Clock Ticking On Robert Ayers

March 16th, 2018

Money talks, and there’s a good chance it’s a current subject of discussion among general manager Jason Licht and veteran Bucs defensive end Robert Ayers.

Bottom line is that Ayers is due a $1 million roster bonus if he’s with the Buccaneers on Saturday, per reliable His full 2018 contract is for an additional $5 million, but that’s not guaranteed unless he’s on the roster after training camp.

So the Bucs have a decision to make on Ayers, who turns 33 in September and hasn’t played more than 12 games in a season since 2013. Does Licht, who clearly is shunning significant expenditures this offseason, want to pay that kind of coin for a declining and banged up DE?

You may have noticed a lot of teams around the league cut players this week because they wouldn’t agree to pay cuts.

Would Ayers?

If the Bucs plan to draft two defensive ends, then one could assume those guys would make the roster along with Will Gholston and Noah Spence, if he stays healthy. Plus the Bucs just signed DE Mitch Unrein (hooray!) and Will Clarke, who led Bucs defensive ends with 2.5 sacks last season.

Where does that leave Ayers?

Joe suspects the Bucs keep Ayers and pay him the $1 million this week and then go from there. Ayers has value, but Joe’s not sure it’s anywhere close to $6 million on this year’s team.

25 Responses to “Clock Ticking On Robert Ayers”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    If they do stick to 4-3 front, I think Ayers can be effective off the bench!!!!! The same thing we went thru with Clinton McDonald, who has never played a 16 game schedule, and gets very injured when a starter, but was an effective backup!!!!!!!!

    Best scenario is that Ayers gets 50/50 snaps with his drafted replacement!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. AlteredEgo Says:

    Clock ticking on Jason Licht….banter here yesterday was “well Licht” has been nimble and great in the draft ” so he is being sure and conservative in FA….well 2 things….just because his was bad in FA in the past should not keep him from being aggressive this go around…and just because he has been successful in the draft in the past …means NOTHING about the next draft …….Oh welll

  3. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    I would let him go, he is not worth that kind of coin. Use that to sign EJ Gaines, or Pouncy, or another Safety.

  4. BucFanFromOhio Says:


    I think Pouncy got traded to the 49ers. On a side note, Poe went to the Stinking Panthers. Barf.

  5. Phil Says:

    It would be nice if they signed somebody instead doing what they been doing which is nothing.

  6. AKick'nTheBucNuts Says:

    Joe says: Will Clarke, who led Bucs defensive ends with 2.5 sacks last season.

    That must have been hard to write.
    Actually, I laughed. A DE “leading a team” with 2.5 sacks.

    This is the apathy that has set in.

    Obvious we’re going all draft.

    Abandon ship.

  7. Andrew Says:

    Compared to what guys are getting paid, this contract isn’t bad. Start by upgrading will clarke, not robert ayers

  8. SteveK Says:

    Our pass rush is terrible.

    If we cut Ayers, who do we have?

    Why in the world did we fail to trade for Quinn, or Bennett? Passing on Calais Campbell last year continues to look like a silly nonmove.

  9. BucTrooper Says:

    I’ll bet Ayres gets the bonus and then they cut him anyway because the Bucs are stupid that way.

  10. Buc4life Says:

    Cut Ayers and use that money to assist in getting Suh or Richardson. Then draft 2 DEs in the draft. Finally having a legit player next to McCoy will open lanes for our DEs and McCoy. It’s not brain surgery and we have the funds to do it.

  11. SteveK Says:

    Richardson signed with Vikings if I’m not mistaken.

  12. BucFanFromOhio Says:

    Also looks like Suh is talking with the Saints… oh joy.

  13. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Come on 2019

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    sean payton is telling SUH, “come stomp on as many bucs as you like!!!!”…..

    Richardson went to the vikes…..kony ealy might end up in buffalo with his former DC……

    ayers will be kept…..glazer want to build depth for the next regime!!!!!!….glazer have put a cap on everything and wont allow licht to overpay and screw things up for the next GM and HC!!!!!!….this is a lame duck staff!!!!!!

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

  15. TOM Says:

    I said it before cut sackless Gholston before Ayers.

  16. The Graham Tram Says:

    Complain about not spending money to sign DEs, complain that we’re not cutting DEs we already have. Complain about not spending glazer money, complain that we are spending too much glazer money.

    Presumably the guy would be a good teacher. Need to have someone who can teach the new meat. Philly has a rotation, that should be the goal

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Joe – you should be writing this article about Gholston instead.

    0 cap hit if he’s released today. $6.5M guaranteed in 2018 if Will is on the roster tomorrow.

    Ayers is injury prone – but he’s also a better all around DE than Gholston when he’s available.

    At least w/ Ayers they could pay him the $1M and then see how he looks in camp and make a decision on the other $5M in Sept.

    Licht should have already made Gholston re-structure after doing jack-squat last year for $7M.

    Ayers didn’t get many sacks – but at least he got pretty good pressure on the QB last year – Gholston is capable of neither apparently.

  18. FireJasonLicht Says:

    Cut him and replace him with who Mitch Unrein??πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  19. Wiscobucsfan Says:

    SteveK, if we keep ayers who do we have?

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Worth the $1m to wait until after the draft to decide.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Personally, I think that with Bukner and a couple draft picks, Ayers will be much better.

  22. bucs_365 Says:

    “declining significant expenditures”??? I guess the new commitments to Mike Evans and Cameron Brate don’t count? Or the 10 million one year deal for Grimes? When all the new contracts are taken into consideration, along with the draft reserve + inseason reserve, they have maybe 25 million remaining to play with. Some will hopefully go to Pouncey or Jensen, and some to a new CB. And we still need to plan on a new contract for Kwon, Jameis, Marpet, and D. Smith in the near future. All this cap space we had will soon be down to about zero.

  23. Destinjohnny Says:


  24. godzilla13 Says:

    Robert Ayers is our best DE. He played in 12 games, however 2 games he did not play in were due to concussion protocol, so he only missed two games last year. Other than Gerald McCoy, Ayers was the Bucs’ best defensive lineman last season. He produced 45 pressures (two sacks, 17 hits and 26 hurries), according to Pro Football Focus. Ayers wasn’t just one of the most productive linemen on the Bucs; he was one of the most productive linemen in the NFL. His pressure total ranked 20th among defensive ends who play in a 4-3 front. On a per-snap basis, he was about as disruptive as Michael Bennett of the Seahawks and Everson Griffen of the Vikings. Ayers also rated as one of the best run stoppers in the league. He recorded a β€œstop” on 8.4 percent of his run snaps last season, the eighth-highest rate among 4-3 defensive ends. Vinny Curry (PHI) produced 47 pressures and earned 9M, Jerry Hughes (BUF) produced 45 pressures and earned 10.4M. Impact defensive ends are scarce. The Bucs have Ayers and Noah Spence, who only played in 6 games last year. You do not cut a player like Ayers who is 20th among 4-3 DE’s. If they they really care?

  25. James G Losinger Says:

    Re-sign him. We need mean.