Playing With Contract Numbers

June 19th, 2018


Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht is going to have to pull off a serious shell game to keep his roster together for 2019.

Joe was reading an interesting article by Field Yates of BSPN who looked at each teams’ salary cap status and what that means for their rosters.

Yates suggests Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry and DeSean Jackson all could depart after this season because all enter the final year of their contracts without guaranteed money.

Per the reliable, the Bucs have only $5 million in cap space as of mid-June. Not only is that little to play with if the Bucs have to sign players due to injuries, consider that Kwon Alexander, Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith will all have to be paid next year, unless the team waves goodbye to one or all three (the latter is highly unlikely).

Sure, Licht could choose to franchise one of the three, but that still means they will pull in a pretty penny in salary.

If what Yates believes is true about JPP and Curry being potentially one-and-done players with the Bucs, Joe will suggest the key here is the play of Noah Spence and Vita Vea.

If Spence blows up, that could make JPP trade bait or a salary cap causality unless Licht reworks his contract.

If Vea is all that, perhaps Curry could be in danger or have his contract ripped up as well?

51 Responses to “Playing With Contract Numbers”

  1. BucEmUp Says:

    Trading away a third rounder for jpp for one year of play would just be stupid.

    Desean is as good as gone, Who knows on Curry

  2. buddy Says:

    Licht doesn’t care because he and #KluelessKoetter won’t be around to deal with the damage they have already done. Thank God we won’t have to deal with these 2 clowns after January

  3. 813bucboi Says:


    dilly dilly


  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The money will lie with the following players:

    Sweezy, Gholston, Jackson, JPP, Curry, Dotson, and perhaps LVD.

    We need to draft two starting Olinemen next year.

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    yeah I doubt JPP goes anywhere….not only does he put QB’s in the dirt he puts fans in the seats…..

    if they cut ties with curry and JPP we’ll be back at square one needing DE help regardless if spence balls out….

    sadly, I think dirk and smitty will make decisions real easy for licht and the glazers….


  6. doolnutts Says:

    It has been a very long time that we have had to be in a situation like this. It will all depend on performances. I can see Jackson, Dot, Sweezey, Gholston all gone next year but it is all depending. Bucs have been fantastic at the structure of their contracts I expect more of the same and I am not panicking yet. Seems to be the only thing we are good at lol

  7. Lord Cornelius Says:

    We’re forgetting Grimes and his $8 million.


    Definitely would think those 4 are gone before JPP. Unless JPP’s game falls off a cliff or Gholston becomes a beast pass rusher out of no where. And likely Curry over JPP.

    Just those 4 above = $8 + $6.5 + $11 + $6.5 = $32 million to extend Smith/Kwon/Marpet. I’d hope we could average about $9 mill per contract with those 3 and save some. Or front load it so their cap hits go down the following year.

    Plus cap will go up ~$10 mill next year as it does every year.

    2019 we draft DT/DE and then either O-line or secondary depending on how guys like Cappa/Benecoch/our young corners all look.

    We then drop McCoy/Jpp/Curry/Unrein after 2019 as the D-line transitions to youth; and those older dudes’ cap hits= more than enough for jameis’ Big Contract.

    At that point most the primary nucleus is wrapped up and you just gotta keep drafting well to supplement it.

  8. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    No need for Djax as the WR core should be pretty deep. Sweezy will get the boot, as well as Gholston if he doesnt improve (tho I believe he might)

    There are some other options to free up. McCoy is getting older and could either be traded or restructure his contract.

    Bucs can get cheaper at backup QB as well. I am sure Licht will find the space

  9. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    and what Lord Cornelius said ^^

  10. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Not to mention, when resigning players, you only lose the difference,

    Kwon, Smith, and Marpet are on the books for about a combined 5 million. Its not a lot, but if they sign for a combined 30 million (just ballparking) we already have 5 million of that on the cap. and just need to free up 25 and then 5 more to sign 2019 draft picks.

    just taking off Grimes, Sweezy and Djax and including the cap increases. Bucs should be there without losing any key players

  11. Guzzie Says:

    Fortunately next years draft looks loaded on OL and DL, our WR, QB, TE, LB, hopefully secondary are set with young talent, using every pick on the trenches would be a great idea

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I’d love that.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Lord C, agree with Grimes, Sweezy & DJax not being here next year, but I really hope that Gholston comes on strong this year & survives any cuts. Also think that GMC is part of the solution to freeing up more CAP $$$ … he’ll either take a pay cut or just be cut outright (no dead $$$). If Vea & Allen work out (with Unrein as a #3 & we draft a #4 DT) we’d be in excellent shape going forward.

    Tend to think that re-signing Ali & Donovan are no-brainers, but still not sure about re-signing Kwon. Depends on what kind of a year he has obviously, but also what Beckwith does this year also. Our depth at LB doesn’t give Kwon that much leverage here, and he may do better financially elsewhere.

    The OLine is the fly in the ointment IMO. Still convinced that we’ll see Licht sign another starting OLineman before season start. Cutting Sweezy would pretty much cover that, but that’d leave us with less $$$ to go to Ali & Marpet (and Jameis following that). Interesting $$$ issue.

  14. Kobe Faker Says:

    the position as GM for the bucs will be 1000x harder starting next year

    no more buying free agents

    only way to fill holes is thru the draft

    our roster will always be imcomplete with holes for the next 5 years because of the way Licht bulb has built this team

    instead of 2 alpha dogs for the next 10 years with Derwin James and darrius Guice we have created more holes in the future because of these irrelevant backups we drafted this year

    while other 3-5 win teams have gutted their roster with bloated contracts to buy players in FA as they young players improve and learn…

    licht bulb built a 5 win team that is bloated and with no options in the future

    we are the Cincinnati Bengals of the south

    “3-6 wins for the next 5 years”

    Kobe the Realist Faker

  15. Trench War Says:

    Jackson, Sweezy, Fitzpatrick, and maybe even Demar Dotson if Alex Cappa and Benenoch work out

  16. Trench War Says:

    oh and Grimes

  17. Marlow Says:

    So after years of not spending, and having a surplus, we will now be strapped. Unbelievable! If we are not in the playoff hunt Curry and JPP need to be traded!

  18. Waterboy Says:

    Agree with Lord Cornelius’ 1st post above.

  19. Kev-O Says:

    Lord C – my thoughts exactly for after 2018. 2019 I think we will retain most dline if they are effective this year.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Yates suggests Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry and DeSean Jackson all could depart after this season because all enter the final year of their contracts without guaranteed money.”

    I think this statement is unintentionally misleading, so let me clarify: It is not the final year of their contracts.

    It is the final year that they carry dead cap space in their contracts.

    I know this may seem clear to some, but to others who don’t know the difference, it might not be so clear.

    For example, JPP is under contract until 2020. If he were cut now, it would cost the team $11,250,000 in dead cap space. Next year, he can be cut at no cost to the team.

    But that doesn’t mean it will happen.

    I don’t know if people have noticed this…but that is par for the course with Jason Licht. He always makes sure most of the dead cap space is at the start of the contract rather than spread out…especially with new players, and especially with free agency. In JPPs case, it was already worked out that way, but in the cases of Curry and Jackson, Licht planned it that way.

    While I think DJax will be history after this year (maybe sooner if a trade partner is found), I do not think JPP and Curry will be. I think JPP is a lock, and Curry will benefit from the rest of the line being primed so will have a good year…plus, we really do not have a replacement for Curry yet. He would have to be really bad to be replaced in free agency. Or, the Bucs could acquire an elite DE in free agency next year…but I don’t think that will happen because of the contract renewals coming up.

    A player more likely to be gone? Lavante David. His contract calls for around $10m per year and his dead cap drops to zero after this year. Unless he reworks his contract for less money, he’ll be gone next year. The Bucs need the cap room roo badly.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Not to mention we already have David’s replacement on the roster.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    buddy Says:
    “Licht doesn’t care because he and #KluelessKoetter won’t be around to deal with the damage they have already done. Thank God we won’t have to deal with these 2 clowns after January.”

    Dimwits like you said the same thing throughout last season and were wrong then. You’ll be wrong now.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Lord Cornelius Says

    Definitely would think those 4 are gone before JPP. Unless JPP’s game falls off a cliff or Gholston becomes a beast pass rusher out of no where. And likely Curry over JPP.

    Just those 4 above = $8 + $6.5 + $11 + $6.5 = $32 million to extend Smith/Kwon/Marpet.”

    Release LVD and you can add another $10m to it. We have his replacement already.

  24. Wausa Says:

    Lord Cornelius is right

    All four of those players are going to be gone after this season.
    The Bucs are going to have to do something they don’t like doing and that is giving out a signing bonus rather than roster bonus to the four guys they want to build the franchise around.

    The signing bonus will allow the Bucs to amortize the guaranteed money they are going to have to pay Smith, Winston, Marpet and Alexander.

  25. Pickgrin Says:

    “Bucs have only $5 million in cap space as of mid-June”

    Well – actually….

    $5.071M in cap space “available” per spotrac includes the top 51 contracts + incentives.

    Does not include
    – $.951M for accumulated 2018 dead cap $ (lowest in the league!)
    – $.353M for Maurice Flemming to injured reserve
    – $1.2M for spots 52 and 53

    $5.071M minus $2.504M = $2.567M

    Bucs have only $2.5M in available cap space as of mid June

  26. 941bucsfan Says:

    Pressure is on 813 to stop using those stupid hashtags

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    Bonzai – wtf are you talking about??

    LD54 is not going anywhere!

    David makes $9.75M in 2019
    Curry makes $8M in 2019

    You seriously think we would keep Curry over LD54 if drastic cost cutting moves become necessary??

    Do you even watch this team play games??? LOL

    Lavonte David is our best – or at worst 2nd best defensive player. He is at worst – a top 3 (4-3) LB in the entire NFL. Yet he gets paid like he’s the 20th best LB in the NFL.

    Unless his play drops off drastically in 2018 (which ain’t happening)- Saying we should prioritize getting rid of LD54 as a cost cutting measure is just plain ignorant.

  28. buddy Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai- So let me get this straight you are happy with what Licht and #KluelessKoetter have done since being here??? What exactly is their record and how many playoff wins do they have???? I’m waiting…….

  29. 813bucboi Says:


    the truth hurts huh…..


  30. unbelievable Says:

    I’d be more than happy with that Guzzie!

    Though we probably need another DB in there at some point…

  31. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Yeah ideally Gholston steps up and becomes a DE that is actually usefl against the pass and bad4ss against the run. If that happened I’d be more likely to let Curry go than McCoy; or both.

    Either way – any cap casualties on the D-line need to be replaced with high draft picks imo. I’d be fine with letting McCoy and Curry go for example (assuming Gholston got his game back); and drafting DT/DE the top 2 rounds. OL/CB/S/WR rest of the way.

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    The only legit/semi-realistic cost cutting measures of any significance I see available for this year (2018) are:

    – cutting Sweezy once he gets medical clearance – saves a net of $5.875M this year but adds a $1.25M dead cap hit in 2019.

    – cut Ryan Griffin – saves $1.375M in 2018

    – cut Josh Robinson – saves $1.75M in 2018

    – cut Quizz Rodgers – saves $1.6M in 2018

    – Trading DJax to a WR desperate team prior to trade deadline – saves anywhere from $4M>$11M in 2018 depending on timing and agreement. Also saves $10M in commitments towards 2019.

  33. teacherman777 Says:


    Thanks bro. You always add solid commentary and information.

    Josh Robinson is a luxury now. We have too many young DB’s now taking up roster spots.

    I love Josh Robinson, but he is replaceable as a gunner.

    Evan Smith and Sweezy seem like an expensive, useless duo.

    I don’t want to give up D-Jax yet. He is still a once in a generation talent. Speed we have never had in Tampa before.

    Hopefully, Jameis will agree to signing a Tom Brady-esque team friendly contract.

    Matt Ryan’s deal is great for the Bucs because pretty soon the Falcons will fall apart like the Ravens after signing Joe Flacco for so much dinero.

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    Potential 2019 cost cutting measures of varying (mostly low) likelihood include:

    – Trade/cut JPP – $14.5M

    – Trade McCoy – saves $13M

    – Trade/cut DJax – saves $10M

    – Cut Vinny Curry – saves $8M

    – Cut Beau Allen – saves $5M

    – Cut Sweezy (if still with team) – save a net of $4.125M

    – Cut Demar Dotson – saves $4.85M

    – Cut Will Gholston – saves $3.75M

    – Cut Mitch Unrein – saves $3.75M

    – Cut kicker Catanzaro – saves a net of $2.5M

    – Cut Evan Smith – saves $2M

    – Cut Kieth Tandy – saves $1.35M

  35. Not there yet Says:

    Bucs aren’t going to sacrifice defense again unless the contracts aren’t worth it

    D Jack could be cut without salary cap hit and Grimes will also be off the books, did anyone mention sweezy or will G….. Boy gotta hand it to alot of these guys for being good at their job which is not to be right or actually have good insight but sometimes just to cause unnecessary panic. People fall for it so much

  36. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Lord C.

    Great post as usual and I agree totally with your observations which includes this most critical of nuggets and how we should really judge Licht/Koetter.

    “At that point most the primary nucleus is wrapped up and you just gotta keep drafting well to supplement it.”

    IMHO that is the definition of TRUE success for an NFL GM. Build a winning team and then manage the cap with smart drafting. It’s always a balancing act…proven vets with large salaries…young guys on their rookie contracts who can still make Pro Bowl contributions…For me this is what make looking at Licht’s job really interesting and for that matter the entire NFL.

    Anybody could build repeated winners if they have an INCREDIBLE edge in resources…can you say MLB? But with the draft and the number of really good players required…it’s really tough to sustain a Championship team year in and year out…which is why not matter how much Brady/Belicheat give me acid reflux I gotta pay respect to their achievements…pretty amazing.

  37. lokog Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    Not to mention we already have David’s replacement on the roster.

    who would you consider as lvd replacement?

  38. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We are in good shape with the 2019 draft……I could see us drafting Oline with 2 of the first 3 picks and a Dline with the other…..

    If our CBs work out, then we will be able to do without Grimes.

    I love LVD but he is tradeable. We have his backup.

    We are probably in better shape than it looks at this point.

    Djax is a luxury now…..I hope he makes himself a necessity. But nearly $4m per TD seems expensive to me.

  39. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Every big contract, Licht bulb has overpaid millions compared to what most of the other NFL teams/GMs would have given”

    Add up all the excess millions on each bloated contract and we will see how impossible we will be to win enough to be be playoff caliber

    next year we will be in salary cap hell but still with huge holes/weaknesses throughout the roster

    “I see a complete overhaul/rebuild and the only way to rebuild is to tear it down and start from scratch and get 2 1st rounders ransom with trade of JW3….

    hopefully to the NY Giants”

    Kobe Faker


  40. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Let’s not forget that every year the league raises the cap number by about 10 million. Also, some player will restructure their salary to a more friendly cap number.

  41. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Demar Dotson is also getting older. I think he will be cut for a younger prospect.

  42. gotbbucs Says:

    Good teams are usually up against the cap.

    Nobody ever wins the Super Bowl by having the most cap space at the start of the league year. Do we want to win games or play fantasy free agency football every offseason?

    Leave it to Bucs fans to start crying now because there could potentially be too many good players making money on the roster.
    There are easily enough veteran players on this team without dead money in their contracts to dump and reload next year.

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pickgrin, LVD has not lived up to expectations. He is turning 29 and is slowing down already.

    Beckwith is his replacement.

    Disagree all you want, but the Bucs won’t break up a good Dline after making so much effort to build it. LVD is toast next year.

    Bookmark this, prove me wrong next year.

  44. Pickgrin Says:

    “LVD has not lived up to expectations.”

    LOL – whose “expectations” has LD54 not lived up to?

    Coach Duffner, Coach Smith and Coach K would all basically laugh in your face if you tried to content that to any one of them.

    “He is turning 29” – yea – next year – he’s 28 this year though – LOL

    “slowing down already” – again – says who – you? I saw the same player I’ve watched for 5 previous seasons last year once David got healthy towards the end of the year. He had a pretty nasty ankle injury early in the year or did you forget that detail?

    Coming into his 7th season – LD54 is in the prime of his career – right NOW – to think otherwise is – well – hmmmm – puzzling….

  45. Pickgrin Says:

    “LVD is toast next year.

    Bookmark this, prove me wrong next year.”

    Looking forward to it.

  46. TDTB Says:

    Kwon is LVD’s replacement. Beckwith is Kwon’s replacement.

  47. Defense Rules Says:

    @StPete … “IMHO that is the definition of TRUE success for an NFL GM. Build a winning team and then manage the cap with smart drafting.” B-I-N-G-O StPete. Teams like the Patriots have luxuries in drafting BPAs that Bucs haven’t had til now, but we’re getting closer to that point. We’ve stockpiled a LOT of young talent in these past 3 years especially, but they have yet to prove that they can WIN on the field (underwear football doesn’t count).

    @Bonzai … “Beckwith is his (LVDs) replacement.” No way Bonzai, but Kwon may well be. Beckwith doesn’t have the speed to take LVDs place, but he’s a more-than-capable MLB. Kwon’s better-suited outside IMO, but there’s still a question in my mind whether Bucs will/can even re-sign him. To Licht he’s likely to be a lower priority than re-signing Jameis, Ali & Donovan, plus other teams in the market for an experienced LB next year may value him higher than we might.

    The fly in the ointment to all this is our OLine moving forward, RG & RT and depth in particular. The notion of drafting OLinemen late then developing them sounds great, but who have we successfully developed that was drafted late? Other teams have been dedicating 1st & 2nd rnd picks in the trenches for years, but not the Bucs (until Ali & Donovan). And we’ve paid for it IMO with average at-best OLine results.

  48. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Also think Beckwith is more suitable as a run stopping MLB. In no way does he have the speed to cover the field as LVD or Kwon do. LVD is still the best tackling fumble causing LB on the team. Kwon has got the fire in his belly but has room for improvement in the tackling Dept. , but he may be a bit undersized to be cast as a middle linebacker.

  49. dbagskarma Says:

    a garbage team only 5 million under the cap?! bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha WOW

  50. dbagskarma Says:

    NOBODY on that defense deserves major long term contracts.

  51. Fire Lichtt Says:

    Get rid of Licht now before he harms this team anymore.