“Family” Only Goes So Far

June 3rd, 2017

Departed Buccaneer speaks

America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, preaches “family” all the time, as in his Buccaneers are a tight family devoted to each other.

Winning and candid Bucs coach Dirk Koetter even has said “family” is taken extremely seriously at One Buc Palace.

So with that in mind, Joe is intrigued by words from departed Bucs wide receiver/special teams ace Russell Shepard, a new member of the Panthers who is rapidly becoming beloved among his Carolina teammates.

Shepard was a Tampa Bay captain last season (voted by teammates) and he played well , probably about as well as he could have given his skills. He was a true asset. In the NFL world, Shepard might be the textbook No. 5 receiver, a guy used in a pinch offensively but a full-time, standout special teams player.

Not only that, Shepard says he and Koetter were tightly bonded.

“I became real close to my head coach in Tampa, Dirk Koetter, and Dirk spoke very highly of Coach Shula’s offense,” Shepard told the Panthers’ official website. “After seeing the first two weeks of install, I’m super excited to be in this offense. The receivers get a lot of freedom and I just have to take advantage of my opportunities, cut it loose and keep making plays.”

So if Shepard was beloved by Bucs teammates and was “real close” to his head coach, then why is he playing for the Bucs’ most hated rivals?

Answer: money.

The 26-year-old Shepard is in line to lock down $3.7 million this season, more than half of which he’s already secured with a signing bonus. That’s what teams play low-level No. 3 receivers, not a valuable No. 5.

Ok. So what’s the point, Joe? The point is the “family” concept is wonderful, but it takes a big ol’ backseat to the almighty dollar. General manager Jason Licht wasn’t going to overpay Shepard on a brand new contract nearly double what he’s worth. It’s a business and Licht made the right call.

Licht’s calculated decisions to keep Vincent Jackson and Alterraun Verner at exorbitant prices last season were different. Those weren’t new contracts, plus their potential upside to the Bucs was greater.

This offseason, there’s a lot of “family” chatter about Doug Martin from his teammates.

So will the Bucs grossly overpay Martin the roughly $5.7 million he’ll be owed when he returns from a drug suspension in Week 4? Or was the offseason Shepard call a sign of a change in approach from Licht?

31 Responses to ““Family” Only Goes So Far”

  1. SlickRick Says:

    Guys like Shepard who give it everything they got, deserve their payday. He and his real family are now set for life if they manage their assets well. Wish him the best and don’t blame him at all, though will be odd seeing him as a rival twice a year!

  2. JOEinPHX Says:

    Of course money is more important than family. Reminds me of the time I sold my mother to the Arabs.

  3. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    I’m happy for Shep…Panther fans will really love this guy even more when the season begins..

  4. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    $$$ and survival of the fittest. Does anybody doubt “The Donald” will toss Jared under the bus in a New York Minute.

    Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do. It’s like taking your senior parents driving license away because they’re just too old to cut it anymore. That really sucks. At least Shep is a multi millionaire…he’ll get over the “business”.

  5. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Hmmmm, I don’t think you can say that money was the sole reason for Shep’s departure. Seeing that we payed Josh Robinson basically the same sum to play primarily special teams.

    I think it also has to do with the current state of the roster. With as much talent/ competition as we have at the WR spot this year, and we can only keep 6/7 guys, It would be a waste of a spot to keep a guy that’s really only going to play ST.

    Compare that to our depth at corner, and it’s a bit of a different story.

  6. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Great point. I hadn’t thought about it that way. But it makes too much sense.
    Any thoughts on Jeremy Maclin? Boy we could have used a wr like him last year

  7. LakeLandBuc Says:

    But they pay Vincent Jackson $11 Million..SMH

  8. Killian Says:

    Any news on if we pursue Marlin?

  9. Killian Says:


  10. Doctor Stroud Says:

    You get the money to feed your family. I wish Shepard the best…except when he plays the Bucs!

  11. Supersam Says:

    I wonder what secrets and tendencies he’s going to reveal about our offense and about Winston. I bet he’s spilling the beans.

  12. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    This year’s offense will be a completely different animal.

    We are gonna gut the Panthers defense come October 29th.

    Nothing Shep could tell them is going to change that.

  13. Lamarcus Says:

    You when u put ur health, body, and brain on the line. Hell yea it’s about money

  14. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    What Blake said suckasam.

  15. DR FEELGOOD Says:


    Dude. That’s utterly HILARIOUS!!!! Very well played!!

  16. Kevin Says:

    Dirks offense is going to be the most aggressive its ever been in his entire career, thats what I am expecting. Naturally he was a little conservative his first season becoming familiar with his new role and lack of weapons. I believe he’s going to allow Winston for freedom at the line, and really let him sling the ball this season. Shepard missed out but the Bucs are stacked at the WR position now. GO BUCS!!!

  17. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    I think the departure was more about roll than it was money. Theyre giving Shep an opportunity to be an actual WR while we used him as a special teams captain. But the money was obviously a factor.

  18. JGA Says:

    Grossly overpay Martin 5.7 million you say ? You cannot grossly overpay anyone ahead of time. By all accounts, he looks terrific. If he has a 2015 like year this coming season, it will be a bargain.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    Shepard was not only promised more $ in Carolina – he was also promised more playing time at WR. With the receiving weapons we have now, Russell would have never seen the field on Offense.

    And as far as DM’s contract goes – assuming the Bucs decide to keep Martin which I think is highly probable – Doug will be asked to sign a new deal similar to what we saw Sweezy sign. It probably won’t be for significantly less $, but will protect the Bucs fully from any “relapses” or related behavioral issues.

  20. Supersam Says:

    Haha all the weak ass noles fans are out today, they hate me cuz I tell it how it is and not how they want to hear it. Just like Lebron says “if you got haters, your doing something right” keep on hating behind your computers and I’ll keep telling it how it is girls.

  21. Doit Bucs Says:

    With Joe it is always about getting Martin out of here. Maybe he trying to make room for OJ when he gets out of jail soon.

  22. Dave Says:

    Here we go again. With every story Joe seems to find a way to take a swipe at Martin. Can you say obsessed?

  23. Doit Bucs Says:

    I am with you Dave. I wish he would just move on and let the Bucs do what they feel is right for the team. That’s way they have there jobs.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    So this entire post was to justify Joe’s belief that Martin is toast?


    It’s really this simple: if Martin is not a Buc on opening day, he gets bragging rights.

    If not, he gets a heaping helping of crow.

    Joe is a standup guy…he’ll eat it like a man 🙂

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pickgrin, I would rather keep his current contract. Thi k about it…frachise tag at half the price and every year is a proveit year.

    New contract means new guarantees.

  26. BucEmUp Says:

    Wouldnt surprise me.is licht was first on the phone with macks agent. He is tight with Andy Reid

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    Bonzai – read what I said again. A new deal “similar to the one Sweezy just signed”.

    IOW – a bit less $ than he would have made – but not significantly less. The big benefit to the Bucs is protection against the very things that caused Sweezy to miss the whole season and Martin to get suspended.

    Sweezy’s new deal has a $3.75M guarantee -which is a bit less than he will be making this year – but it also protects the Bucs completely if Sweezy’s back problems keep him sidelined again. If Sweezy can’t play – then he don’t get paid.

    Martin’s new deal will look similar but instead of a back injury clause – it will have a “personal behavior” clause. IE – If Martin tests positive for any substance again or gets a DUI or anything similar – the Bucs can drop him like a hot potato and owe him nothing.

    If the Bucs bring Doug Martin onto the active roster at the conclusion of week 3 (without cutting him or having a new deal signed) then they just guaranteed him $5.7M dollars anyway because he’s a veteran so his salary becomes guaranteed as soon as he “makes” the team – its just week 4 instead of week 1 because of the suspension.

    So obviously if they intend to bring Martin back then its OK to “guarantee” him an amount equal to or less than his 2017 salary because the second he is on the team – his whole year’s salary is guaranteed anyway.

    The primary benefit to the Bucs is protection against Sweezy’s back still being messed up and thus not able to play – and in Martin’s case, protection against a “relapse” involving unacceptable behavior.

    Get it?

  28. BigMacAttack Says:

    I could care less what Shepherd is doing.

  29. Dave Says:

    Point well taken Joe. The WR group needed a massive upgrade.

    Along with TEs

    They could not afford to pay #5 like a #3
    Not prudent

  30. scubog Says:

    Sheppard was a college QB who converted to WR. To his credit he became a great gunner on Special Teams. It’s tough for a player to make the 53 man roster strictly on Special Teams. Typically they need to make it at their position first with the Special Teams play a contributing factor to earning a job.

    Shep had a few plays as a WR and at times looked pretty good. But for some reason he wasn’t able to take the spot opposite Mike Evans when the competition with the likes of Dye, Huff, Martino, Shorts, Reedy and others was so weak.

  31. Pick6 Says:

    “So will the Bucs grossly overpay Martin the roughly $5.7 million he’ll be owed when he returns from a drug suspension in Week 4?”

    Seems like a olayer who falls in the vjax & verner category. They will tolerate a good teammate on a bad contract if they believe his best case scenario is an asset to the team