Free Agency Countdown: 27 Days

February 10th, 2017

Happy to overpay

The free agency dinner bell officially rings Thursday, March 9 at 4 p.m. The Bucs will be coming to the buffet table with a pile of cash. But how will they spend it? How much will they spend? Joe is counting down the days with a different look at a potential free agent signing.

At the NFL Owners Meetings in Boca Raton last year, Joe sat at breakfast with Dirk Koetter when the head coach insisted he ran a fullback-friendly offense and he really wanted a true fullback to replace Jorvorskie Lane, who suffered a gruesome foot injury during the 2015 season finale.

The fullback has become dinosaur across the NFL, but Koetter is among the old guard who likes a beast in the backfield.

“We don’t have a fullback right now, and we’re going to get one. We just haven’t found him yet. He might be sitting at this table right now. Who knows?” Koetter said.. “We’re in the process of looking for a fullback. They’re hard to find. In college football, there’s none in college football. I shouldn’t say, “None.” There’s a handful. There’s just not many teams that use them.  Right now, Luke Stocker has played some fullback, fullback-type things. We ask our tight ends to learn that position, all of our tight ends, but the prototype fullback is a rare breed right now.”

As Bucs fans know, Tampa Bay drafted bust fullback/superback Dan Vitale in the sixth round last year. He was cut before opening day after it became clear he had serious blocking issues.

That brings Joe to Falcons Pro Bowl fullback Patrick DiMarco, a guy groomed by Koetter himself. (Watch Di Marco talk to Joe about Koetter at the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii.)

DiMarco, 27, is set to become a free agent. The guy appears to be a perfect fit for the Bucs’ offense.

Mike Tolbert, the Panthers’ beastly fullback, a two-time Pro Bowler, earns just under $2 million per year. How much more than that could DiMarco want? $2.5 million? $3 million?

Joe would pay DiMarco, if he’s available.

Is it a coincidence that the Bucs’ running game hummed with Lane, a real fullback, in 2015, and hummed with Erik Lorig hammering away in 2012, and again in 2010, with Lorig and Earnest Graham?

If Koetter still wants a fullback, then go get a superior one — and weaken the Falcons in the process.

48 Responses to “Free Agency Countdown: 27 Days”

  1. GhostofTedford Says:

    Of all that are on the list Kenny Britt looks like a steal. Current salary 4.5 million.

    Campbells current salary 9.5 million. Poe’s current salary 6.15 million.

    We fill our WR, DE and DT needs, make it happen Licht.


  2. JabooBuc Says:

    Would not be surprised to see Freddie Stevenson from FSU on this roster at the start of training camp. If they go after Cook then I would say it’s a lock.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Cannot wait until free-agency. Its really the true look of what the front office thinks of the team!!!!!! Stinks we have to wait just under a month for it!!!!!
    February is the worst month of the year!!! Thank goodness it is the shortest!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!

  4. DB55 Says:

    The gators have a DT that I would love to convert into a fb. Idk his name but it’s not Brantley. Does anyone know who I’m thinking of? Big, fast, athletic (sorry) white kid.

  5. DB55 Says:

    I thought DeMarco was a fa this year?

  6. pabucsfan Says:

    I would love to see us using a true fullback again. I think that hurt our run game last year

  7. LakeLandBuc Says:

    The Falcons will probably re-sign Patrick DiMarco.

  8. BUC55 Says:

    I agree Joe. The fullback is still useful (the running game is still important). Why not get a good one and weaken a division rival.

  9. Upthegut Says:

    Please Joes tell the Bucs to look at game film of Nick Sharga fullback from Temple
    University. He is a crushing blocker. Defenders from the 2nd and 3rd level want no part of him.

  10. Bird Says:

    Agree on demarco. Who knows if sarkasian uses fullback. Dan Quinn said offense style won’t change but that can’t be completely true. Pay the man. Probowl talent and special teams guy

  11. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I think Nick Sharga will be coming back in 2018 for his senior season.

  12. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I meant coming back in 2017, and won’t be available until the 2018 draft.

  13. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Please bring a full back!! Get back to the Buccaneers style of football. A power run threat up the middle will open up so many things, run and pass. He doesn’t have to be Mike Alstott ,

    I don’t get NFL teams who don’t use a full back, as NFL defenses adjust to pass by spreading out and using Nickle packages, this would be the perfect time to sign a power fullback. It’s would bring in and open up the pass.

  14. Tbbucs3 Says:

    The defense*

  15. SB Says:

    I am becoming of the mind that if we go Offensive Weapon in the First then it must be McCaffery. RB/FB, Receiver one of the Lowest Fumble rates in CFB.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Why not go after HB Kyle Juszczyk?
    Considered by MANY to be one of the best in the game.
    Also good friends w/ his former HARVARD teammate Cameron Brate.

  17. Kevin Says:

    I could 100 percent see this signing happening. As for wide recievers I think the smartest signing would be Kenny Britt. Being productive at all on the rams is a true accomplishment. I still wish we had grabbed a guy last season but thats in the past now. Britt could really be a monster in hiding.

    First round pick im expecting O line, or wr

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Kyle Juszczyk – Highlights

  19. Kevin Says:

    I like mccaffrey as well

  20. Kevin Says:

    I think we should let noah spence play some fullback. Can we just clone noah spence ….like just 3 of him

  21. bucs_365 Says:

    I wonder if we have a FB on the roster in Alan Cross. He made the roster as an UDFA and made some contribution. He’s built more like a FB than a TE. Wouldn’t be opposed to signing Dimarco.

  22. cmurda Says:

    DeSean Jax in FA. Dalvin in draft. Holla

  23. Joeypoppems Says:


    I would take Juszczyk over DiMarco if I had to choose between the two.

  24. SB Says:

    “Big, fast, athletic (sorry) white kid.”
    What exactly is this DB?

  25. Joeypoppems Says:


    Christian McCaffrey would be a great fit. I’m curious to see how big he really is. He is listed at 6ft 200 lbs, which is good size, but he looks smaller than that. Dude is a natural leader tho. He would mesh well with guys like Jameis and Kwon

  26. SB Says:

    Also pops he is a Top 5 Ball security RB. Lots to be said about that.

  27. SB Says:

    If you can’t explain that then you can never use your ‘racist’ card again DB. Years ago I used to really respect your opinions.

  28. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Some very intriguing options, makes me think. Guys like Tolbert? But c’mon Joe, why do Bucs fan want to read this stuff? Upcoming draft, Bucs on the cusp of something great.

    PPPPfffffttttt. Naw man, we could go over to the news site that uses “Tampa Bay” in its name and read an article about Tony Dungy talking about the Colts stealing signs. NOW that is clearly Pulitzer Prize winning stuff. I mean, who doesn’t want to know about that in an NFL city like Tampa? Who really cares about free agency? Yeah, and let’s pay a buck on the newstand to read it.

    Yup, Thank God for Joes Bucs Fan! TGFJBF

    My biggest criticism is twice now, my wife sees the screen with ads of women, and asks, “Are you looking at racy sites? What is that?” I say, “No Honey, just Joe Bucs fan!” And of course she says “Oh, okay” since she’s a big fan too So my thing, is you could sneak a few much “BETTER” pics here and I’d get way with football analysis AND pretty girls and my wife would be fine with it.

  29. Joeypoppems Says:


    Yea that is true. Man if he goes out there and blows up the combine like some people expect him to… There is nothing to not like about him. #19 overall would make sense.

  30. Joeypoppems Says:


    I think Joey Ivie is the DT from Florida you are thinking of

  31. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Toblert..above…mean DiMarco.

  32. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    We should draft one in the second round… Simple as that.

  33. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @SB I’m white, absolutely not racist at all. Have friends and coworkers of every color and creed. But… I gotta be honest, I just cannot get behind a White running back. The days of John Riggins are 40+ Years past. Whiteys can play FB and TE and Receiver and QB and OLine and Dline and Linebacker and Safety, but strictly based on the Numbers…

    Whitey’s can’t play Running Back or Corner Back. I can think of 2 white running backs in the Past 15 years who had even a little bit of success. Peyton Hillis, who faded after one strong season. And Danny Woodhead, who did really good with the Bellicheats, and had one decent season with the Chargers.

    Other than that, Nothing. Mcaffery looks REALLY good dude. He has excellent vision and quickness, and can literally do it all, except maybe Pass pro. Just being honest here bro, but there’s just something that makes me uneasy about drafting a honkey tailback in the first round dude.

  34. SB Says:

    I am white as well. I am against RB in the first round Regardless of color, ethnicity, or religion. My comment was aimed at DB. He knows what I mean. That aside I think McCaffery will be dynamic at the next level. You can’t replace intelligence and ball security when it is coupled with athleticism like that. I am not pulling for him for us though. I would rather have Davis or Williams.

  35. SB Says:

    Hey Blake……..Good thing you didn’t say Whiteys can’t play WR and win the Superbowl, specially not 3 of ’em.
    Tom Brady may have had a word with you

  36. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Damn Bro, you actually make a compelling argument for McCaffery tho. Maybe I should be more open minded when it comes to him. I did see that his Fumble rate is crazy good. In the 220’s if I remember correctly. And the kid did break Barry Sanders record for all purpose yards in a season… Damn dude.

    I gotta go watch more film on Christian McCaffery…

  37. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    And yeah SB I love & respect receivers like Edelman and Amendola. Elite short area quickness/ Change of direction ability. Sharp route runners, and Reliable hands. And more often than not, the really good Honkey receivers have attitude.

    That’s one of the reasons I love Hump so much. I really hope Adam can get close to 1000 yards receiving this upcoming season.

  38. R.O Says:

    Calling a 6th rd pick a bust is just restarted…

  39. R.O Says:

    Retarted… just like autospell.

  40. SB Says:

    Hey Blake. I love me some McCaffery. I love me some Cook. I just don’t think either one of them are for us in Rd. 1. Maybe I am just too old school and just can’t adapt to the new age. I just think we need Maulers on both sides of the line that will be here for the next 5 to 8 years before anything else coupled with the need for a WR above all. I don’t know squat just like nobody else does until after FA and the Combine.

  41. DB55 Says:


    Ty man I searched and searched and couldn’t find his name at all. Thanks for that.

    Sorry I offended. That’s why I put (sorry) cuz I didn’t have anymore adj to use. My bad.

    Yea so I think this kid Ivie would make a great fb. In today’s NFL you have to make moves like you’re playing madden. The traditional player in traditional positions is old hat. New England is spear heading this and you see the results. Look at the packers RB.

  42. cmurda Says:

    I’m still not sure what you said that was offensive DB, but anyway we have way too many white players on offense. Nah, I’m just playin. Sorta.

  43. SB Says:

    Off Topic………..’The Big Bang Theory’ is Hilarious.

  44. $acbuc$ Says:

    Off topic Blake you just reminded me we don’t deserve a running game. We had Peyton Hillis and Blunt at the same time. I wonder who botched that power running attack up. Dumb ass coaching and untalented talent evaluators.

  45. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    @DB & @SB,
    Why is it offensive to use “white kid”? He is white, right? If you said the kid with the red hair, that is not offensive, right? And I have used, “black kid” on numerous occasions (not in a negative way ever) – is that offensive? I think we all have gotten so politically correct it is ridiculous. Or, tell me if I am wrong so I don’t embarrass myself, lol.

  46. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @$acbuc$ But that was a different regime dude. And when peyton hillis was already washed up.

    I do really wish we had kept Blount tho.

  47. Newsome Says:

    We all agree the BUCS will be better off with a true fullback. Draft the kid out of FSU in the 5th or 6th round, problem solve.

  48. SOEbuc Says:

    Cross did some good run blocking and had some nice screens. If a true fullback means someone that can pound the rock every play like the A Train that type of FB doesn’t exist anymore.