Final year for gmc🙏..

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    We have enough $$ to sign the same amount of players as we did in 2014; and still have enough to re-sign our own.

    I’m going to try and do some lazy math – I believe we have like $70 mill in space right now.

    Verner’s $6.5 million should come off – even if he resigns it’d probably be for a 1.5 mill or something – so let’s say we save $5 mill

    So let’s say $75 mill; that’s with ME costing 4.6 mill against the cap now

    Sign him to a 5 year deal; averaging like $15 mill per year (or another $10 against the cap)
    Pamphile / Sims maybe like $7 mill per year total for both – or for Pamphile if he really steps up and we let Sims go

    So we’re at like $68 mill still after locking up the 2014 class.

    Winston / Marpet / Smith / Kwon will likely cost

    $20 / $8 / $8-10 / $8 – so Let’s say $50 million to be safe. Guards / LBs don’t make 10+ mill typically; and Smith isn’t elite enough to command something crazy.

    Still have $18 mill and everyone is locked up an entire earlier than needed. Not to mention the cap next year will go up by probably another $5-10 mill or more. It was $143 in 2015, $155 in 2016, and $166 in 2017; so I’d bet another $10 at least.

    Also Grimes / Ayers contracts likely come off the books in 2 years – which is 12.5 mill; and possibly sweezy even earlier which would make it $18.5 mill. McDonald another possibility; and then eventually McCoy.

    So we could literally sign the entire 2014 / 2015 classes the next 2 off seasons; and STILL likely have $42 million to spend on FAs the next 2 years; and be completely fine the next year when we’d want to sign the 2016 class with growing cap and other contracts coming off. Especially if we sign players that are here for just a couple years whose contracts will come off as we keep adding cheaper draft talent to our team

  10. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Tmax I’ve thought about you’ve said on more than occasion,I pray you are wrong but my fear is you are right. How can we truly expect to win with that dude on this roster. When it counts most that dude will let us all down.

  11. tdtb2015 Says:

    FA—- Campbell, LaFell and A. Peterson.

    2yr. deal for A. Peterson to sellout the stadium while Jameis takes us to the SB.

    Go Bucs!!!!

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Damnit man my math was wrong right in the beginning. $75-17 = $58 mill not $68 mill

    Still that means we’d have at least $32 mill in space available to spend on contracts the next 2 years. That’s like 4 starters; or 3 really good starters; or 2 elite players.

  13. Piratic Says:

    Ira is like Jameis: He elevates everyone around him.

  14. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    @Lord C

    Thanks for doing what IRA should have done. EVERYBODY here…not just IRA knows we need to budget for our franchise QB and ME, Kwon and the rest.

    But IRA just typed off the top of his head with bromides like build through the draft…duh…again tell us something we don’t know.

    If IRA really wanted to inform us he would have approached this more realistically like Lord C. SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    I appreciate Lord C giving it a shot. I asked LUV who can be a bit of a numbers geek to help out perhaps he’ll come along.

    In Real Estate it’s called a sinking fund. E.G. Businesses might budget a set amount every year for 20 years in a fund in anticipation of replacing a roof or piece of equipment.

    IRA…JOE…LUV….somebody tell me what the Bucs sinking fund is for #3 and our stars. I GUARANTEE that Licht or a designated capologist on staff knows EXACTLY what they’re budgeting.

    Then do the drill for me…subtract the amount you’re placing in the sinking fund…or if not actually placing budgeting in the future…so I can know EXACTLY what we have to spend on free agents.

    As a man once said….10 million here…8 million there…20 million there…pretty soon you’re talking about some REAL money.

  15. Danthebucfan Says:

    Ira, Ira, Ira…

    Don’t take away our dreams. Watch out. You may be labeled the Grinch.

  16. Jim Says:

    In my book, Ira is the best commentator on this site,..knowledgeable and level-headed…

  17. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    May I respectfully disagree. I get the respect for IRA!

    He’s earned it with a long and illustrious career so I’ll start with props to IRA for his accomplishments. But I do not respect his OPINION anymore than I do the Joe’s.

    This piece was total fluff without a single fact other than the quote or attribution to Joel Glazer. He told us that we need to budget for all our future stars. DUH!!! YA THINK? He told us that Licht and the Glazers believe you build the foundation of your team through draft. That’s news? Who disagrees with that…certainly not the Joes.

    So if IRA or JOE for that matter really wanted to inform us they’d do what Lord C attempted. How about some FACTS? What have the Bucs budgeted for #3..Kwon…ME and all of our stars? Licht either does it himself or has a capologist on staff. This article would have had a LOT more meaning with some of those numbers…and that’s where IRA’s strength comes in…he can probably get those numbers for us! Just how much do we have for FA’s? We ALL know it’s not limitless! We all know that FA’s are dangerous because teams pay all their own stars, and so by definition most FA’s are tainted in some form or another…best case scenario just overpriced. If they produce as expected overpaying isn’t the end of the world. If they’re Ghost’s a different story. The Rams were said to have grossly overpaid when they signed Marshall Faulk from the Colts. Does anybody believe that now?

    Again show me the money. What do we have allocated for FA’s? IRA’s a great
    journalist with a fine reputation but just as #3 throws ints and DK makes the wrong call on occasion this was a very lazy piece that told us nothing we didn’t know.

  18. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Championship teams do a mixture of both, sign free agents and develop core talent through the draft. No team hits on every free agent or draft pick. We missed at both Johnson and Collins, so what, they weren’t too many other options. One thing I think is comical is how the Buc’s are always one of the top teams in available cap space. Teams can always create more cap space. We don’t have owners who want to win more than anything so that’s the main obvious issue. Did anybody take a look at Atlanta’s owner’s box suite the other night, they had Rich McCay, Scott Pioli, and Demetriov, all great football minds. We have the tweedle dee, tweedle dumb, and tweedle dumber glazer brothers chilling in the Buc’s box.

  19. mike Says:

    Almost everyone will have money so you are going to have to over pay for medicore players. Maybe we can find a solid wr and a solid safety in free agency along with signing some depth.

  20. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Speaking of good free-agent acquisitions, the Joes hit a home run with Ira.

    Hopefully, we are targeting more second contract free agents, than 3rd or 4th contracts. Kenny Stills being the exception.

    Please no Peterson. We need to get younger at RB, not older. Peterson is like a car racing up the skyway incline with just fumes left in the tank. Way too risky.

  21. salish_seamonster Says:

    I prefer the sober approach to free agency. Most of our excess cap space should be held in reserve for resigning the core. Start with Evans this year. Then Winston, Marpet, Kwon next year.

  22. Buc2015 Says:

    It’s worth keeping in mind that even if the Bucs make ZERO “splash” free agent signings, we could still expect incremental improvement by the team next year. And incremental improvement from 2016 equals a playoff berth. I say this because a) we will very likely lose no significant parts in FA, b) young players can be expected to improve – especially Jameis but also the OL and Kwon/Spence/Hargreaves, etc, and c) we could use the draft to plug obvious holes.

    So it’s easy to get excited about signing multiple big names in FA, laying out $10M+ a year for 2 or 3 guys ….. but if we only sign a handful of “B” and “C” free agents – similar to last offseason – we’d still be in VERY good shape for 2017, IMO. And it would probably be wiser for the long term.

  23. Tampa Tony Says:

    Ira is the man!!! Love the deserved digs at the Joes

  24. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “@Lord C
    Thanks for doing what IRA should have done.”

    Thanks man. And I really enjoy Ira I just wanted to try and figure this thing out because I was genuinely curious and had yet to try and do the math. If I got paid to cover the Bucs I would go nuts laying this all out and spend my entire day but I don’t have the time lol. There are tons of other things my analysis ignored like potential re-signings of guys like Gholston / Tandy / slot corners / etc but I wanted to just look at the obvious guys we will re-sign that will command big dollars.

    I think my projected cap hits are pretty realistic. Winston might be closer to $25 than $20; but I just don’t see him as wanting to pull a Brees and try to get as much $$ as possible with no care for how it effects the cap of the team. I’m hoping he goes more of a Brady route.

    But even if he cost $25 mill; I projected really high salaries for Marpet/Smith/Kwon at a total of $30 mill. Those guys more likely end up averaging like $6-8 mill each; or $18-24 million.

    So here’s an example of what we could do next off-seasons:

    -Restructure Verner to come back for a couple mill if he wants; or cut him (Save $5 mill)
    -Re-sign Gholston at $5 mill per year
    -Extend Mike Evans for 5 years; taking about a $15 mill cap hit per year (hopefully more like $13)
    (salary cap now at $60 mill with net loss of $10 mill based on 3 transactions above)
    -Sign Pierre Garcon or Djax – $8 mill cap hit – maybe more or less (Djax averaged $6+ mill in DC, Garcon averaged $8+ mill)
    -Sign Calias Campbell – $10 mill cap hit (might be less)
    -Sign Cordarelle Patterson or Tedd Ginn – $2 mill cap hit
    -Sign couple other guys for depth as needed for cheap salaries – $2 mill

    We’re now at like $38 mill. Let’s say $6 mill for the draft picks

    We’d have $32 mill to carry over to next year. Even if we carry Grimes & Ayers contracts another year; we’d likely have about $42 mill in cap space still with them on the books due to the increased cap. At this point you could get Winston’s deal done and still have $20+ mill left over for deals for guys like Pamphile / Marpet / Kwon / Smith / rookies. We would likely only extend Pamphile and maybe one of those other guys at that point as they’d still be on rookie deals in 2018.

    Then in 2019; we’d likely move on from a lot of the older guys like Grimes / Ayers / maybe even Campbell / Garcon or whatever vet WR we’d sign; freeing up like $20-30 mill to sign our own and new draft picks. Plus McDonald / McCoy will be getting older and we could be moving on from them.

    -I’m not counting anything for O-line. If Sweezy is good he’s already accounted for. If not just replace his expensive contract with another similar one or worse.

  25. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for some actual analysis. Well done. If anybody has better numbers let’s see them.

    What we all agree upon…We need to hoard enough money to keep our young stars! Again DUH!

    We are leery of FA’s because by definition they are tainted…either old as Bonzai pointed out, overpriced, or perhaps have an injury question along with age like AP. But again I do not mind overpaying the right guys…worse than that is underpaying, getting a bargain and having him not work out.

    Like the Rams I would have overpaid Marshall Faulk. Worked out pretty well for them. And yes that’s an individual situation…which is the point isn’t it…they are all individual situations but until you do Lord C’s exercise we don’t even know how much money we have to spend.

    BTW Lord C….still rockin’ it?

  26. tmaxcon Says:

    Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun

    I hope I am wrong sir… but there is too much film of the bucs laying down during games and quitting on coaches. am i blaming gmc directly NO what I am saying is a true leader would have never let his teammates quit or play with little effort. Not only did he allow it he encouraged it and was too happy after far too many defeats. As long as he is on the roster he will be considered a leader or senior team leader and you can’t have leaders with his mindset and win consistently. simple as that…. jameis, kwon, ayers etc see through it. it’s clear that gmc does not share the same drive and desire to win that Jameis does.

  27. Jared DePiro Says:

    Why does everyone want GMC gone? I love him, I don’t love his contract, but he’s a productive player when healthy.

  28. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Dude I luvs ya…gotta stick with the St. Pete guys but you’re letting your obsession mess up your posting.

    Not only did he allow it he encouraged it and was too happy after far too many defeats.

    2nd part first….he was too happy? Says who? You? And you base this on? Because he didn’t curse and get angry enough?

    But the 1st part is just out there tmax!

    He ENCOURAGED IT? You mean he was exhorting his teammates to lose?
    Or perhaps you’re just saying he exhorted them to not give a spit.

    Really? You really believe that GMC wanted his teammates to phone it in..he personally is responsible for the film you saw with Bucs laying down.

    GMC told the team don’t sweat it we don’t care if we lose. You believe that?

  29. Pickgrin Says:

    Nice article Ira!

    Lord C – thanks for attempting that math – but I think there are some things going on in what you did that don’t reflect the situation properly.

    It seems you were applying future salaries to current cap space availability. The way I read it – you are talking about locking up the 2014 and 2015 draftees that are important to the team’s future with new, expensive contracts now – yes? That’s what it sounded like anyway.

    If so, the problem with that is spending too much $ before its necessary or even beneficial to do so.

    IMO (and likely Licht’s opinion as well) the only drafted player it makes sense to spend a large chunk on this year and get him locked up (and very happy for getting a big chunk of $ early) is Mike Evans. He’s rightfully going to command a large salary after this year (his 4th and final year under his rookie deal) and that amount is likely to be in the $12-$14M per year range moving forward for the length of his 2nd contract.

    So it makes sense to use some of the extra $ we have available this year to sign Evans to a new deal early (during this year – instead of after this year and prior to free agency) – and also to “front load” the deal to a degree so the back end of the contract is not quite as expensive in subsequent years when it would be expected that our cap room leeway will be much tighter.

    It would not make any sense IMO to do the same for Pamphile or Sims though. Pamphile looked pretty good last year but has only started for 1 year. Sims has been hurt and thus largely ineffective for 2 out of his 3 years here. Both need to play out the 2017 season for their inexpensive rookie salaries so we have a better idea of what we really have in those players before rushing to sign either to an extended, bigger $ contract.

    And the idea of redoing new deals early for any of the 2015 draft class makes no sense at all right now. We have all of them for relatively cheap for the next 2 full years guaranteed. Maybe next year(2018) you consider signing Winston to a new big deal sometime during the season – for the same reasons mentioned above regarding Evans. Mainly to make that player you never want to lose happy and especially in order to use up some of your current unused cap space to make subsequent year’s payments a bit less expensive.

    And the other decisional factor involved with Evans, Winston and eventually VH3 is the 5th year option available to be used on all 1st round draft picks. I assume the Bucs will chose to declare Evans and Winston’s 5th year options as in play – and make a decision on whether to go that route for 1 year or just sign those players to their new, huge extended deals early. There are a # of factors involved like the amount that would be saved overall, the “happiness” of the player with his team’s decision and also, what other player(s) you might want to also protect via “franchise” designation (although I don’t think the Bucs have any players worth franchising that are coming up for FA either of the next 2 years).

    We’ll see how it all plays out but it is fun to try and “play GM” in our minds with all the $ this team has available.

  30. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “It seems you were applying future salaries to current cap space availability. The way I read it – you are talking about locking up the 2014 and 2015 draftees that are important to the team’s future with new, expensive contracts now – yes? ”

    Nah just Mike Evans and only to save $$ from having to give him a bigger deal the next year when guys like Odell may drive that price up.

    Agree with what you said about Pamphile & Sims. I could see either not being re-signed and it not costing much for re-signing either or both.

    We can’t do a new Winston deal or any 2015 rookie deal right now even if we wanted as far as I know – so agree with you there. I was saying next offsesaon we could possibly do it. My 2nd long post I think had a better timeline on it all

  31. Lord Cornelius Says:

    BTW Lord C….still rockin’ it?”

    Yeah man! We’ve altered our booking strategy from taking any show to targeting specific shows that we know will get us good exposure and opportunity for better shows – opening for bigger and bigger bands; and it’s already paid off as we got a show in February at the Marquis Theater here which is a place I’ve gone to catch some great shows; and have shows lined up through April (1-2 a month which is all we want to do for promotional reasons).

    We’re also cutting 2 new singles sometime in the next few months – hopefully march or early April; and will be putting a 4 song EP out that we’re going to record in Utah in late May that kind of represents the 4-piece sound we’ve been forming. I’m extremely pumped. That first CD we put out that I’ve shared was all done by my brother & I – all instruments and writing. This is the first time I actually feel like I’m in a band and not doing everything by myself with my brother lol. I’ll let you know when we drop the new stuff – Thanks for asking!

  32. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree completely. ME is the only player I feel obsessed to lock up early because it’s getting close and he is a essential part of this team.

    Kwon has been durable enough and obviously #3…if Licht jumped a year early on those two I wouldn’t be upset.

  33. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Hey good luck LordC!

  34. Bob in valrico Says:

    here is a chart from Pewter report on the running game I found interesting:
    Position % of plays AVerage yards per carry
    center 34.0 3.3
    LG 15.5 5.0
    RG 13.2 3.4
    RT 12.2 3.1
    LE 9.0 3.6
    LT 8.6 3.1
    RE 7.4 3.4
    You can draw your own conclusions:
    Pamphile 5.0 a carry average is impressive
    If we are to run over center so much we better get stud center.
    like to see a running back that doesn’t just run through the A gap.

  35. Pickgrin Says:

    Lord C says:
    “My 2nd long post I think had a better timeline on it all”

    Agreed – I didn’t see that until after I made my long post.

    – And SPBF – yes – Evans and Winston are the only players it will make sense to consider “locking up” with new, expensive, extended, deals earlier than whenever their contracts are expiring.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    Great article Ira. Best line … “Yes, the Bucs will be active in free agency, but they will be strategic.” When you’ve got as many holes as Bucs do, a Gatling gun would probably be considered a strategic weapon in our case. Bucs only appear to have 3 dozen players presently under contract (not counting practice squad) and not all of them will make the team next year most likely. We have no choice but to be active in free agency, and it has to start right here at home by re-signing RFA & ERFA guys like Will Gholston, Adam Humphries, Akeem Spence, Bradley McDougald, Daryl Smith, Josh Robinson, Russell Shepherd, Jaquizz Rodgers, Jack Smith, Cam Brate, Howard Jones, Ryan Griffin, Jude Adjei-Barimeh and probably several others to multi-year contracts (like Joe Hawley & Brandon Myers). Would also love to see us lock up Mike Evans right now to a long term contract.

    Once we know where our holes are and decide what upgrades we need (and can afford), then we can be ‘strategic’ in free agency. Personally would like to see us sign a #2 WR (still like Desean Jackson), a safety, a DE/DT (bigger the better since our run defense was lacking last year), and at least 1 OLineman (Center and/or Tackle if several high quality ones hit the market).

    Lots of $$$, but lots of needs also, especially as we keep an eye towards the future (locking up guys like Jameis, Kwon, Ali & Donovan to long-term contracts).

  37. Pickgrin Says:

    Bob – those #s are useful and interesting to a degree – but in no way are they definitive nor do they tell the whole story.

    Specifically – every gap involves 2 players on each play not just 1.

    To my eye, both guards played pretty well in 2016 and were the best OL players. Both tackles struggled too often and both were penalized too often as well. I love Hawley’s grit and gumption, but he gets man handled too often.

    Bottom line, we need D. Smith to play better and we need starting talent upgrades at both Center and RT in the near future…

  38. Make America Brate Again Says:

    Thank you Ira!!! I couldn’t take anymore delusional articles about breaking the bank on a 32 year old RB and a 31 year old WR! We’re going to make America Brate Again!!

  39. Bob in valrico Says:

    Don’t disagree, Quite possibly we need a fullback if we are going to run up the middle so much.Also, not on the chart, it would appear that Pamphile as swing blocker was more effective than Cherilous at that position. That said I always
    wondered if the use of swing blocker telegraphed a running play.Now the use of a good pass catching versatile fullback might open things up more.

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    Here’s the thing with our available cap space. Good teams don’t have tons of available cap space because they have drafted well over the years and have signed cornerstone players to 2nd and 3rd contracts.
    Up until maybe three years ago this team has been god awful in the draft room and hasn’t picked many players worth max deals. Right now this team can still probably afford a couple big free agent contracts from outside the roster, in the future however and for the health of the roster those kinds of deals will be weaned down.
    They don’t have excess cap space from being frugal, it’s because Lichts predecessors never picked anybody worthwhile.

  41. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “To my eye, both guards played pretty well in 2016 and were the best OL players. Both tackles struggled too often and both were penalized too often as well. I love Hawley’s grit and gumption, but he gets man handled too often.”

    That’s what I saw. I think Pamphile’s #s probably look better than Ali because Ali had no good RT help; whereas Smith at LT was better in the run game imo.

    I still am fine with this line going into next year as long as we spend 1 pick on depth later; and Sweezy returns; based on the youth.


    I think that’s the eventual long term line the Bucs front office had in their head last off season; even though he was said to play LG initially

    That said – no guarentee Marpet does awesome at C; that Sweezy comes back; or that Benecoch is even decent at RT; but I like the idea of it lol

  42. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Well the math is basically impossible because this is the NFL and contracts aren’t guaranteed. The team has a boatload of $ available right now and can and FA contracts can be structured to go away if a players doesn’t pan out or the team simply wants to move on when some of these young guys are ready to sign their second contracts. As for Make Americ Brate’s comment, signing guys that will only be around a year or two seems like a great option with our current cap situation. Let them step in for a year or two while we try and draft youngsters that will learn behind them and eventually take over. Contracts signed this year for certain free agents may have absolutely zero impact on future cap situatations. While we can’t assume Lord C’s numbers are accurate because there are so many moving parts, it does seem clear that regardless this team willl no have real cap issue for quite some time.

  43. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Lord C that o-line projections is pretty far fetched. Sweezy just missed their entire season and never even practiced due to a bad back. Penciling him in a projected starter next year is a huge reach. I will be shocked if he ever played for the Bucs. Benetoch was a 5th rounder who didn’t play much last year. He was drafted for depth. I really don’t want him being our starting right tackle when the 2017 season starts.

  44. Kalind Says:

    Utter nonsense, Kaufman. First, the Raiders and Giants both spent big. The Falcons spent a ton. Where are all those teams? Playoffs? That’s what I thought.

    Second, the assumption that “the best players don’t hit FA is garbage. If teams have been irresponsible with their cap then the HAVE to hit FA. Look at Eric Berry. He’s a top 5 defender. He’s practically guarantee to hit FA unless he resigns for less than he’s worth. The Chiefs are AT the cap.

    So it’s guy their team, or sign Berry or Poe. Poe being the cheaper of the two.

    Build throug the draft sure. But fill holes in FA. JPP and Berry. Come on down.

  45. Bird Says:

    Here s what they need to do:
    Free agency Brandon Williams DT from Baltimore
    Free agency receiver-Kenny stills or Kenny Britt or ted ginn etc etc

    Sign own players

    Use third round pick to move up in 1st to get top safety
    2nd – go best receiver
    No 3rd
    4th – best running back
    5th. 6th 7th – get lucky and get another stud and/ or return guy with one of these picks

  46. Bird Says:

    I wish Eric berry would be available but not happening

  47. Bird Says:

    Hopefully sweezy healthy so he plays right guard, moving marpet to center and pamphile stays at left guard

  48. SB Says:

    Howdy Fellas!
    Thank you Ira!
    Rock On Lord C! My brother too is in a band that is opening for Many big acts and songs are getting radio time. Exciting times!
    And lastly it is so Friggin’ Awesome to see so much interaction by all you cats that I have come to know over the years. Now that we are actually Contenders the discussions here are getting better and better. The Kobe’s, Big Hog’s and Mike Johnson’s can’t just enter the room and spout off stupid ish and it be ok with everyone. Good days!!!

  49. Pickgrin Says:

    Lord C

    That Oline you listed might just be acceptable for now. But there’s a lot of IFs in that scenario. If Sweezy comes back healthy and If Benenoch can make the big jump to starter in year2 and If Marpet can make a good transition to center…

    TDTB – I think you are misperceiving what the Bucs thought of Caleb Benenoch when they drafted him. Dude played a lot of snaps at UCLA and was considered by many to be a 3rd round talent. I don’t know exactly where the Bucs had Caleb rated pre-draft – but I believe it was much higher than the 5th round where he was drafted. I have heard that the Bucs are projecting Benenoch to have a similar developmental track as they used for Pamphile – which would mean a reasonable # of snaps in year 2 as the extra outside blocker on obvious run/short yardage plays and potentially a primary back up if a starter goes down – then be expected to compete for a starting job in year 3. But whether he plays that role in 2017 or actually gets to legitimately compete for a OG or OT starting position will obviously depend on how well and how quickly he can develop over the next 5 months.

    The good news is that we have a pretty decent young base at OLine already with Smith, Pamphile and Marpet already performing reasonably well – and they will all no doubt get better as they continue to gain experience. We also have some young undeveloped talent in Benenoch, Leonard Wester and Josh Allen and if any of those guys wind up being a good enough player to start in the next couple years it will be like found $.

    Hell of a lot better situation than when Dom was in charge – that’s for sure! What GM in their right mind doesn’t draft any Oline for 5 full years???? I guess that’s a self answering question – LOL. Answer – an unemployed (and unemployable) one…

  50. Kevin Says:

    What kind of idiot does not want mccoy on our team anymore???

    Im not crazy about many fa wrs this year but there are some lineman that could be helpful

  51. BigHogHaynes Says:

    That would be….that guy who always make up “Fake News”

  52. Rod Munch Says:

    You could sign to some short front-loaded deals… except DeSean Jackson – that guy is gonna be hurt more than VJ, I have no idea why people think he’d be a good signing. AD would be only a 1 or 2 year deal – there really isn’t any reason not to sign him if you think he can still play. Even with those contracts coming up while you can sign them early they don’t start getting their money until their rookie contracts are done, which means 2 offseasons from now. In the meantime, in the next 2 years, they can spend like crazy and they got a bunch of contracts they can dump. They could dumb Martin (7mil), although I would wait, they should dump Verner (6mil) and heck even George Johnson is making like $2.5-mil, he should be gone. Evan Smith is making $4.5mil a year, he shouldn’t be back. The Bucs have plenty of money, both short term and mid-term, basically up until Jameis needs his new deal the team should continue to have money even with everyone else getting paid.

  53. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Like it or not, Ira is right.


    The exception is young, healthy consistent free agents that show potential. Licht seems good at finding them.

    And to me, there is only one big name to focus on…JPP.

  54. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Even if Sweezy is healthy, we don’t really know how good he will be. In fact, the injury may end his career.

    Bucs should not have to pay him a thing.

  55. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Can’t stand Joe! Way to keep it real Ira

  56. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Or his cronies!

  57. Joeypoppems Says:

    If we are going to throw out actual numbers to these contracts this is what I would do.

    Mike Evans: 5 year $62.5 million extension (12.5/year) 3 years guaranteed
    Kenny Britt: 3 year $21 million (7/year) 2 years guaranteed
    Marquise Goodwin: 3 year $12 million (4/year) 1 year guaranteed
    Johnathan Hankins: 5 year $55 million (11/year) 3 year guaranteed
    Will Gholston: 5 year $35 million (7/year) 2 year guaranteed
    Josh Robinson: 3 year $9 million (3/year) 1 year guaranteed
    Jaquizz Rodgers: 2 year $6 million (3/year) 1 year guaranteed
    Kevin Pamphile: 3 year $18 million (6/year) 1 year guaranteed
    Bradley McDougald: 3 year $18 million (6/year) 1 year guaranteed

    All that adds up to $59.5 million against our roughly $70 million cap before cap casualties (Doug Martin, Alteraun Verner, Evan Smith, George Johnson). We extend our #1 receiver, get a vet #2 receiver, a deep threat receiver/potential return man, an upgrade at DT that excels in run defense (our weak spot), and we retain our key free agents.

  58. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Congrats on a thoughtful post.

  59. Ed Says:

    I was never that good at math but I understand what good investments are. For my money Garçon is a legit #2 who is tough and has great hands. Stills hasn’t shown the production of Garcon so I wouldn’t overpay for him.

    In first round of draft go with best available player don’t worry about a running back or wr unless they are best available player.

    Interesting stat, 5 of the top 10 NFL receivers in 2016 were not picked on the first day-

    Antonio Brown- 6th round
    TY Hilton- 2nd round
    Jordy Nelson- 2nd round
    Michael Thomas- 2nd round
    Jarvis Landry- 2nd round

    WR is a huge need for Bucs but as you can see you can draft grea receivers in round 2. I’m sure if I checked the top 11-20 receivers would find that he same thing with 3rd round picks.