An Arians-Bowles DE Ready To Hit The Market

February 7th, 2019

Jameis crusher

Yes, the Bucs could use fresh blood at defensive end.


Will Gholston hasn’t produced since 2016, and Vinny Curry was the classic overpaid free agent last season.

So where will Tampa Bay turn when the free agency dinner bell rings on March 13, assuming they send Curry and Gholston packing?

Well, a guy Bruce Arians once declared was a double-digit sack man in the making should be free. He turns 28 tomorrow, and his name is Alex Okafor.

The Saints defensive end, per various reports, had a unique three-sack clause in his 2018 contract that says he can make himself a free agent if he wants to before the start of the new NFL year next month … if he recorded three sacks. He got four. Otherwise, Okafor can stay with New Orleans for about $2 million in 2019.

Joe expects Okafor to move on. Guys that young who can rush the passer get paid a more than $2 million, and the Saints already have top edge talent in Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport.

Okafor started every game for the Saints last year and had four sacks and nine quarterback hits. He also played well against the Rams in that wacky NFC title game.

There’s versatility to Okafor, and Joe would consider him an upgrade to Curry and/or Gholston.

Of course, what makes Okafor especially worth noting is his history in Arizona with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Arians, their fourth-round pick in 2013. He bolted in free agency to the Saints in 2017.

Okafor is another potential signing that won’t excite many fans, but the Bucs really need to update the core of their defense and the overall talent and competition level. Joe sees Okafor as a guy who can accomplish that — at a reasonable price.

You may remember Okafor as the man who crushed Jameis Winston and put him out of action in 2017. Cover your eyes, Donovan Smith fans.

21 Responses to “An Arians-Bowles DE Ready To Hit The Market”

  1. Bird Says:


    He was making 2. I’d be ok with doubling down and giving up to 4. He wa coming off injury last year too. So should be ready to go this year.

  2. Pryda..sec147 Says:


  3. Wombat Says:

    William Gholston signed a 5 year, $27,500,000 contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including $13,500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $5,500,000. In 2019, Gholston will earn a base salary of $3,750,000, while carrying a cap hit of $3,750,000.
    Will has robbed us way too long!!! He has 10 sacks total in 4 seasons….

  4. catcard202 Says:

    I’m all in on Za’Darius Smith / Ravens UFA.. He’s just 26, is a healthier version of Okafor – coming off 8.5 sack yr & 2yrs removed from injury… He only made $2M last yr., as well.

    Would cut Curry & use the $8M cap space to pursue Big Z, before rolling dice on Okafor.

  5. Pa Privateer Says:

    If he wants to play for BA and Bowles then bring him in and keep stocking the shelves.

  6. Couch Fan Says:

    He started every game and only had 4 sacks?… Doesnt sound like much of an upgrade.

  7. Bird Says:

    He was coming off injury so had limited snaps early on.

    Plus will Gholston has 11 sacks in 6 years. He had 1 sack last year.

    That’s an upgrade for less money
    Will Gholston is que terrible and it’s time to go.

  8. PriMech54 Says:

    Pass on Okafor. The pursuit needs to be for Frank Clark.

    And I’m all for moving on from Gholston, but all this noise about him being such a terrible football player needs to halt. If you know anything at all about football, you know that Will Gholston is a prototypical 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 system. This is why he’s versatile enough to take snaps inside. He should be utilized as a run stopping gap filler, not a certified sack master. He doesn’t have the first step, quickness or pursuit ability to post high sack numbers, but only the Bucs are dimwitted enough to think they can pull it out of him then give him a 5 year deal. You build the system around your players. Todd Bowles will finally do that, but Gholston won’t be around for it.

    But, yeah… Frank Clark.

  9. Not there yet Says:

    So Carl Nassib has more sacks? 2 million sounds about right and I don’t trust anyone coming here logging major minutes from inside our division.

  10. THETRUTH Says:

    Played every game for a damn good defense and only 4 sacks , PASS

    joe think you were same to tell us we should resign Gholston for 6 mill.

    No thanks

  11. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Frank Clark is projected to get a 5yr 87.5M contract (17.5M/yr).
    Hard Pass.
    Have we not learned our lesson, overpaying for other teams cast offs.
    Draft Dlineman or bring in Older vets like a Suggs or Matthews.
    Okafor for 2M might not be bad for depth but If he is our starter we are in trouble.
    After watching All or Nothing I learned how Bruce likes to delegate to his older vets in each position group (except QB).I think every position group has Veteran leadership except for our DBs. It won’t surprise me if we get a vet for that room like mathieu, pp, or Thomas type

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    @Wombat … “Will has robbed us way too long!!!” LOL Wombat. When was the last time YOU turned down a $27.5 mil offer for 5 years of part-time work? And oh ya, they gave you HALF of it BEFORE you even did anything to earn it?

    @Alaskan … “I think every position group has Veteran leadership except for our DBs. It won’t surprise me if we get a vet for that room.” Great point Alaskan. Bucs lack VETERAN leadership among our CBs & among our Safeties at the moment. I wouldn’t be at all surprised either to see this new regime bring in a veteran CB who could start outside (like Mathieu) AND a veteran starting safety.

    @Joe … “Bucs really need to update the core of their defense and the overall talent and competition level. Joe sees Okafor as a guy who can accomplish that — at a reasonable price.” Agree 100% with the need to update our overall talent level and competition level. Like Okafor when he was first drafted, but not sure he’s lived up to expectations. But if our new HC & DC both think they can improve on that, by all means they should go for it … for a reasonable price this time.

  13. JP_09 Says:

    I”d rather them release Mccoy & Djax, use that money to go after Lawrence or Clowney if their not resigned. Then add Williams, Oliver, Simmons, Lawrence or Wilkins via the draft.

  14. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Again ALL of the bucs need to be evaluated with the new coaching staff. William Gholston, Vinny Curry these guys will have completley different stats with Bowles caling the shots. Mike Smith was fired for a reason people.

    Add top shelf talent if yoyr going to add talent dont add average.find more JPP’s.

    Bucs needs another shutdown long corner. Press coverage and blitzing is what the doctor has ordered

  15. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Forget about projects, journeyman, or maybes . Buccos need a sure fire cant miss OLB or Dlineman that is a young and proven pass rusher. The only two on the radar should be Dee Ford or Trey Flowers. Either one makes your D better the moment they step on the field.
    Release MeSean and GMC and get serious about signing one of the aforementioned , at 27 and 28 years old , uou can expect 5 strong years. Time for Licht Brain to step up and spend 85-100 million on defense , but more importantly , spend it on the best of the best.

  16. StoutGospel Says:

    @catacard202……. has a mighty good call above, and a much better alternative, as I too have heard much about Z Smith, and the fact that he will hit the market because DeCosta will have to focus on keeping CJ Mosley in the fold there.

    Off and on over the past 3 years, Okafor has had a slew of injuries, thus why he’s changed teams I think 3 times in 4 years, and is still playing at such an affordable amount.

    Health and youth.

    And…for all those clamoring for keeping our current personnel to “have them evaluated and coached to different stats with the new coaching tree”….well, we can’t wait that long to have that determined, which would easily be into OTA’s and preseason to make that determination, and our cap issues along with upcoming FA signings and draft picks all have to be addressed much, much sooner than that! Chicken or the egg.

    Go Bucs!

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    pass on okafor…..4 sacks aint nothing to get excited about….rather keep vinny, release djax, gholston, urein and restructure GMC….then go after frank clark….


  18. SOEbuc Says:

    It’s all about the money with these kinda players coming into free agency and it’s one of the most exciting things I think. Every year on good teams you see some cheaper vet bounce back in his first or second contract year because he was playing on the right team with the right coaching and the right players around him. It is thought BA will do some major house cleaning with depth and rotation. We don’t have any money at the moment and have no clue where that money will end up eventually. It’s all evaluation. Is this player worth the money we want to pay him if we want him on the team. I feel like we can get some good deals on good rotation and backups because of the excitement of BA and Bowels coming to town.

  19. SOEbuc Says:

    What do you know. Fata$$ got ran through off the edge by a fast DE cus he’s to slow.

  20. joestang Says:

    any chance of signing Earl Thomas?

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    What Joe neglects to mention is last year was Alex Okafor’s ONLY healthy year in the NFL. Not counting his first year, which he did not have opportunity, the man was injured 4 of 5 seasons. He’s missed 13 games due to injury.

    Also not mentioned is that he only had more than 4.5 sacks once, and less than 3.5 sacks 2 of 5 years.

    He IS NOT an upgrade to Vinnie Curry, unless you are short-sighted and only look at last year. Curry has been healthy 5 of 7 seasons, and hit 9 sacks once.

    Really though…neither should be on our team.