A Tampa Return For J.J. Wilcox?

February 16th, 2018

One of the March free agent scores heralded by general manager Jason Licht last year was inking former Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox to a two-year, $5.5 million contract.

Wilcox, who turned 27 this week, was known as a hard-hitter in Dallas and yearned for defensive coordinator Mike Smith to make him better than average. Really, that’s what Wilcox said.

He explained on SiriusXM NFL Radio last year that defensive coordinator Smith is known for taking players that are “average-good like me and turning them [into] great players].”

But Licht gave up on Wilcox and traded him to the Steelers and then ran out and signed bong-friendly safety T.J. Ward after he was cut by the Broncos following training camp.

Ward was a bust signing. And now Wilcox is in line to be cut by the Steelers, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wilcox played very little for Pittsburgh last season; he made one start and had one interception.

In 2018, Wilcox could be a great fit for the Bucs. First, he’s young with fresh legs. Second, he knows the system. Also, he only has one year left on his contract.

Joe highly doubts the Bucs will re-sign 29-year-old Keith Tandy, who might be wise to look for a team that will give him a shot at winning a starting gig.

The Bucs could do worse than Wilcox for depth, and possibly a greater contribution.

44 Responses to “A Tampa Return For J.J. Wilcox?”

  1. TraumaMurse Says:

    This to me was the single most stupid thing we did last year we brought in TJ Ward who had zero experience in our defense. We let Wilcox go who had spent all training camp making plays soaking up the defense and being a presence on the field. I honestly think this is what sent our defense into disarray.

  2. rrsrq Says:

    What did we get fro Wilcox in the trade?

  3. Bculaw Says:

    Joe: what does Mike Smith have against Tandy? All the Tandyman has done is produce when given the chance. He played a huge role in the team’s defensive turnaround [run of luck and opportunism] the second half of 2017, and proved to be a significant playmaker in the secondary. One could argue he was the team’s second half defensive MVP. The Bucs then go out use a high round pick and a high profile FA signing to replace him. Any idea what gives?

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    “What did we get fro Wilcox in the trade?”

    We traded our 2018 7th rd pick + Wilcox for Pittsburgh’s 2018 6th rd pick. (A net gain of probably 10 spots at the end of the 6th basically) – in other words – a bologna sandwich…

    It seemed like a good idea at the time considering Wards “Pro Bowl credentials” and all – but in retrospect – we never should have signed Ward and should have just stuck with Wilcox.

  5. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Yeah I believe I would let Tandy walk to and take a chance on Weed Whacker, Wilcox, Conte and Evans to improve on that awesome 5 & 11 record. Hope Keith gets with a team and comes back to Raymond James Stadium and intercepts your Mr. America Quarterback every time he throws it his way. As long as Smith & Koetter are your Coaches the Bucs will remain irrelevant.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Joe says – “he only has one year left on his contract”.

    Are you suggesting the Bucs trade for Wilcox?? If not, I don’t understand that “benefit” you are listing. If the Steelers cut Wilcox, his current contract would be voided by cutting him – right?? Am I missing something?

  7. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Bucs interviewing Buckner for DL coach.

  8. Buc4lyfe79 Says:

    In other news, Gruden is pissed about his “lack of access to his players” lmao…

  9. unbelievable Says:

    this organization…. lol

  10. TrollSlayer Says:

    if i was wilcox i would say screw the bucs no offense i love my bucs but as a player i would at a team i spent a whole camp busting my butt for just to be cut for a headcase like ward but if hes willing to return than by all means after all it is a business and players wanna play and get paid– i liked wilcox and was a lil miffed when we cut him he was having a great camp

  11. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Seems like a good deal but AGAIN…I cannot be too excited about our additions in the defensive backfield until we give them some help where they really need it.

    PRESSURE THE FREAKING QB! That is job #1…#2 and #3

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    J.J. Wilcox sucked. Just because Ward was even worse, that does not mean we should bring J.J. Wilcox back. Better to upgrade, not take two steps back.

  13. Waterboy Says:

    I’d bring McDougal back before resigning Wilcox if they’re just looking for a short-term solution.

  14. meh Says:

    Super bowl here we come! lol

  15. rrsrq Says:

    OK, so we could land a potential game changer with that pick, to get back in the first round, ehh

  16. NFLNut Says:


    Eric Reid or Tre Boston would be nice free agent signings while Ronnie Harrison or DeShone Elliot would be good draft picks to be our new starting SS next to Justin Evans at the FS spot.

    I love Minkah but to me, if he’s going to play safety, he’s going to play free safety and that’s Justin Evans position … so that could be a little problematic, however if we sign a guy like Reid or Boston, we’re set at safety and could take Minkah at #7 and start him at CB or even TRADE DOWN with the Bills for the #21 and #22 picks which I have always maintained is probably the best move for this team at this time if both Saquon and Chubb are off the board.


  17. Rod Munch Says:

    Chris Conte.


  18. I’m aTandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Instead of Tandy Why? Why? Why?

  19. bucs_365 Says:

    Bring him back. Let him compete.

  20. Mr. Ed Says:

    Tandy can play . It’s stupid not to develop him and play him more. This organization………………………

  21. DanBucsFan Says:

    I see alot of trade down with Bills in different discussions, but I would want a 4th thrown in also with #21 #22. At #7 u would be pretty guaranteed to get a awesome plug and play player to add to our young nucleus. But at 21 & 22 , the guarantee is not so much. Granted that great players come every year in late rounds, but we don’t have the luxury of missing on a top pick in draft.

  22. Stanglassman Says:

    Bucs would be already getting good value if they traded down to Buffalo, 7 for their 21&22 pick. 7 pick worth 1500, 21 & 22 is worth 1580. It would be more likely that the Bucs would give up their 4th (86pts) than also getting buffalo 4th (80 pts).


  23. JimmyJack Says:

    Enough with the Tandy hype. More years here then good games. He did next to nothing when he was on the field last year.

    If I’m wrong so be it. But why didn’t he make plays last preseason or during the reg. season if he is that good?

  24. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Why don’t you look at free agents like Fuller cornerback from Chicago guys who aren’t sucky

  25. Bucs55 Says:

    Worse thing we did was let Mcdougal leave expecually when he got the same money as Wilcox smh we are always letting good talent go .

  26. Stanglassman Says:

    Just because Mcdougal didn’t get as much as he expected in FA doesn’t mean he would’ve swallowed his pride and sign with Bucs for that price.

  27. bojim Says:

    Buc4lyfe79 Says:
    February 16th, 2018 at 12:29 pm
    In other news, Gruden is pissed about his “lack of access to his players” lmao…

    Damn shame. lol

  28. JimmyJack Says:

    bojim…….Maybe after a few years of discontent the Raiders will be willing to trade him.

  29. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Jimmy Jack???

  30. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    He started first2 games last season and got hurt against Giants!!! Smith started Weed Whacker, Conte and Evans the rest of the way for an awesome 5 & 11 season. A far cry from the 9 & 6 season when Tandy was playing with 57 tackles and 5 interceptions. I may be wrong but I may not!!!!

  31. godzilla13 Says:

    If I had a choice I would sign Reggie Nelson 34 for $4,250,000. Why wouldn’t our GM keep Keith Tandy, considering he played for a mere $925,000 last year. I mean if your going to re-sign J.J. Wilcox $2 750,000, why not get Bradley McDougald back for around $1,800,000. Better yet draft either Derwin James or Ronnie Harrison for just $600,000?

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    Tandyman….I don’t get what you are saying. So what if he didn’t start. He still played in way more then two games. When the guy played he had very little impact.

    And no the guy didn’t have a ton of snaps and the reason is because he wasn’t making plays. You gotta make plays to earn your keep starter or not.

    I remember watching him in preseason and watching, hoping he showed what he did in those three games. He didn’t do it man. Reg season same thing.

    If he deserved more snaps then feel free to point out the evidence to me.

  33. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Evidence… He played he had 57 tackles and 5 interceptions and your Bucs were 9 & 6. He gets hurt and Smith plays Weed Whacker, Conte and Evans and they go 5 & 11. Can’t have any impact when your.dumb butt DC who coached your defense up to 32nd in the league don,t play him. To me that’s pretty easy to see and understand. I may be wrong but I may not!!!!

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    Well Tandyman, maybe you thought he was playing at a high level all of last season but I would just disagree. I saw him do little for most of those games and play at a very high level for three games.

    I loved him at the end of that year and coming into this season but hoped in the back of my mind it wasn’t just a flash in the pan which looked like the case whenever I saw him playing this year.

    This year was what I was talking about when I asked for evidence BTW.

    Hey it’s cool if we disagree. I already said above that maybe I’m wrong. Time will tell. I really doubt they bring him back this year. It will also speak volumes if they do bring him back to be a depth guy.

  35. Maze Says:

    Wait what? Joe must have been day drinking. 😉

  36. Marc Says:

    Don’t really want to hear about DB until the DL has been fixed. Pointless.

  37. Dylan Says:

    Lol silly gooses we are drafting Derwin James at 7 if he is available he ready

  38. Dylan Says:

    Marc you sound like my little brother explaining his Christmas list. Too bad he doesn’t pick what he gets 🙂

  39. Tom Says:

    IMHO I think Tandy is better than Wilcox McDougle & just as good as Conte. Also if Chubb, Nelson & Via is gone I would try & trade down.

  40. Bill Says:

    Why? He’s a third safety. They need a starter.

  41. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    OK. Now I’ve noticed Joe’s trend…

    Now Wilcox

    It seems this site is always advocating that the Bucs mainly sign players that have already played here. Why? They haven’t made the playoffs for a decade. All the above players are part of that. Why bring back the same recipe, expecting a better dish?

    Name recognition?
    Come on.

    No way. there are over 1500 players in the NFL and another 300-400 ready to enter.

    The Bucs can do better than washed up has beens and mediocre never weres. This is a recipe for disaster.


  42. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    JimmyJack it’s all good my Brother!!!

  43. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    I just coached Keith in High School and watch the Bucs religiously on Sundays. After he got hurt against the Bucs he did not play again in the secondary all season. All them reps went to Weed Whacker, Conte and Evans. He did however continue to play on Special Teams. It really doesn’t matter at this point because if #37 gets an opportunity to compete for a starting spot with another Team he is gone. Kinda hard to make an impact if your on the sideline because your DC for some reason which Keith did never understand doesn’t play you. Any who good luck because with Koetter and Smith running things I can only see similar results in 2018!!!!

  44. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Hurt against the Giants….Sorry