Are The Bucs Waiting On Byron Maxwell?

April 12th, 2018

This post is one part wishful thinking, one part common sense, and one part news.

As Buccaneers fans know too well (and hopefully Buccaneers officials), the team is in a near crisis situation at cornerback.

You know the drill down; outside of Brent Grimes, who played at 80 percent last year and turns 35 soon, the Bucs don’t have a player any NFL evaluator would consider a “No. 2 cornerback.”

That’s a very bad look in a division with three likely Hall of Fame quarterbacks.

General manager Jason Licht should feel desperate for corner help in the NFL Draft, which is just two weeks away. However, Licht has shown Bucs fans that he is a patient dealer (see the Jason Pierre-Paul trade) and isn’t about to panic. You and Joe might not like Licht’s plans, but Joe can assure you that Licht always has many plans and options. He is a very prepared general manager.

So that brings Joe to yesterday’s news that Seattle signed ex-49ers cornerback Dontae Johnson.

Word out of Seattle is that means the team will no longer wait to re-sign former Legion of Boom cornerback Byron Maxwell, 30, who had a deal on the table after a solid season there in 2017.

Maxwell seems to fit the Jason Licht mold of a free agent, a guy who grinded his way up the NFL totem pole. Maxwell was a sixth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2011, was a reserve for a couple of seasons and then became a key starter on a Super Bowl winner.

It also says a lot that Seattle welcomed Maxwell back from the Dolphins at midseason last year and made him an instant starter in November and December.

Yes, Maxwell plays outside corner.

Yes, he’s better than Ryan Smith.

Yes, Licht knows this.

Yes, signing Maxwell would give the Bucs breathing room in the draft.

Yes, Joe is holding out hope this afternoon.

46 Responses to “Are The Bucs Waiting On Byron Maxwell?”

  1. Easy Says:

    Maxwell isn’t very good. In fact he’s horrible. Bad angles, free styles to much and gets beat deep often.

  2. AKick'nTheBucNuts Says:


  3. 813bucboi Says:

    well, he’s horrible at man press coverage but is decent playing off coverage which smitty loves…..I would rather stick with what we have…..develop them…..that’s why smitty gets paid the big bucks…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!…GO BUCS!!!!

  4. Fire the Glazers Says:

    Better Corners will be released after the draft.
    When teams start putting players on the trade block for picks, DURING the draft, those players are going to want out.
    Eventually Bucs will pilfer one or two vets at several spots.

  5. webster Says:

    I dont know joe. I remember him getting a big 6 year contract from the eagles and he was exposed as a fraud. He only played one year there but he did get his 25 mil guaranteed. Another red flag is the dolphins were willing to part with him after a half of the season. I say pass.
    The Dolphins also kept Alterraun Verner instead and he doesn’t have a job while Maxwell finished the season strong. Plus, a lot of players didn’t mesh with Chip Kelly. It won’t take a monster contract to sign Maxwell. He’s an upgrade. –Joe

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    Our best CB is 35 years old. Our safeties are below average. We did absolutely nothing to improve one of the leagues worst pass defenses. Our pass rush will improve a little but we need better defensive backs. I would be surprised if we don’t draft two DBs high in the draft. Maxwell isn’t good but he is better than most of the CBs we currently have on roster.

  7. Joeypoppems Says:

    “As Buccaneers fans know too well (and hopefully Buccaneers officials), the team is in a near crisis situation at cornerback.”

    Yet people think it would be wise to use our 2 premium picks on offense.

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    That’s because many of us do not see our CB situation as a “crisis” as opposed to our DL and specifically our DE needs and after JPP I personally think the “crisis” has passed while conceding we still have needs there.

    What FA’s did we sign for our offense? A center…and…how many have we already signed for the defense? Licht has already began to address that.

    4 1/2 months before kickoff. We still have plenty of time. Everybody here seems fine with waiting to find RB’s late in the draft…CB’s are just as available.
    CB’s are the least freakish physically of any position. Unlike DE’s or OL’s there are plenty of gifted athletes available who might make good DB’s…they are 5-10 to 6 feet and 200 lbers as opposed to 6-5 275. And they are not 233 lbs and running 40’s in 4.4 like Barkley.

    We lost what 7 games by a TD or less. Yeah it would be nice if the defense had held…be just as nice if our offense had played up to potential and scored those seven TD’s. Imagine a 230 lb back with great explosiveness…off the charts at the combine…better than any RB prospect in a long time who could actually take it to the house after a simple handoff or short swing pass. Our backfield hasn’t had that since when…seriously who was the last RB we had with blazing speed…I’m old and my memory might not be that good….WD was the last game changing back I can remember.

    What I DO remember is Muscle Turtle getting hauled down from behind again and again….all those TD’s given away will now be cashed in by an RB who can run away from the defense.

  9. Dennis Yauger Says:

    The entire defense was exposed because of zero pass rush. I do not think Maxwell is an upgrade at all. Every team he has played for recently had an office party when they didnt hve to pay him anymore. He still benefits from playing on a defense where the other 3 db’s were all pros, the pass rush outstanding and one of the best linebackers in football.

  10. Not there yet Says:

    The only time he has ever been somewhat decent is when he played in Seattle and considering all their injuries it was easy to start him. No thanks we’ll pass. Please hurry up and fill out the roster so we don’t have to listen to the Joe’s opinion on cornerbacks anymore

    Anyone we sign has to be on par with Brent Grimes otherwise it’s a waste of money. You would expose that guy all day long instead of going Grimes way so it would be no worse than starting Smith or a rookie. He’s better than Smith because he played longer not because of his skill

  11. webster Says:

    @ joe

    He finished strong in his original location which is the very definition of a system player. If he was an upgrade, two teams would not have said bye to him in a year and a half. And the dolphins keeping verner and dumping maxwell should tell you all you need to know. They would rather have verner on their roster to finish the season than maxwell. Again, I will pass.

  12. Jeremy Says:

    No thanks

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    “signing Maxwell would give the Bucs breathing room in the draft”

    Bucs aren’t signing any more free agents until they are in a position to cut Sweezy and free up some “breathing room” under the salary cap.

    We are currently committed beyond our cap # for this year if anyone was not aware of that fact.

    “But.. but… OTC says…” OTC is NOT correct.

    Spotrac is more accurate (showing that we have $300k left Under the cap once rookie pool and dead $ are accounted for) but even their ciphering is at least a couple million below reality (due to only using the “top 51” contracts as their baseline in coming to that figure).

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bucs coaches haven’t proven they can develop a 30 year old CB…..let’s pass for someone more experienced…..

  15. QBKilla Says:

    LOL @ ^^^

  16. ImJustHereForJameisNews Says:

    Hard pass, Maxwell is TRASH. Rather work a deal where we trade our fourth and maybe a late pick next year for Darby.

  17. K2 Says:

    I agree that the Bucs CBs didn’t look good last year. Ronde Barber didn’t look great his first or second year. Based on what is said here I think you guys would have kicked Ronde to the curb and fire the DB’s coaches. It is a strong draft class for CBs and the Bucs pass rush should??? be improved. If you were playing the Bucs last year…you could probably count on 4 to 7 seconds to throw the ball instead of 2 or 3 seconds. If you know the Brent is pretty good…it makes sense to pick on the other side. I want to hire the CB who can play press coverage for 7 seconds and not get suck in on a move. I’ve just never seen one…

  18. DoSomething Says:

    Tampa Bay = NFL Retirement Home

    No thanks

    Jason – Get more draft picks, if not at least keep our damn draft picks

  19. MarineBucsFan Says:

    @ Marine Buc,

    Change your name please.

    Joe how about a name tag filter that don’t allow you to use a name already in use?? Your site is blowing up these days, might need one.

  20. MarineBucsFan Says:

    Just don’t want you to be mistaken for me and vice verse.

    Semper Fi

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Agreed MarineBucsFan! You were here first!

    “Marine Buc” as brothers we feel a new name is in order:

    Semper Fi brother!

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    I wonder if the Bucs are sort of handcuffed right now with the salary cap. The obvious move would be to cut Sweezy, but he’s injured so they can’t do it right now, and I wonder if there is thought that he might not play at all and thus he’d end up being dead cap space. If that was the case, and the Bucs signed someone, they’d be over the cap after the draft. Now they can make room by redoing a contract or two, or cutting someone else, but I do wonder if the Bucs are being extra cautious right now until post-draft when they know how much they’ll have to spend on the draft and how much they have left.

    According to the cap they have $12.2m in cap space, with estimates for the draft, where they current pick, around $8.5m.

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Don’t think anything happens till post-draft.

    For example – if they trade back and get Denzel Ward at 1 and another CB they like in later rounds then this would be a wasted signing.


    12-Denzel Ward CB
    R2-Ronald Jones RB
    R2-Nathan Shepard DT
    R3-Frank Ragnow OG
    R4-Quenton Meeks CB
    R5-Ade Aruda DE

    Nickle-VHIII/Elliot or Jude

    That’d be a pretty solid deep group that doesn’t need an old Maxwell

  24. Lord Cornelius Says:

    7 for 12; a 2 and their top of the 3rd round 3 – is the main trade I see happening if big 3 / 3 qbs go top 6. Just makes too much sense for both teams.

  25. Marc Says:

    Idk JOE, dude was ass with an eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles team. “Eventual?” C’mon. He was traded before Doug Pederson coached a game there. –Joe


    -Unconcerned Bucs fan

  26. doctor_berto Says:

    Nah, Derwin and JPP will help enough

  27. feelthepewterpower Says:


  28. Defense Rules Says:

    @StPete … “What I DO remember is Muscle Turtle getting hauled down from behind again and again.” Are we talking about all those times he got hauled down BEHIND the line StPete? Don’t remember seeing him in the open field very much last season.

    @Rod Munch … “According to the cap they have $12.2m in cap space, with estimates for the draft, where they current pick, around $8.5m.” Wow, I didn’t realize our cap situation was THAT bad Rod. Just looked it up on though and I just keep shaking my head. With a projected $42.7 mil for next year, no way we’ll be able to afford Jameis, Ali, Donovan, Kwon (and several others up for a new contract). And the only 2 ‘stars’ with no real dead money in there are GMC & Lavonte. Tough decisions ahead.

  29. OneBucPerson Says:

    Joe, can we please see if we have a consistently good pass rush before we think about bringing in over the hill vets into the mess that is our defensive back field?

  30. webster Says:

    @ defence rule

    Thats why posters like myself was telling the masses to settle down when they were bashing licht/glazers about not spending money. We were trying to tell people that the 70 mil in cap space we had at the beginning of free agency was already spoken for. That 42.7 mil for next year is even less because marpet, kwon and smith are about to sign extentions this offseason at some point.

  31. JA Says:

    Maxwell became a starter when Richard Sherman went down. That’s the only reason he became a starter.

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    Read above Munch and DR. OTC is NOT correct. We are OVER the cap # already.

    Spotrac which is more accurate than OTC shows us $306k under at this moment (after factoring in $8M for rookie pool and just under $1M for dead cap $). You have to add at least $2-3M to that # though because this only accounts for the top 51 contracts (its not counting players 52 and 53 on the 53 man roster nor any PS players that get brought up during the year). This figure is also NOT counting any incentives hanging out there either. (for instance Grimes is “VLTBE” at least $1.5M of his available $3M in incentives this year – Curry has up to $2.5M in incentives as well – just to name 2 players).

    Sweezy is the only obvious cut – we lose $1.875M in dead cap $ by cutting him but gain like $4.6 in cap space overall I believe. All that’s gonna do is get us under by a couple million.

    Also if Licht trades down and gets extra high picks – that will require more $ for the rookie pool as well.

    $ is going to be “tight” from here on out. But its a nice problem to have – paying a # of young talented players that have been drafted and performed well and earned a nice 2nd contract is by far the best use of any team’s resources…

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    Meant to add that Sweezy being the only obvious cut to get any decent amount of cap space back in one move – pretty much guarantees we are drafting an OG high enough in the draft this year that he would be expected to compete with Evan Smith for a starting spot in year 1.

    So Licht is GOING to figure out a way to get us Nelson, Hernandez, Wynn or Ragnow. One of those 4 interior linemen WILL be a Buccaneer. High probability at least IMO…

  34. Jon Says:

    Is everybody just gonna let the presumption that Scam Newton is a future HOF’er slide through?

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    @Pickgrin … “$ is going to be “tight” from here on out. But its a nice problem to have – paying a # of young talented players that have been drafted and performed well and earned a nice 2nd contract is by far the best use of any team’s resources.”

    Admittedly Pickgrin I don’t pay much attention to the CAP … my attitude is “there’s always a way to git er done”. I hear ya about it being a ‘nice problem’ and yet part of me says that far too players who we’ve signed to a fat 2nd contract really haven’t lived up to expectations. Personally I blame guaranteed money … would much rather see virtually every contract call for a base salary plus incentives. But I’m sure that if every team did that (which would be required for it to work) the Players Union would holler ‘collusion’ (and they’d probably be right).

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Pickgrin – Spotrac has the top 51 at $182,998,842 and OTC has the top 51 at $181,391,247, the total cap Spotrac has is at $192m, so that $10m over the top 51, which is because all the scrubs are counted at league min until they’re cut. You really have to only pay attention only to that top 51 number then add a couple of min contracts to get those last two spots. Spotrac has the draft poll at $8m which sounds right, but Licht would want to keep some flexibility in case he ends up moving around the board. The Bucs in any case end up with about $4m in cap space, plus or minus a bit for moves in the draft and the salary of those bottom 2 player to round out the 53 man roster.

    OTC has Sweezy freeing up $5,250,000 while Spotrac has it a bit less in the range you said. One note on Sweezy however is that his salary goes down next year and the following year to just $4.5m, if he plays a bit better and is starting, those $4.5m/year deals are really good from the team’s side, so perhaps that’s why they want to keep him around, if healthy.

    With all that said the Bucs have a ton of ways to make money – one is simply restructuring David’s contract. He has no guaranteed money at this point, but we also know he’s not going anywhere, so giving some more guaranteed money, or extending him a year, that would allow you to create money now. However Licht has set up everything so that the Bucs can pay Winston without gutting the team, it’s why he’s front loaded deals like Sweezy, Gholston, Evans, etc, to pay more now with lower yearly salaries lower in 2 years, so not sure he wants to mess with that.

    Next season the Bucs have a lot of money they can free up, mainly with D-Jax and Gholston, although again Gholston’s salary plummets next season, so if he bounces back he might stay around. For D-Jax, I like him and think the Bucs need him, but it was always basically a two year deal and after this season we should know for sure if Godwin is going to be a legit #2 starting WR or not.

  37. GhostofSchiano Says:

    If that is behind curtain number 1 what is behind curtains 2 & 3 ?

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    Jon – I was a bit repulsed by the idea of reading Newton and HOF, but he’ll go down as the best dual threat QB ever and he has really impressive numbers, is a an AP NFL MVP, is a 6x Top 100 player as voted on by players, also has right now a 62-45-1 record and his playoff performances have generally been better than his regular season performances – and he’s done it with no real WR outside of what a couple of years with Steve Smith?

    If he was just a pure QB then no way he’d be a HOFer, but as a dual threat guy he is a special player. He’s only 28 right now and has already played 7 seasons and took his team to the SB, he should be around for a long time I’d guess, and if he plays into his mid-30s he’ll easily have HOF numbers. Also based on history, guys that run a lot and lose that ability as they age, they generally become better passers (Vick, Steve Young, Cunningham) so he still might end up with good pure passing stats if he stays around long enough.

  39. gotbbucs Says:

    Dammit, Joe.

    They aren’t going to sign a bunch of veteran players a week and a half before the draft. They are focused on that right now.

    Get it through your skull. There will be tons and tons of time to sign old has-been’s all the way up to the start of the season. At 30 years old everybody and their dog knows what a guy like Maxwell brings to the table. There is absolutely no reason to sign a guy like that until after the draft and after OTAs and possibly after training camp.
    You’ve been running this site for how long? Figure it out.

  40. Lord Cornelius Says:


    That’s like $30+ mill right there likely off the books in 2019. Likely re-structure the JPP deal if he plays well – longer term less hit. Could also walk from Curry’s high cap # immediately after next year.

    There’s also guys like McCoy/Dotson who won’t be on the books that much longer. And Conte/Evan Smith /etc.

    We’re super flexible. Decisions won’t be that hard. Old dudes out while young guys get paid. Supplement the stop gap DEs/DT/old CB with influx of D-line talent between this draft and next. EZPZ

  41. Pickgrin Says:

    DR – well the obvious problem is that we haven’t WON anything yet with all this young talent – and the “bills” are already coming due…

    I mean – we didn’t go 5-11 last year because Mike Evans didn’t perform well enough. Right? Same with Cam Brate. Both those deals were sort of “team friendly” actually so I really hope that “trend” continues on. Kwon has to get paid – right? Marpet deserves a nice 2nd contract. D. Smith is more of a “decision” IMO – but will probably wind up getting paid pretty big $ by this franchise in the end because he’s decent, athletic, proven durable, still hasn’t hit his ceiling yet by the Bucs reckoning – and on top of that even “decent” LTs are pretty hard to come by and “really good” ones are almost as hard (and expensive) to find as good NFL QBs and stud DEs.

    And then there’s Winston. Yea we can string it (2nd contract) out another year because of his 5th year option – but that would probably only save the team about $5-7M in 2019. If you wait another additional 12-18 months to sign Jameis to his big deal though – then the overall price could easily go up another $10-$15- maybe $20+M overall – just because of “inflation” – bigger and bigger deals getting signed by QBs that keeps pushing the price for the next one up. You saw what Garrapalo got – and he hasn’t done chit yet compared to Jameis.

    Unlike many apparently – I pretty much expect that this team is going to start “winning” soon. Either this year or next and all this good drafting and investing IS going to pay off. There’s almost no way it can’t.

    If we don’t have at least an 8-8 record in 2018 – I expect there will be coaching changes. Perhaps sweeping changes. A lot will depend on the reasons for that losing record as determined by a comprehensive look at how the season unfolded.

    There’s really no reason to even say that though. I think its obvious to all that everyone’s ass is on the line if this team doesn’t start playing well and winning football games. Its win or else for this coaching regime and I don’t believe anyone has any illusions about that – especially the coaches themselves.

    I choose to believe that the Bucs play and record will be vastly improved in 2018 compared to what we saw in 2017. Hard to imagine that it wouldn’t be with the FA additions to the DL + Jensen – along with the likelihood of drafting solid prospects at RB, CB, OG and/or perhaps Safety.

    We shall see. It IS important to remember that this is the season of optimism for ALL 32 teams – but we’ve never had a QB like Winston before. We’ve never had a WR like Mike Evans before. We’ve never had this much receiving talent assembled on one team before (not even close!). Our starting LBing group is among the top 3 in the league (Which we HAVE had before but its worth noting as a measurable positive).

    Bucs are gonna Get-R-Done this year. I believe! I’m expecting playoffs at least and will be disappointed with anything less.

  42. Defense Rules Says:

    Excellent analysis Pickgrin. My heart agrees with you right down the line, but my head keeps telling me to be ‘cautiously optimistic’. Bucs still haven’t figured out how to win consistently (like we did under Tony Dungy BTW). I personally think it’s because we’ve tried to transition from a primarily defensive focus (our identity from 1976 until Jameis came along (yes, even under Gruden our defense led the way … defense ranked higher than the offense in both the Points Allowed & Yards Allowed categories in ALL of his years here). Now we’re trying to change that identity, which is fine, except that our offense hasn’t grabbed the bull by the horns … yet. As I said however, I’m ‘cautiously optimistic’ that this will be the year the Bucs’ offense finally gets it together. But as you said, we need to add another Guard and especially a studly RB to pull that off (plus Jameis & Dirk have to live up to everyone’s expectations). Regardless of what folks say, this really is a ‘make-it-or-break-it’ year for a LOT of people.

  43. adam from ny Says:

    word on the streets is the bucs feel they are overloaded at linebacker and might look to trade a top vet like david for secondary help or draft positioning to solidify that secondary…this talk was heard at publics on dale mabry in aisle 8…remember you heard it here first on joe bucs fan dot organization dot fermentation dot regurgitation

  44. NJBucsFan Says:


  45. Greecosuave Says:

    I know Maxwells mother. Sweet lady. After they won the Super Bowl she came around. She told us all about yhe experience showed us a lot of memorabilia.She bragged about her son. We were a happy for her and as football fans, love The Legion of Boom.

    Then comes his big contract. He looked horrible. I think he only looks good in SEA. I’m not seeing him as a huge help for us. In fact I hear SEA is locking him up for the next two seasons.

    I like MIKE HUGHES in the 2nd round but, if the rumor about Ronald Darby is true, Licht must jump all over that on Deaft day. Especially if we get a trade down and scoop up picks.

  46. Gruden4President Says:

    Everybody calm down. DRC is still available, plenty of SS still available, and more to come after the draft. I would prefer before the draft so we can pretty much do what we want but it’s no secret at least 1 option is definitely coming via draft within the 1st 3 rds. And another addition via Free Agency.