Invisible Demand For Bucs Free Agents

February 16th, 2017


As a student of the NFL and a man who scours the globe for all things Bucs at all hours, Joe has uncovered a striking trend.

Chatter around the country about the potential free agents on the Tampa Bay roster is barely audible and spotted about as often as Big Foot — or Joe at at cheerleader pool party.

The Bucs have 17 potential unrestricted free agents.

Sure, there are a few weak cries in the distance for Mike Glennon (Bears and Jets). There’s the rare mention of Joe Hawley as a potential center option (usually accompanied by his miserable ranking) and that’s about it.


Good luck finding whispers for guys like Will Gholston, Akeem Spence, Chris Conte and Bradley McDougald. And don’t forget swinging saloon door right tackle Gosder Cherilus.

Not even productive and rather impressive Jacquizz Rogers is generating any chatter. The guy had a heck of a year and proved he can be a strong No. 2 running back.

Ironically, longtime Cowboys blog The Landry Hat is pining hard for Bucs restricted free agent Jacquies Smith, who blew out his knee in September.

Is this dismissal of Bucs free agents born from ignorance? Or is because the Bucs have an unattractive crop, including Gholston, a part-time player who some fans mistakenly think is the next Michael Bennett?

Joe’s very interested to see how the this year’s Bucs class shakes out after the free agency dinner bell rings in 22 short days.

25 Responses to “Invisible Demand For Bucs Free Agents”

  1. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Teams won’t be beating on their Agent door, trying to sign them.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Bucs have an unattractive crop, including Gholston, a part-time player who some fans mistakenly think is the next Michael Bennett?” Kind of a low blow Joe. Will Gholston is a solid DE who gives us 14-15 games a year and who’s shown steady improvement. Haven’t really heard anyone prophesize though that he’ll jump from last year’s 3.5 sacks to Bennett’s 7-10 sacks per year range. Bucs are hurting at DE & DT, and not re-signing a player like Will, with his flexibility to play inside or outside and his excellent run-stopping skills would be one of the Bucs dumber moves in recent years. And we’ve made some doozies.
    It’s not a low blow, just a straight one. Gholston is a solid player, a part-time player, very part-time guy when the Bucs defense was at its best this season. Would love to have him back, but there’s no reason for the Bucs to pay him “full-time” player cash unless they’re ok with paying a part-time guy big bucks. They did it with Alterraun Verner, so why not Gholston?–Joe

  3. SB Says:

    A buddy on another Blog site I frequent was telling me that we don’t have as much FA money as I think because we have so many UFAs coming up. I told him that he doesn’t know our roster that well because we aren’t interested in keeping most of them. There will be an influx of new talent and purging of the dead weights here this offseason Imo.

  4. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    I’ve said it b4 and I’ll say it again, put Von Miller or Khalil Mack at DE for EVERY DOWN and they’d find themselves in the same boat as Jack Smith who was never an EVERY DOWN DE. Now him, Spence, and Ayers on the field at the same time…There’s your new Nascar Package, GO BUCS!!!

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    well, I guess that’s god for the bucs….they can use that as leverage…you might as well resign with us and continue to develop and provide depth because no one wants you….GO BUCS!!!!

  6. LifeOfABucFan Says:


    Re-sign..not resign..I

  7. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree with your observation about our UFA’s. If as this article implies they’re getting little response from the rest of the league we could actually end up saving money by resigning “some” of them at reasonable deals.

    The market will dictate their value…but the team will have something to do with it as well…IE…do we believe our UFA’s are anxious to beat feet out of here or are simply trying to maximize their paychecks…the American way after all.

    Conte is the only player who comes to mind as wanting outta here. Once the market sets their price I think the rest of the UFA’s will negotiate with us.

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    After we pick up Poe, resign Akeem Spence, trade/cut Clinton McDonald.

  9. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    SOEbuc…Poe’s not going anywhere..looks like they are working a major deal with him..

  10. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    About Poe and Berry..

  11. NutterBuccer Says:

    Been hearing a lot about Bradley mcdougald as a solid starting safety who can come at a decent price. Same for Gholston, I guess living in New England as a Bucs fans I read more than just the local Tampa media.

  12. Bob in valrico Says:

    Actually Gholston has the second most starts on D line at 14.Macdonald had 12, who started 6 games his previous season. Robert Ayers had only 10 (only 12 his previous two seasons. All depends on your definition of part time. considering Jaquis Smith’s,Noah spence’s,Howard Jones injury and the injury of george Johnson who was in danger of not making the team.
    We should to do our best to keep this dependable,hard working player.

  13. pick6 Says:

    the way it ought to be with your mid-level free agents in a healthy organization. these guys have pretty clear roles here, the coaches know how to use them, and the schemes aren’t changing for at least 2 more seasons. add all that up and it would take more overpayment than any guy this side of gholston could justify for another team to lure them away. if any of these guys is not back it’s because the bucs want to wash their hands of him. Joe Hawley is not finding vastly greener pastures out there

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    In all fairness, teams don’t usually advertise their plans this time of year…

  15. SOEbuc Says:


    Pretty dumb with the third least cap space but whatever they’re both really good.

  16. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    George Johnson is still on the team?

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Got curious Joe about your view of Will Gholston as being a ‘part-time player’ so did some research on how many snaps he got in 2016 vs our other DEs & DTs. Bob in Valrico detailed his starts (2nd most on DLine), but time-on-the-field (i.e., snap counts) is even more telling.

    Bucs had 1,062 total defensive snaps. Gholston was on the field for 587 snaps (55%), 2nd most behind GMC who had 794 snaps (75%). Next in line was Ayers with 576 snaps (54%), N. Spence with 564 snaps (53%) and McDonald with 484 snaps (46%). Lambert & A. Spence each got 370 snaps (35%) while Russell, Ward & H. Jones totaled less than 350 snaps together.

    Labeling Will Gholston as a ‘part-timer’ I guess is OK, as long as you label every other DT & DE on the Bucs as a ‘part-timer’ also, since he had the 2nd most snaps of anyone on the DLine. Still think it’d be one of the Bucs dumber moves in years if we don’t re-sign him.

  18. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Amen Defense Rules..Re-sign the man NOW!

  19. LakeLandBuc Says:

    When was the last time the Bucs received a Compensatory Draft Pick? That alone should tell us something about the quality of our Free Agents.

  20. Reach87 Says:

    Great gouge, Def. interesting and valid. I would imagine most teams in the NFL try to manage their D-line snaps that way if they can. Its a long season. Great post.

  21. Bill Says:

    To offer a little context, the previously mentioned Mack and Miller played 951 and 930 snaps, ranking 4th and 6th among edge defenders.

  22. JonBuc Says:

    LakeLandBuc…nailed it. Maybe a premature cut ( Revis ) or trade for peanuts ( Talib & Blount ) go on to have success. Keep in mind they all went to the Patriots too.

  23. Trubucfan22 Says:

    With all the cap space the bucs have, if those players were any good, the bucs would have resigned them. At this point in free agency (way too early) only the big names will be talked about. The guys getting run out of town because of underperformance aren’t huge talking points on a national level. Do you really think teams and fans are excited at the chance to add Chris Conte to their roster? Most of the players you named are solid players. I don’t want to smear them too much, but they are definitely second or third wave players. Most won’t be signed as starters. I think all of them will likely compete for a roster spot for whatever team brings them in for training camp.

    Akeem spence? I didn’t even know he played at all this year. He was invisible on the field. McCoy at least makes a splash before he goes underwater during the second half. Spence doesn’t even blow bubbles to let you know hes there.

  24. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Bucs had a lot of injuries on the D line. It doesn’t show what the bucs ideal play distribution would be. Ayers missed 4 games. Noah was on a pitch count with his bum shoulder, but would be considered the other half of gholstons part time. Gholston played the run downs, Noah played the passing downs.

    The main reason Gholston is a part time player, he comes off the field on third down and passing situations. He is not a complete DE. Great run stuffer, no doubt. But questionable as a pass rusher. None of the good DEs in the NFL come off the field on third and long. that is why Gholston is a part time player.

  25. Bob in valrico Says:

    @ true buc
    He is on the field for the run game because we have a lot pass rush specialists,
    many of whom are often injured more than they are healthy.Not to mention the
    most are ineffective in run support.