June 9th, 2018

Salary questioned.

Joe may be a weirdo — well, hold that thought — but Joe is one of these guys more concerned with how a guy performs on a football field than the zeros on his paycheck.

If a guy plays well, he’s earning his pay. If not, then he is overpaid.

That brings Joe to Doug Farrar’s piece on Bleacher Report. He cites one player from each team as “overpaid.” For the Bucs, that would be center Ryan Jensen.

Jensen played just 704 snaps in his first three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, but that number kicked up to 1,052 in 2017, as the former sixth-rounder from Colorado State-Pueblo became one of the few bright spots in a dysfunctional offense. For that, Jensen was rewarded by the Buccaneers with a four-year, $42 million deal with $22 million guaranteed.

Nice money if you can get it, but the Bucs are banking on a player who’s essentially a one-year starter, and they gave him the most guaranteed money any NFL center has at this point. Moreover, Jensen has a 2018 cap hit of $12 million and a cap hit of $10 million in each of the following three seasons, and there’s no sensible way for the team to get out of the deal if need be until the 2020 season.

That’s a great deal of money for a player who’s shown improvement over his NFL career but hasn’t really shown a standout level of play commensurate with the best at his position. There are times when you have to pay on potential, but unless Jensen makes a major jump in effectiveness, this looks like a serious overpayment.

Logically, there isn’t really anything wrong with what Farrar wrote. Joe suspects Farrar may be missing the big picture.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht is hoping Jensen’s attitude not just rubs off on Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet, who will play to Jensen’s left, but also on Gerald McCoy and presumably Vita Vea.

If Jensen can help elevate the games of, say, four starters, and the Bucs start winning, what is the price tag on that? Immeasurable, Joe would suggest.

Yeah, it’s a gamble for Licht. Joe heard Pat Kirwan, the former NFL linebackers coach, Bucs scout and Jets player personnel director state you cannot force a locker room culture. Kirwan, now a co-host of “Movin’ the Chains” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, once said he tried that by signing Ronnie Lott. It didn’t work.

For a lot of folks, Joe hopes Licht wins this bet.

You want overpaid? How about defensive end Will Gholston, who had ZEE-row sacks as a starter last year, due to pocket $6.5 million as a backup this season?

29 Responses to ““Overpaid””

  1. Lamarcus Says:

    If u have to over pay players to get the most out of the other players and Houston we have a problem….

  2. Lamarcus Says:

    And if u have to pay anyone to make your football team tough then u should be fired on the spot.

  3. Piratic Says:

    Great take, except for the last paragraph.

    “Subversive from within.”

  4. Bradentonbuc Says:

    Agreed, at least Jensen put together one good season. Will Gholston has been rotational at best; he would do much better in a 3-4

  5. DB55 Says:

    Every single darn one of these FAs are overpaid

  6. tnew Says:

    Amen DB55. I was a HUGE proponent or Jerrick McKinnon but no way could I imagine dropping the coin on him that San Fran did.

    Because of the Bucs Oline situation (no matter how much they liked to say how good they felt about it), they were forced to sign an interior lineman. They had to overpay. Adding Jensen, the best center FA in the class, is like adding two players. The guard play was so bad last season, there was no way to imagine success without an upgrade in that area. Jensen is an upgrade (arguably slight) over Marpet, but Marpet is a huge upgrade over either guard.

    Teams must overpay during free agency. This is why they must draft well in the first three rounds.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Don’t care How much Licht paid Jensen. Bucs desperately needed a leader on our OLine, and Ryan Jensen fills the bill. I’m more excited about having him on the OLine than I am about any other OLineman. Gholston is definitely overpaid, But I bet that there is more to the story than we’ve told.

  8. BucswinBucswin Says:

    It would be nice to get a few positive stories on this site. Seems every article is knocking our QB, team, coaches, or, Licht. I guess we should all just quit paying attention .. what’s the point .. ? Freaking depressing.

  9. DB55 Says:


    Especially the Bucs. But I think this was lights worst offseason yet sans his first yr cuz Lovie. He must have been high af to pay curry, Unrein and the other rotation player all that money. Can’t even remember his name.

    Honestly I’m shocked Jensen hasn’t passed out of the field yet, I’m sure it will happen before September.

    And don’t get me started on those second round picks, he might as well have thrown them all away.

    Oh john Robinson where art thou, any chance rich Mcvay would be interested in coming back as president of FB operations, Jimmy Johnson you out there? I’ll buy you a boat and sending you fishing with Sapp. Bellicheat any chance you tired of coaching yet.


  10. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason has gone wild with getting guys with attitude all of a sudden
    Ozzie never lets players leave…..

  11. Wesley Says:

    22 million guaranteed is insane.

  12. Midnightstroker1 Says:

    Nothing about jpp not showing up for OTAs

  13. Not there yet Says:

    People have been wanting the bucs to spend in free agency all this time now because some sorry website has to pick one person for something in a bunch of random articles to generate clicks forthe off-season people agree? Who are any of you to decide whether the guy is overpaid before he plays a single snap in our uniform but more importantly why do you broke arses even care whether he is or not.

    If you have to choose someone overpaid it would be sweezy but they couldn’t pick him because they just wrote an article about him being one of the guys likely to be cut. Very few of you knew anything about Jensen before he got here. How did every football fan suddenly become an expert general manager. I mean is fascinating Howe much people think they know about Jason lichts job. How much someone overpaid.

    DB55 what’s the name of the capologist working for you?

  14. Tnew Says:

    I don’t feel overpaying was a bad thing. If the need is on the team, Fine fix it. The „Stupid Tax“ of overpaying during free agency is required to fix draft mistakes. To me it would‘ve been way worse to pay for a bargain guard, like Pamphille, and hope he turns out. Should the Bucs have „overpaid“ more when they „overpaid“ Sweezy. I think so. I didn’t mind the Bucs offseason. The only player he screwed up with IMO was Brate (one of my favorite Bucs). That contract might cause the Bucs trouble in that now agents will ask for premium pay vs the hometown discount. To me this showed a big flaw in Licht. He over values players on his roster.

  15. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Joe’s right that performance is what makes it worth it or not…and that’s tied to need. It we didn’t need a good Center, most salaries over a nominal amount wouldn’t be worth it. We’ll know what it’s worth by Game 5.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You are not overpaid until you under-perform. JR Sweezy is overpaid……Myron Lewis was overpaid…..as was Swaggy Baker.

    Ryan Jensen may end up being a slam-dunk steal.

  17. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Dudes haven’t even taken a snap in a bucs uniform yet and they’re already labeled as busts by couch gm’s like db smh

  18. ManzielMadness Says:

    LOL same old song and dance… everybody complained about how they were tired of Licht looking for value FA’s and to make a big splash. Unless your the Patriots you have to overpay for top talent. Personally, I’m glad Licht took a chance to better our team instead of doing nothing.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Glazers have spent over a Billion dollars on payroll since the Bucs last playoff win….and we are actually talking about a player being overpaid?
    A player who has not even played a preseason game with us yet……unbelievable!!!

  20. Bucnjim Says:

    He is already pushing McCoy which will be worth the investment. The two of them should make each other better. Problem is if McCoy thinks it will be another cake walk of a training camp he will be constantly picking the dirt out of his teeth from getting road graded every play.

  21. Bucnjim Says:

    You know it’s tough to take anyone serious especially the free agents when the leader of the D shoes up the first day in high top Hulk sneakers and wearing a Japanese Kimona usually meant for women. First thing Jenna Laine says is do those come in high heels? Funny thing is I was thinking the Exact same thing!

  22. Buc believer Says:

    Overpaid is the amount of Glazer money wasted on ol softie Mr. cream puff GMC. He should be prosecuted for stealing 100 million in cash.

  23. Trench War Says:

    It’s the price of doing business in Cleveland south. So if you want players to come to Tampa to play for peanuts and possibly never have that chance to sniff the post season then don’t ever gripe about the quality. Good players gravitate towards storied franchises.

  24. SOEbuc Says:

    This offesive line is going to be sick in 2019

  25. The Buc Realist Says:

    “Overpaid” definitely!!!!!!!

    Jensen is the third best Center in the division, and possibly 4th best!!!!!!!!!!

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

  26. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    That last paragraph was probably one of the worst takes the Joe’s have ever had. No GM or owner ever pays $42M for a guy to motivate the other guys. You pay a center 42M to ball out. There is no upcharge that should be paid to a guy for being some type of bad ass and a leader. That may influence whether or not you pursue the guy, but you pay him top dollar only if you expect him to be a top performer. This is the NFL, if you want him to be some type of cheerleader have him join those hot chicks on the sidelines!

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Some of the dumbest statements I’ve seen in a long time are in these comments.

    Who pays players to make their team better???? Are you kidding me??? Try every team in the league!

    The worst off season for Licht???? Come on now. From you I expect better.

    Listen, most of the contracts have easy, low cost outs from the second season on. There is a reason Licht front loads these things.

    If anything, the has been his best off season so far. He addressed the defensive line better than ever, he traded for JPP, and he had his best draft.

    If you think it was his worst, then you are blinded by previous seasons.

    Most of the FAs were signed in order to make the team better in the short term while picks are developed. That will always be the goal.

    So far as I am concerned, the only bad signing Licht made was the kicker.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And I did not feel that way at first. JPP changed everything. The drafting of Vea was huge.

    Four games were lost last year because the defense blew it after we came back and took the lead. Had we won those games we would have been 9-7, even with 21 of 22 starters injured through the season. Even with our QB injured.

    Licht massively improved both lines…the sources of the problems, AND he addressed the secondary.

    If you are not excited, you may as well move on.

  29. TOM Says:

    Gholston needs to go. Desean needs to be traded. Sweezy should probably go. Although O-lineman hard to find.