Bucs Now With Fifth-Most Cap Room In The NFL

February 20th, 2018

“Jason, we have the cash to improve drastically.”

Yeah, yeah, we all heard Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter say last year that the Bucs didn’t have $17 million lying around.

Before that fake news gets out again. Let Joe set the record straight.

The Bucs did have the $17 million in the coffers last year to sign manbeast DE/DT Calais Campbell in free agency. Instead, they overpaid for Chris Baker on the Redskins’ clearance rack.

Now, Tampa Bay has $70.4 million available to spend for the 2018 season, per Spotrac.com, following this morning’s overdue releasing of Doug Martin. That puts the Bucs with the fifth-most cap room in the NFL, behind the Browns, Jets, Colts and 49ers, respectively.

That’s a lot of cheese.

Joe can already here the howls of trembling fans claiming the Bucs need all that cash to re-sign their own guys and keep their budget sound. Whatever. Baloney! There is time and money to pay everyone who can play. And some of the guys you’re thinking of will either get hurt of lose some of their game quickly. That’s just football.

Also, the Bucs have enough big contracts running out of guaranteed money on the coming years to let everyone breathe easily about cap room. It’s not like Tampa Bay has a stack of creative contracts on the books that were designed to manufacture available cash. The Bucs haven’t pushed the limits of the cap in a long time.

The Bucs should be spenders this year, if Team Glazer has enough faith in general manager Jason Licht to let him go shopping freely in a market where his track record is subpar.

70 Responses to “Bucs Now With Fifth-Most Cap Room In The NFL”

  1. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    You know, I keep seeing that pic of Suh on the side of the page, and I keep having visions of him and McCoy playing side-by-side…

    …talk about nasty…

  2. Sausage King Of Chicago Says:

    With all that money, this is an easy fix. Just spend it on a couple of pass rushers, cornerback and safety help, upgrade the offensive line, get a stud running back, etc. So simple.

  3. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Gotta hope Glazers open up the vaults to let him freely shop. Obviously there isn’t a FA worth $20mill per, so let’s see if he’s capable of truly selecting the groceries

  4. AlteredEgo Says:

    Yep Suh and McCoy would be quite a tandem…Suh will knock them down and McCoy pick them up….

  5. Brandon Says:

    Martin is gone, I agree with the move…. but as bad as Martin was for four of his six seasons… I’d still rather have him on the team than Baker, who has never been good for us, has a terrible attitude, terrible rapport with his teammates, and makes basically what Doug was making…. that dude needs to go… even if it hurts us cap-wise… just to get rid of him. He’s a cancer and a waste of space.

  6. Buc4lyfe79 Says:

    Screw Suh guys…Draft Vita Vea and put him next to GMC…THAT would be NASTY…Nobody has said it probably because he had an injury shortened career, but since Buckner is our new D line coach, he would def know…Vita Vea is Kris Jenkins 2.0 but hopefully will have a long, successful, and injury free career.

  7. B Coburn Says:

    If I recall Koetter actually said “he” didn’t have 17 mil lying around and adied do you?. I might be trying to read between the lines too much.. but that sounds to me like he was just saying the ones who do have the cash to spend just didn’t want to spend it on him. Could possibly even have been an ownership decision. He just didn’t come right out and say it

  8. ManzielMadness Says:

    @Buc4lyfe agree… draft Vea and then sign anyone who can breathe on a QB. A couple of CB’s and were looking a lot better

  9. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Swaggy next please… With all the $$ the D Line was making, most of them should go starting with Mr. Baker. Ayers is NOT worth the $ either, and I can even see them moving form Willy G. They SHOULD move on from Sweezy as well.

  10. Bnomo Says:

    We need a Sapp, Brooks, etc., etc….

  11. JimmyJack Says:

    Good point Joe……It’s a bad recipe to look at the future and say we need that money only to get to that point 2-3 years from now and face the reality that is the longevity, shortgevity?, that is an NFL career. Only to be staring into the abyss of a depleted roster.

  12. JimmyJack Says:

    When the guy says he didn’t have 17 million laying around he’s right cause it ain’t his money. Pretty sure owner give them limits on how much they can spend.

    The counter argument is why they decided to spend that money on WR and DT.

  13. Amar Says:

    We always have cash but spend it on trash.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    This is a crap FA year, especially for defense. It’s not like they have to go out and spend huge money on a player that isn’t worth it. We must select certain players at certain positions that are worth it in FA. And build through the draft.


  15. 813bucboi Says:

    we know the holes…..
    we have the money…..

    sign 2 OG’S…..sign SUH….sign tre boston….sign Malcolm butler…..

    release sweezy ayers and baker…..resign Clinton….

    1. chubb-de
    2. guice-rb
    3. taven bryan-dt/de
    4. Holton hill-cb
    5. quin blanding-s
    6. bo scarbrough-rb
    6. josh sweat-de
    7. bj hill-dt

    dline and oline fixed….rb position fixed….secondary help…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  16. doolnutts Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai — Couldn’t agree more with you. There is a good chance we aren’t in position to get an “elite” type of edge rusher whether it be through the draft or with our cap room. Making our interior insane by adding suh would help immensely..

  17. miken Says:

    not going to be much in the DE or O line department in free agency.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    I’m going to hold out hope that we keep Baker and switch to 3-4 base. In that scenario we need a lot less for our Dline and likely have more answers and depth already in the fold.

    If we are not going to adjust we just are what we are…….Worst Dline in football with a ton on pieces needed.

  19. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    I love it -starting to read in the comments that people are coming around to the idea of the Bucs going all in on the offensive and defensive lines this offseason to really build the foundation of this team for now and the long haul.

    The Bucs are flush with cash and in a prime spot to TRADE DOWN in the draft and accumulate multiple picks. Buffalo has the 21 and 22 picks and are itching to jump up and get their QB of the future. Could you imagine the Bucs getting the 21 and 22 and possibly a 2nd (a 3rd at worst) to move back?

    The Bucs have a terrific opportunity to build the team right with shrewd FA signings and draft picks. Go all in on the lines and the trickle down improvement will effect every other position group. THEN you can start plugging in talent at the other luxury spots.


  20. Buccaneer Bill Says:

    We’ve got a bunch of large contract renewals coming up this year and next – Winston, Alexander, Brate, etc. All that money is available for FAs.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t care waht round we get him in, but I want Sam Hubbard (DE).

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I have to agree with Joe, I do not think there is a chance at all of getting Chubb or Barkley.

    So if we go down the list, the next best DE’s available are Harold Landry or Sam Hubbard, unless we go with a LB conversion to DE, and take Tremanine Edmunds.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Buccaneer Bill Says
    “We’ve got a bunch of large contract renewals coming up this year and next – Winston, Alexander, Brate, etc. All that money is available for FAs.”

    Outside of Grimes, we have no others that are a major concern. Brate is a restricted free agent. I would prefer to lock him up for another 4 years, but if someone takes him, we get a 2nd rounder (tender) out of it.

    Next year, we’ve have Mike Evans to worry about. Winston isn’t until the year after.

  24. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    G Justin Pugh – $6-7 million /yr
    C Weston Richburg or Ryan Jensen – $6-9 million /yr
    RB Carlos Hyde or Dion Lewis – $4-6 million /yr

    $16-22 million / yr and we fix our biggest needs on offense

    That puts us at $48-54 million of cap space. Save $10 million of space for our upcoming draft class. But then add another $11-17 million if we cut a combination of Sweezy, Baker, and Gholston (I think we should cut all 3, and keep Ayers because when he was healthy and on the field he was still better than anything else we have). We will need to re-sign some veterans to fill out the roster, let’s just say it will cost us another $10 million.

    That puts us at $39-51 million in cap space to spend on defense. That should be enough to sign a free agent DT, DE, CB, and S. It is slim pickings for pass rushing defensive ends, but the Bucs cannot get any worse at the position.

    Pray that we can get one of these guys:
    DE Trent Murphy, Junior Galette, Alex Okafor, or Dee Ford

    I think Licht has to be aggressive in free agency if he wants any shot of keeping his job in 2019. For the draft, I expect at least 3 of the first 4 picks to be linemen (with two of them D-linemen), or Licht should be fired right now.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Bonzai…….If your talking round one all of those guys you’re mentioning are reaches at 7.

    Better suited for round two targets

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    No one seems to know nuttin this time of year, just tons of speculation. All we really have to look forward to is (1) the Combine starts Feb 27th & runs through March 5th; (2) free agency & trading period begins March 14th; and (3) the NFL Draft is April 26-28. I do agree with 813 bucboi though … “we know the holes; we have the money.” Based on what’s available in FA & the draft, it’s not really all that hard to figure out how we should fill those holes & spend the money. What’ll be interesting is to see if the Bucs’ braintrust can figure it out too.

  27. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    “Jason, we have the cash to improve drastically.”

    ^^^This is stupid beyond words hahahahahahaha

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    @Tony From LA

    Totally feel ya bra. That’s why I want to pay Andrew Norwell. We would have more options if we were to stay at #7 and it came down to Nelson (Chubb, Barkley, Fitz off the board). Possibly Derwin James or Vita Vea or Marcus Davenport if they wanted to take any of those guys so high. I’m also down to trade to the 15-20 range if anyone wants to, not just the Bills. One or all of those players could still be on the board and we get some more picks.

  29. SOEbuc Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai

    Hubbard is who I’ve wanted for 21 or 22 if we were to trade down. Vea and Hubbard would be a dream at 21 and 22 but I’m not sure if Vea would be there but who knows (OJ #20). If Vea isn’t there I’m down for a top-tier CB or any other top-tier position player other than WR, TE, and QB because we’re missing the rest.

  30. Joeypoppems Says:

    You guys are all clamoring for Suh and he aint even a FA lol.

  31. Joeypoppems Says:

    And lets just be honest. Its pointless to get hyped up for Free Agency because we are just going to be complaining about the guys we sign come October anyways. Thats just how it goes under this regime.

  32. GrudenForPresident Says:

    I think it’s obvious here. After the release of Martin you make Laveon the highest paid back in the NFL and you go out and sign Norwall and trumaine johnson instead of over paying for a DE or DT you move up in the draft to take Chubb and go BPA after that.

  33. GrudenForPresident Says:

    Or if you don’t trade up trade down and take Vea and Davenport. How you say? Easily, package a deal with someone that has multiple 1st Rd picks and a 3rd and needs a QB say like the Bills and use the picks to trade up in the draft. I know this is alot easier say d then done but the point here is it can be done. For the 1st time since this time last year I am excited about my team again Go Bucs

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Potential Cap Casualties

    • Chris Baker DT $4,875,000
    • Robert Ayers DE $5,000,000
    Total: $9,875,000

    • Jacquizz Rodgers RB $1,600,000
    • J.R. Sweezy G $5,250,000
    Total: $6,850,000

    Combined Totals: $16,725,000
    +Bucs Projected Salary Cap: $$70,459,986
    Possible Grand Total: $87,184,986 ←

    If we’re able to trade DeSean Jackson ($11M).
    That would bring the grand total to
    $98,184,986. ←

    Cont. : Additional Cap Space can be created if we convert some or all of…
    Gerald McCoy & William Gholston base salary into a signing bonus.

    • Gerald McCoy DT $12,250,000
    • William Gholston DE $6,500,000
    =$18,750,000 <- In Additional CapSpace (2018)

    Total: $116,934,986

  35. tmaxcon Says:


    I’ll give you 3 guesses on the best way to clear the wasted 12,250,000

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Lol I already know brotha

  37. tmaxcon Says:

    I did not think you would need all 3 guesses

  38. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    “IF” we are swtiching to a 3-4 (which hasn’t been confirmed).
    Moving Gerald – would be the smart choice.

    There’s a rumor floating around that – Seattle’s GM John Schneider is tempted to use the franchise tag on Sheldon Richardson.

    And Based on the FTV for 2017

    2017 Franchise Tag Values
    • Defensive tackle $13,387,000

    So besides retain their Franchise Tage – Trading for McCoy would save them $1M+ off the Top.

    But there’s more….

    Hypothetical, If Seattle traded for McCoy and they could convert his – $12,250,000 to a signing bonus. And use the additional cap space to resign Frank Clark or Earl Thomas. Would be a Win-Win for both parties.

  39. GhostofSchiano Says:

    JOE says ” The Bucs haven’t pushed the limits of the cap in a long time.”

    So good it bears repeating

  40. GhostofSchiano Says:

    813bucboi Says:

    We know the holes…..
    we have the money…..

    sign 2 OG’S…..sign SUH….sign tre boston….sign Malcolm butler…..

    release sweezy ayers and baker…..resign Clinton….

    1. chubb-de
    2. guice-rb
    3. taven bryan-dt/de

    Agree with everything you said but a number of mock drafts have Taven Bryant going in the first round. For some reason his stock is rising. One report has him being the next JJ Watt…… Watched tape of him on Youtube, he looks really good.

  41. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Then we could sign Sheldon Richardson & Muhammad Wilkerson to help solidify our new 3-4 front.

    If Buckner could motivate Darnell Dockett & John Abraham.
    He’ll have no problem with Wilkerson & Richardson

  42. Bobby M. Says:

    I would bet….since the Glazier boys took over for their dad, we’ve avg in the top 5 for cap space for the last decade. The boys are all about getting their purses filled first, whatever is left over can be used for the roster. Their dad was hell bent on winning a super bowl before he died….money was no concern for him. Its two totally different perspectives and approaches.

  43. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Last year the Eagles spent the most and the Browns spent the least. Shall we compare outcomes?

  44. GhostofSchiano Says:


  45. SOEbuc Says:

    Folks, they’re not going to change to a 3-4 defense, so have fun like we all do this early and try to figure out helpful ways for the 4-3. But I guess you can do both if it makes you happy.

  46. NFLNut Says:


    You’re one of the guys I scan articles to find … great stuff as usual!

    However … didn’t Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson hate each other?

  47. SOEbuc Says:

    @Bobby M

    “I would bet….since the Glazier boys took over for their dad, we’ve avg in the top 5 for cap space for the last decade. The boys are all about getting their purses filled first, whatever is left over can be used for the roster. Their dad was hell bent on winning a super bowl before he died….money was no concern for him. Its two totally different perspectives and approaches”

    You said it brother.

  48. NFLNut Says:

    One more thing … if we did trade GMC for Sheldon Richardson, perhaps we could “sweeten the pot” by trading both our 6th rounders for Michael Bennett as well as I have a feeling the Seahawks would like to clear his salary but won’t do so unless they can trade him, as just cutting him, doesn’t make as much sense …

  49. Buccaneer Bill Says:


    Thanks for the correction and clarification.

  50. Eric Says:

    Every year the media come with crap the bucs got xx amount under the cap blah blah blah well I’m not renewing my club seats until I see the Bucs spend some of that money blah blah blah!!!!

  51. Pickgrin Says:

    “3 guesses on the best way to clear the wasted 12,250,000”

    Easy – cut Baker and Gholston – Duh…

    LUV – you gotta knock $1.something Million of Sweezy’s “savings” off due to dead cap $ being lost if he’s cut. Which I think we should do because we need a better player in his spot and he’d be a pretty expensive back-up.

    Same goes for Pamphile – if he wants more than $4M per to be re-signed. At least Pamphile is young, can play Tackle and had a decent year in 2016 though so maybe he’s salvageable.

    My preference would be to get rid of both of them – re-sign Evan Smith as a versatile back up, sign Ryan Jensen in FA at Center – move Marpet back to RG and draft Nelson. THEN we would have the talent necessary to compete well up front…

  52. Its_A_Tough_Buc_Life Says:

    Cut Baker, Sweezy, Gholston.

    Sign Andrew Norwell & Sign Justin Pugh. Oline solved.
    Sign Talib (he’s gonna get cut) and re-sign Grimes. CB solved.
    Sign Suh and Ziggy. Dline solved.

    Draft BPA in the first: Chubb/Nelson/Minkah, Guice (lightning), Bryan, H. Hill,, Scarborough (thunder), K Kelly and some depth at DLine in the 7th.

    Re-sign Fitzpatrick. Keep Ayers.

  53. 813bucboi Says:


    your right….he’ll go late first early second….he’s a str8 beast too!!!!….he can play inside and outside….strong as an ox….and he has a mean/nasty streak about him…..one can dream….lol….

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  54. Rod Munch Says:

    The question is spend on who? The Bucs don’t need a QB and outside of QB this is an incredibly weak FA class. The Bucs gave had money every year – including last year AFTER signing everyone. If the Bucs want anyone they will have to pay a lot because no one is coming here for market value when it’s very very likely the GM and coach is out next offseason. Jacksonville has to pay through the nose to get people to go to that stink hole of a city – but they did that and had a big turnaround. The issue is there is no obvious guy like Campbell this year to pay. The Bucs could front load some deals or trade for guys like Talib with 2 year deals – this offseason might be the year to get short term vets and try to win right now – or 2019 is another rebuild and we will have wasted another year of Winston.

  55. gambelero Says:

    Buscaglia (think Auman for the Bills) said they’ll be offering both 1s, next year’s one and more to get a qb. I think he’s referring to moving up to like 4, but it’s possible that their mhcqb (most highly coveted quarterback) will still be there at 7. Licht’s got to prepare to trade down if our mhc players are gone.

  56. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Starting to wonder if Jaosn Licht is reading the comments on this site………. HE JUST CUT BAKER

    Starting to feel better about the 2018 season.

  57. JL47 Says:

    Now let’s spend 35 million in free agency addressing o-line,d-line, cb, and maybe qb

  58. ScottyinFatAntonio Says:

    I’m thinking Brentson Buckner is already paying HUGE dividends. He had a plan going in to his interview.

  59. Howard Cosell Says:

    Can someone research total cap space carried through the year and never used to sign players?

    I’ll bet team Glazer is #1 on that list.
    They sit on a huge cap space every year
    and then blame the team for it’s poor performance.

    They are the anti-Vinik, Their actions show that they
    use coaches players and fans to hoard money.

    Siege the cap space!

  60. Rrsrq Says:

    Who ya gonna spend it on, who is out there who will not be franchised that we actually need.

  61. bojim Says:

    AlteredEgo Says:
    February 20th, 2018 at 12:32 pm
    Yep Suh and McCoy would be quite a tandem…Suh will knock them down and McCoy pick them up….

    That’s funny. I don’t care who you are. 🙂

  62. Issic Haggins Says:

    The corner market is strong and that better be the first place this team goes , they had better get three and find a d end

  63. Rod Munch Says:

    In case you needed an example the Dolphins tagging Landy is why you lock up players early when you know you’re going to keep them anyways. The price of Evans just went up a few million.

  64. Rod Munch Says:

    Issic – The corner market is OK, the best corner out there that will be a FA is Grimes. The Rams kid, if he hits the market, is the best in terms of youth+play, but has been inconsistent. The kid from Chicago might be worth signing but isn’t a sure thing. The issue is the raising cap has meant teams can keep more and more guys, and this years class is weak overall. There are some starters at corner, but I don’t see anything at DE, Clayborn might be the best but he had 6 sacks in one game which highly inflates his numbers. Perhaps some guys will get cut and the market will improve, but I think it’s more likely guys get tagged and resigned and the market is worse than expected.

  65. RawBucFan Says:

    In free agency we need to resign Grimes, sign RB Hyde(or Crowell), OG Pugh, DE Ealy, CB Butler, Amukamara or Talib(if released), S Reid & maybe DE Peppers.

    Draft best player available at #7 or trade down with Buffalo for #21 & 22. Target both DT Vea & DE Key(LSU defensive players seem to thrive here) even if we have to trade back up for Vea. Get best RB available in 2nd Rd. Fill remaining needs in Rds 3-7 (OL, DT, CB). Also draft FB Samuels from NC State to replace both Sims & Cross. COMPETITION BREEDS SUCCESS!!!

    What you think Joe?

  66. HolyBuc Says:

    They don’t hoard cap space. Unused cap space is now carried over to the following year.

  67. NFLNut Says:


    I’ve got to disagree with you on the free agent class … it is an extremely deep DB class with Trumaine, Butler, Gaines, Grimes, Talib (likely), Fuller, Amukamara, Nickel-Robey, Joyner, Boston, Reid and more … we should get two starting quality CBs and one starting quality SS out of it.

    The DE class is horrible though as I expect Lawrence to get locked up, so it’s basically Ziggy or nothing …

    The RB class is okay with Hyde, McKinnon, Lewis, Crowell, A.D., CJ Anderson and others …

  68. Maze Says:

    Wow Rod. Just wow 🤣

  69. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Apologize for the delayed response. Thanks for the compliment.

  70. Rod Munch Says:

    NFLNut – I have less faith in the corner market, reading some overviews of the guys available none of them look like surefire performers. Don’t get me wrong, with the exception of Grimes, all are massive upgrades. As for Talib, again, if the Bucs want him, trade for him, give up a 7th next year if he’s getting cut anyways, but he’s not coming here as a FA, I doubt anyone of any value is, not when the coach and GM are most likely gone at the end of the year.