Money Line

October 1st, 2018

Joe’s taking a big-picture look at some big offensive line decisions as we all get to exhale and regroup with the bye week providing time for healing and perspective.

Will Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet be worth the gargantuan money they expect to command?

First, let Joe commend Jason Licht for not yet extending the contracts of Smith, Marpet and Kwon Alexander, members of the grand slam draft class of 2015. All three are in their contract years and the make-them-earn-it approach is usually the correct call, especially for guys who aren’t established superstars.

Bravo, Licht! Stay patient!

The Bucs’ O-line is a fascinating unit when you think of its past, present and future. It’s Licht’s baby through and through.

All the decisions on that line represent his calls (minus the bizarre, top-secret rotation of Evan Smith and Caleb Benenoch, on the heels of the same bizarre Kevin Pamphile-Smith dance of 2017).

Back to Marpet and Smith, will the Bucs pay them top dollar, and Ryan Jensen — and Jameis Winston and an arsenal of elite receivers and tight ends? Joe can’t imagine that’s possible with a defense that’s sinking faster than Joe’s pants after a feast at Hooters.

Through four games, Smith has played better than Marpet, relatively speaking. But Marpet’s also transitioning to a new position, which is am entirely different story that makes Joe want to run head-first into a wall considering how poor Benenoch has been at right guard.

Smith also is a 52-game ironman at a more valuable position, which makes him more valuable than Marpet around the league. Marpet has battled injuries in his career and isn’t now looking like a $10 million-per-year guard, which is what it likely will cost to keep him.

Then there’s the fact that Kwon Alexander, as very special as he can play, is the “heart and soul” of the NFL’s worst defense — again.

You can also look at the Bucs’ cornerbacks and it’s nearly obvious that Licht will have open the Team Glazer vault for a cornerback in March of 2019, preferably a great one.

The present is everything, but Bucs fans and Joe have become conditioned to look to the future because of years of losing. An October bye week tradition is thinking about next year.

No, Joe has NOT given up whatsoever on 2018. On the contrary, Joe believes this Bucs offense can get hot again and at least average 26 points a game through the rest of the season. That’s going to win games and would make life intriguing through the fall.

But of course, if the offense hums, then more guys will deserve to be paid — and the offseason decisions become tougher. If the offense stalls after a fast start with Ryan Fitzpatrick, well, then this is all probably moot because a new regime will want its own guys.

42 Responses to “Money Line”

  1. DB55 Says:

    at least average 26 points a game through the rest of the season. That’s going to win games
    The defense is giving up 35 points per game. The math don’t add up. Sure it does. –Joe

  2. Wright Says:

    Sign Smith, try to negotiate with Marpet, don’t bother with Kwon.

  3. Pryda...sec 147 Says:

    Just play average defense is that so hard to ask for play press with the CB don’t give up 12 yard cushion

  4. AlteredEgo Says:

    Let Jameis go…resign Fitz and draft a QB in the 1st round 2019….use the savings for our keepers and FA’s….Move On OBP

  5. Lamarcus Says:

    If we get to say 8-8 or worse I wouldn’t mind to clean the house of players and coaches

    I starting to believe we are not as talented as advertised mixed with a cover 0 scheme ….

  6. DayOnePaul Says:

    This generation of Glazers are soft and passive. They were raised to be their Daddy’s errand boys. Now they’re all soft, not a leader among em. All errand boys (and girl) without a leader. They almost blew their Daddy’s life’s work buying into that tie-loving, ticky-tack contact, fake football team in another country fifteen years ago, and had to go into desperation mode to save Daddy’s empire. You might want to read up on how much loot Manchester United has netted under their leadership. Extraordinary. –Joe And they made us watch hot garbage for years while they recovered. They fall in love with a GM who talks a good game, a coach who acts like he’s competent, and assistants who follow Dirk in lockstep. Organizations stink from the top down. Or prove excellent from the top down. There’s never a lousy owner who empowers a great GM to run the organization. Or a great owner who turns the keys to the Lamborghini over to a lousy GM. Good organizations stay good. Bad organizations stay bad.

  7. pelbuc Says:

    Trade or let GMC, Kwon and Gholston walk. Bucs are going to have to replace Dotson and Benenoch as well.

  8. mike Says:

    seems like Marpet and Smith are just guys, nothing special

  9. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    Caleb Benenoch gets thrown around like a little kid out there on a regular basis.

    He is honestly terrible.

    Why do we not realize this, though? And have some help there for him regularly?

    That’s the bigger issue, I think.

  10. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    Joe believes this Bucs offense can get hot again and at least average 26 points a game through the rest of the season. That’s going to win games and would make life intriguing through the fall.—-Joe

    When I read that it feels like you are telling us, “ don’t worry kid there is a Santa Claus”.

    Sorry Joe but a lost in Atlanta and the 2018 season becomes all eyes on Winston. Do we spent 20 mil or draft a new QB.

    If Winston has our offense at 26 ppg 8-8 is coming to our reality. That means clean house.

  11. Not there yet Says:

    The offensive line is trash. They looked lost yesterday and here is an article about extending them lol guess what if they keep playing this way licht won’t have to worry about extending anyone because he will be looking for a new himself. Stop worrying about extending losers And Licht start worrying about how to keep your job. Should have gone out and got earl thomas but he’s on IR so that dream is over

  12. Darin Says:

    Licht must know his offensive and defensive coordinators before he shells out the money. Smith will be gone and maybe Dirk. They switch to a 3-4 next year and big changes will be made. Definitely need some run blockers tho.

  13. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    I’m starting to get on the Goodbye GMC train. Hopefully Vea can make that easier to do by the end of the year.

    Love Kwon’s passion but he is ineffective a large part of the time. Almost feel that LVD needs to go as well. We need to get Beckwith back ASAP.

    Just saying too, that I’d love for these guys to have a renaissance and make me take back all of this stuff too. I’ll be happy to do it if it happens.

  14. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    Even Marpet was getting manhandled and tossed around like a little girl regularly in this past game…. WTH is going on here???

  15. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    With this defense we need 35 ppg on offense.

  16. joestang Says:

    bravo licht, Are you kidding? for every good pick he has he makes 2 bad picks. he can’t evaluate talent. 2 years now our secondary sucked, he did nothing about it except spent a couplea mid round picks and expects them to be starters and play in this pass happy league. I said before the season started on your web page that the bucs will have to score at least 30 points per game just to be competitive. I would like to revise that to 40 points per game. We are the laughing stock of the NFL, even journeyman qb’s will light up these bucs.

  17. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    ^ and we still finish 8-8.

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    Is it time for ice cream yet?

  19. DB55 Says:

    26 points would have been enough to win 1 game this season, eagles.

    Week 1- 40 points to the saints
    Week 2- 21 to the eagles
    Week 3 – 30 to Pitt
    Week 4 – 48 points wow

    Winston would need to score at least 40 points to have any chance at winning a game. Let that sink it. And that includes run support of only 20 rushes for maybe 60-70 yards.

    The only reason Fitz won week 1 vs the saints is bc he rushed 12 times meaning on at least 12 pass plays there was nothing there and he took off. In comparison yesterday he rushed 0 times and Winston only once.

    You have to be able to run the ball against a 3 man front.

  20. Ghingus Kwon Says:

    we kept hearing about how JPP was going to help GMC. I can say that I’ve seen that yet.

  21. jmarkbuc Says:

    Let the next GM and HC decide.

  22. jmarkbuc Says:


    the current sentiment is that players like Khalil Mack make his teammates better, while GMC requires others to make him better.

    Very un-Jordanesque

  23. jmarkbuc Says:

    It’s ironic that all Gerald wants to be is a Super Hero..

    And that’s all we want too…

  24. JabooBuc Says:

    This seems relatively easy to me. You wave bye to Kwon and move Beck over and find another SLB in either Taylor or Cinchy. I’d spend the money on Smith and Marpet as i believe they are high effort guys and we need continuity on that line.

    I like Kwon, but clearly he is not a difference maker for this defense.

  25. orlbucfan Says:

    GMC hating blowhards out in force. Whew! Smells worse than bean gas. Koetter has to finish the season. The Offense is slowly improving. MSmith is the problem, and it would not surprise me if the players on D revolt. Get rid of Smith. His time has long passed. The sooner, the better. I’ve read fan comments with more D X’s and O’s intelligence than Smith has. Let the waterboy coach the D. Better result.

  26. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Smith is an average LT at best, guard has to be average so keep marpet and wmith at average contracts let kwon test the market he is below average at best….let the next gm ronde barber decide on the players as well as the next HC, todd haley needs to be the next HC, look at the steelers and how bad their offense is since he left, and how good the browns are since he joined them

  27. jmarkbuc Says:

    Haley is a better OC than HC..sound familiar?

  28. Bucamania Says:

    Marpet was playing at a pro bowl level at RG. Then they moved him to C. Now LG. Stop making him learn a new position every year! How about that idea.

  29. Cobraboy Says:

    I disagree about Alexander. He’s more mouth than production.

  30. jmarkbuc Says:



  31. Buc1987 Says:

    Cobraboy….GMC told us last week when he was mic’ed up how much FUN he has playing with Kwon… what you’re saying cant be right!

  32. Frank Pillow Says:

    1. I hope it’s the scheme and not the player, b/c Kwon has looked completely lost out there. Sure, he has the talent to flash every now and then, and I’m not questioning his ‘heart’ but the lack of gap discipline or coverage depth and some really bad tackling is striking. I would be VERY interested to see how a healthy Beckwith fares at MLB vs. Kwon.

    2. Marpet went from being a developing stud to a piñata on the OL. He’s the Ryan Smith of the OL in some respects- a guy whose development continuously gets stunted by the never-ending search for his right position. His fundamentals seem out of wack and he has had some very poor looks over the past few weeks.

    3. Smith, ironically, is the most reliable of the bunch. He is what he is. A durable big man that is better than most people think, but not consistent enough to be a lock-down LT or a guy you can forget about (that’s the biggest compliment for an OLer- that you don’t think or worry about them).

    I’m glad we have these guys, but none are playing like they’re determined to make bank and are irreplaceable…

  33. PSLBob Says:

    Look, Chicago’s D gave the Bucs a real test. They have probably the best front 7 in football. So yeah, the Bucs O-line didn’t look stellar, but they were adequate. At the beginning of the season, everyone was talking about how tough the Philly and Pittsburg defenses were going to be, and our guys handled them well. I saw Chicago play on Monday night football during Week 2(?) and posted that the Chicago game could be a real test for our offense. I didn’t suspect the D to punk BucNation by playing high schoolers, but, the O-line got what I expected, and then when Chicago started bullying the D so badly, the offense had to play way from behind and then, yeah, here come the blitzes. So, I’m not giving up on the O-line at this point. However, we do need a serious change of scheme on defense. If that doesn’t work, then a change in personnel as well.

  34. ndog Says:

    Kwon needs to go and he can take McCoy and Grimes with him. LVD is not much better but he is pretty decent most of the time but yesterday BARF.

  35. ndog Says:

    Joe can Realist come out and play?

  36. 813bucboi Says:

    I say try and keep both but spend wisely….keep kwon….he’s another player that has regressed under smitty… coaches would love to have kwon….


  37. Joe Says:

    He is honestly terrible.

    As opposed to “dishonestly terrible.”

  38. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    I don’t understand why Kwon looks so stiff and slow out there………..

  39. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    U got me, Joe…

    It was poor wording, but a true assessment of Benenoch so far.

    He is by far the weakest link, GOODBYE!

  40. Matts17 Says:

    Smith is a decent LT. Marpet is just ok. As for Kwon and David, they can both walk. All talk no action both highly overrated. Grimes looks done too.

    Pay Smith if he’s somewhat reasonable, the rest can test the market.

  41. BigMacAttack Says:

    I truly think these coaches bring out the worst in players. We have seen so many of these guys play very well one week, only to suck the next. I said last season to fire the strength and conditioning coach. He’s sucked. So many of these linemen have excess fat around the waste as well as underdeveloped arms and chests. I saw the Ali-Donovan Show (we suck but have a show) and Smith is fat. Marpet has arms that look like they haven’t seen a weight room in months. I guess they stretch, but obviously not enough with all the strains and tears. Has anyone even considered yoga. This looks like a team that parties and takes it easy in the offseason, not a group committed to greatness and winning. Rest when you’re dead. It’s really sad to be paid mega money and not be willing to work hard year round to at least lose the fat.

  42. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    And it’s BigMacAttack for the Win!