Report: Bucs Playing Hardball With Joe Hawley

February 26th, 2018

It looks like the Bucs are trying to trim a little fat and add to their whopping $70 million+ available under the 2018 salary cap.

Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network and Sirius XM NFL Radio, Tampa Bay officials have advised center/guard Joe Hawley they want no part of the $2.5 million contract he had on paper for 2018. However, the Bucs, Pelissero notes, aren’t writing off a Hawley return.

Smart move.

Hawley hit the free agent market last offseason and, Joe presumes, found no takers. He re-signed with the Bucs a week or so after the dinner bell rang. Joe was surprised Hawley commanded more than the veteran minimum.

Good guy Hawley, who turns 30 in October, made two starts last season — in the final two games. He played pretty well and was back to his 2015 playing weight after dropping pounds during the 2016 season because of a knee injury.

But he’s a backup at this point in his career, and Joe’s glad to hear the Bucs are playing hardball with Hawley and are more interested in paying him what he’s worth.

Joe would be pleased to see Hawley return and compete in training camp.

26 Responses to “Report: Bucs Playing Hardball With Joe Hawley”

  1. Seminole Bill Says:

    Good, hard-working O-linemen are always needed. Don’t nickel-and-dime him. Particularly after throwing away all the money on Chris Baker.

  2. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Good thing Licht drafted OL so well lately so there will be a seamless transition

  3. LakeLand Says:

    So now Jason Licht decides to play hardball. What happen with VJAX and Doug Martin? He was playing softball then.

  4. Nwbucfan Says:

    When he went in for Evan smith the run game was better

  5. LifeOfABucFan Says: read this site…GIVE HIM HIS MONEY!!!!! We can’t afford to lose this man right now!!!

    Good GOD!!!

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    no brainer he can and should be upgraded. see ya NEXT!

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    keeping all the same bums you have been losing with every year is the pure definition of insanity. only about 8 keepers on this bush league rosters. loyalty is for losers. win our get out!

  8. LakeLand Says:

    Joe Hawley was one of Dirk Koetter boys in Atlanta. I doubt they let him walk, he will be back.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    $2.5 million isn’t much to back up the second most important position on the offense. I think they are being stupid.

    Now that Hawley is healthy, he will probably get other offers if they cut him.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    LakeLand Says
    “Joe Hawley was one of Dirk Koetter boys in Atlanta. I doubt they let him walk, he will be back.”

    Considering they let him walk once already, you are clearly wrong on that claim.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I agree with Joe that he is a backup, obviously. But if Sweezy goes down and Marpet has to move back to guard, do you really want Evan Smith as the new center? We went that route before, when he cost us multiple games in a season.

    TMax is wrong, as usual, as well.

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    How is this team ever supposed to get better if they just hang on to the same old back-ups and never develop anybody new behind the starters?

    There will literally be at minimum 20+ centers/guards available between now and the season that will be just as good and have a higher ceiling.

  13. Bucsfan951 Says:

    I agree with maxipad. There are many starters that do need to become back ups. But you can’t replace them until you find someone better!

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Surprised everyone including Joe missed this question: Does this activity mean that the Bucs are seriously considering keeping Marpet at center?

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Incidently, the Saints are going to release OL Senio Kelemete in a week or so.

    His best position? Left Guard.

  16. GrudenForPresident Says:

    Don’t nickel and dime him? Nobody wanted him last year other then us what would you pay him?

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says
    “Surprised everyone including Joe missed this question: Does this activity mean that the Bucs are seriously considering keeping Marpet at center?”

    No one missed it. The staff is happy with him at Center. And they should be. He improved every game. Toward the end, he was playing VERY well. Same with Sweezy at guard.

    Left guard might be a concern…personally I think Right Tackle should be. Dotson is getting up in years.

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    Moving Marpet last year was an incredibly stupid move, and weakened the team at Center and at Guard. .

    But, the Bucs are a stupid team, and one of the all time worst Franchises in NFL history.
    You dont suck that long, without a history of stupid moves.

    Of Course they’ll keep Marpet at Center
    Even though Marpet and Sweezy ( much better this year- after knocking off the rust last year) could be an extremely effective pair of guards THIS YEAR.

    Marpet had NEVER played center, until last year. It will take him a couple more years to get comfortable at center. Then he will be a great center!
    Instead of being a great Guard now!!

    Great decisions like that are why the bucs own the cellar of every division they’ve been in!

  19. Ndog Says:

    Would you guys get over the Marpet move. First off it was the right move, secondly he’s not moving back so quit crying about it. Centers are harder to find than guards and are more important!

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Marpet to center was another in a long line of dunderbox licht mistakes, bucs offense was horrible and 1 too many center qb screwups, marpet is a guard leave him there, the next gm and coaching staff will have him at guard, just cannot wait for 2019 for this long nightmare to pause

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    @Bonzai … “The staff is happy with him at Center. And they should be. He improved every game. Toward the end, he was playing VERY well. Same with Sweezy at guard.”

    You’re right Bonzai. The 5-11 staff is happy with Marpet at Center and that’s a large reason why they’re a 5-11 staff instead of a 11-5 staff. Yes Marpet did improve every game IMO, but he’s STILL a better RG than he is a C. Sweezy sucked, and no he didn’t play VERY well. The Bucs pass protection was decent, but not playoff-caliber. Their run blocking stunk, and was a big part of our offensive woes last season. Our best bet going forward is to revamp our OLine now. LT – D Smith. LG – Top FA. C – Top FA. RG – Marpet. RT – Dotson. Backups: wouldn’t have any issue with keeping Hawley & Pamphile (if he can be re-signed at a reasonable price), plus Benenoch or someone else & maybe even E Smith. Dump Sweezy.

  22. KfromFLA Says:

    I think that Licht goes to the Free Agency well to get drunk this season. The Bucs will likely bring in a vet on the O-ling, hopefully a Center and move Marpet back to his natural position at Guard where I think he will be an All Pro.

    FAs for 2018, C, DE, DE, CB, NT, Safety. Yeah that’s a haul, but this is what it will take to get a ticket the dance. Licht has the cash to do it and sign his priority returning FAs.

    Then he can draft to get better long term.

  23. Pa Privateer Says:

    Hawley played injured and underweight in 2016. When he got healthy and played in 2017, The run game increased.

    re-sign him, he is good depth.

  24. godzilla13 Says:

    Joe “brawley” Hawley plays the game the old school way. He gives his all and plays each play beyond the whistle and is always looking to “liven” up the game. The OL was better when Hawley plays center and Marpet goes back to guard. Licht is insane to play hardball with him when the OL is just a guard away from being great.

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^ I agree with this.
    Anyone who looks at that line and says any part of it was successful last year is drinking early and often. Yeah, there were glimpses of improvement, but overall, it did not work.
    If we can land a big FA center, you fix 2 positions simultaneously because Marpet goes back to G.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Defense Rules Says
    “You’re right Bonzai. The 5-11 staff is happy with Marpet at Center…”

    Remember last year before the season started? Joe himself warned us that it was unlikely Sweezy would come back and have an impact in his first year back. I believe he had done some research that supported that claim on similar situations.

    So, Joe was right. It’s not like no one was warned. And, of course Marpet is better at guard. Center is a new position and he’s only got a year into it so far, whereas he played guard for years.

    As I have been saying…the offensive line mainly needs time to develop and gel.

    Among all the teams, who has the best offensive lines? Did they build them overnight? Did they gel the first year they were together? Heck no.

    That takes time. Giving up is not the way to develop the line. Not at all.

    Yes, we need a LG because Kevin is probably moving on unless the lock him up. Yes, Dotson is ancient now, and needs to become a bridge RT.

    But the rest of the line is fine.