Valuable But Inexpensive Safety Help

March 9th, 2019

UPDATED 2:08 p.m. – What 34-year-old led his NFL team in tackles last season.

Not only did Antoine Bethea accomplish that, but he was one of only four guys in the NFL with 100 or more solo tackles.

Brent Grimes he is not. And now he’s walking the street, dumped by the Cardinals yesterday as part of their massive roster purge.

Bethea is a very is a very interesting potential free agent signing by the Bucs when the dinner bell rings on Wednesday.

With all due respect to Tampa Bay re-signing Isaiah “Run Into The Wall” Johnson this week, the Bucs are in need of depth/competition at safety. And if they choose not to pay one of the giant safety contracts getting tossed around, Bethea could be a nice temporary move to buy another year to assess Justin Evans and Jordan Whitehead, this time with competent coaching (hopefully).

Nobody can argue that Bethea is washed up. He had a career high three sacks last season, so Joe’s assuming the guy can blitz. With Bruce Arians’ Cardinals, Bethea had a career-high five interceptions in 2017.

A few million plus incentives sounds about right for Bethea. It’s the kind of move that could be part of a restructure to bring a manbeast anchor linebacker like C.J. Mosley to Tampa. One could make a similar call on 29-year-old safety Jahleel Addae, who was cut from the Chargers today. The local product from Hillsborough County started every game the last two seasons.

The Bucs simply have to make a couple of major moves on defense this offseason. Todd Bowles may be a strong coordinator, but he’s not Superman.

35 Responses to “Valuable But Inexpensive Safety Help”

  1. Not there yet Says:

    Thank goodness your not a general manager

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “A few million plus incentives”…….that depends on the definition of “a few”…..I guess it must be more than 1……so, that’s too much.”

    I’m beginning to think there isn’t a FA that Joe doesn’t like…..

  3. catcard202 Says:

    When a 34yr old S is the leading tackler on a team that EARNED the #1 pick in the draft…It’s not necessarily a great refection of the 34yr old S value/future production, but more a sign of how poor the surrounding pieces must be that a 34yr old S has 100+ tackles to led the team.


  4. geno711 Says:

    I agree Joe, safety seems like a position the bucs can dip into in Free Agency and get an upgrade and depth (both needed) without spending a fortune.

    Then leave the draft to get other positions.

  5. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Licht seems to think EVERYTHING is just fine, that has me worried. Let Kwon walk and pay CJ. Licht falls in love with his picks and Kwon coming of injury is NOT worth 10 mil a year. I like bringing in a vet that knows what BA and Bowles wants to do.

  6. tbbucs3 Says:

    You guys may think this idea is ridiculous….and it is…but this is exactly the type of player Jason Licht would sign in free agency while passing on all the good ones.

  7. Jean Lafitte Says:

    You can’t build on chemistry with a 34 year old. Here today, gone tomorrow with a handful of Buc cap dollars. He has no trade value at that age, and you get no compensatory pick in the future. Pass, we need to get younger so this nucleus of players can play together for a couple of seasons. Time to develop our own.

  8. Bird Says:

    This is the year of the free agent safety. Market will get saturated . 4 or 5 probowlers out there and quality guys behind that.

    No way bucs can’t improve safety position. Get free agent and cross off that position in draft.

    I like it. Especially after last year when no one wanted to pay the safety position

  9. tbbucs3 Says:

    With the amount of money that Jason Licht waste in free agency year after year by overspending on bad bargain players who he thinks will suddenly break out, it amazes me how in year 5 he is still afraid to spend big money on actual good players who have already proven themselves in the NFL.

  10. geno711 Says:

    I’m with you Bird. Get a quality depth to starting safety at good value in free agency. Leave the 1st three rounds of the draft for other positions of need.

  11. StoutGospel Says:

    Dude is 35 in season!!! Like @NotThereYet said….good thing you ain’t the GM.

    Hell No!!

    Wait out the first week of FA for a safety then procure one that Bowles would prefer at $4 million or less, maybe Gilchrist.

    Overall, we sure need to start making some changes.

    Go Bucs! Get Quinnen!

  12. sandwichman Says:

    @Not there yet

    Amen good sir. The Joes are killing themselves in smoke season. One embarrassing post after another.

  13. sandwichman Says:

    @Not there yet

    Unfortunately these dudes are the lesser of evils tho.

  14. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Wednesday? Teams are doing all kinds of trades and signings every day!players are going on visits ! Let’s cut or trade some people before we look at every 34 yrs old player in the league who has played for the cardinals in the past!

  15. TOM Says:

    I’d rather have Adams.

  16. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Johnson has no business on an nfl roster

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    Without knowing much about this guy other than the stats presented it seems like someone that would be a good fit. With two young safeties having a vet back there not named Conte is a good thing. I wouldn’t say you get the starting job by any means, but I’d certainly let him compete.

  18. TexBuc Says:

    Fix the front 7 before adding anymore safeties. Resign Adams and develop MJ Stewart.

  19. phattitudes Says:

    Once again a nice write up on a possible answer at safety. However it did not need the PERSONALLY I WOULD LIKE To SAVE MONEY ON SAFETY AND USE IT TO GET MOSLEY comment. Obviously all candidates at safety are compared against the Honey Badger. His ability to play nickel corner at a high level is a huge plus. In effect he is two players for the price of one and may offer the opportunity to avoid picking up an expensive free agent corner.

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    TexBuc – The front seven played well for most of last season – the defensive backfield however was so completely lost they just let guys run wide open. Also Adams had like one good game, and otherwise was a guy who has bounced all over the place. Not saying to cut him, but I’m not betting on him at all – and would be surprised if he even makes the team. MJ looked incredibly lost – and incredibly slow – like a slow Ryan Smith, which is the biggest insult I can give someone. You’re not throwing him away since he’s a 2nd rounder, and he might “play” faster in a different defense, but there’s not a chance I’m betting anything on him based off what we saw last year. If these two surprise you, then awesome, it’s a huge win – but you don’t bet your season on players like that.

  21. StoutGospel Says:

    Thanks to the trusty Rotoworld FA Tracker, there are 37 Safeties available up till now! 37! I mean damn. If we can’t find a new starting free or strong safety at a very reasonable rate, well gump stump Licht sure as hell should be disconnected from his W2!

    37 safeties…

    Go Bucs! Land Quinnen!

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    I agree with TexBuc … “Fix the front 7 before adding anymore safeties. Resign Adams and develop MJ Stewart.” When it comes to PRIORITIES, I’d much rather see us sign a veteran starting outside CB than a veteran safety. We have Evans & Whitehead already in the Safety group, and Licht has said Bucs will move Stewart to Safety. Since we normally carry 4 Safeties, that leaves us 1 short … re-sign Andrew Adams. He plays Safety & Nickel, and played it quite well last year (despite what Rod Munch says … and BTW Rod, Adams is a free agent; you can’t cut FAs). And Rod, you may really dislike Ryan Smith, but I saw more improvement out of him last year than I did from most of our other CBs. Don’t agree with your evaluation of Chris Conte either, but that’s another discussion.

  23. tbbucs3 Says:

    Defense Rules

    So ignore a position in need until an entire front 7 gets fixed?

    Fixing the Bucs front 7 will not happen over night especially with Jason Licht as GM. We cannot afford to wait to get better. The Bucs have to start adressing weaknesses now. This free agency is loaded with safeties , it’s not loaded with Dlinemen. Get the best players no matter where they play. Simple as that.

  24. tbbucs3 Says:

    And the Bucs are in more of a need at Saftey and Linebacker than they are at Corner. (All are needs) but if you watch what the all 22 film where do the Bucs get shredded the most? It’s always in the middle areas of the field. Saftey and Linebacker upgrades will address that.

  25. Jean Lafitte Says:

    ^^^^ don’t agree

  26. bucs4ya Says:

    Do something at safety please. If we have Conte back there taking stiff arms to the dome again this year we deserve to be in the basement of not only the NFC South but the entire NFL.

  27. Miller5252 Says:

    I don’t get all this talk about all these backend players and not one mention of Earl Thomas…… you want a stud, a leader, and someone that knows how to compete and win….. Dude could really help the young guys and knows what it takes to win year after year.

  28. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Coach um up the buc sheep scream…

    kobe keeps on hearing this from my doublewide and its killing my ears

    Kobe thinks its time for story time

    There was once a foolish meathead named Jason Gump…

    On april 2018 he hit his huge forehead on the draft board

    he had a choice of 3 of 4 secondary players

    mj stewart
    carlton davis
    jordan whitehead
    donte jackson

    why is donte Jackson a stud and future star while we have the 3 meh s?

    4.32 speed

    this is the nfl

    doesnt matter the press or zone,,, sooner or later you have to be fast or quick enough to cover fast receivers

    Where is Poster Lakeland at?”

    Kobe Faker

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    tbbucs3 … i agree with you that we NEED a LB, a CB and a Safety. Not the issue; it comes down to what are the PRIORITIES, because we unfortunately don’t have the $$$ to fix everything in 1 season. Priority #1 IMO is MLB; Priority #2 is CB; Priority #3 is Safety.

    And in terms of fixing the DLine, hopefully we tackle that through the draft by taking BOTH a DE and a DT in the first 4 Rnds. Hopefully we get our MLB via the draft also … by the name of Devin White. The only way I wouldn’t pick him at #5 is if Bosa, Allen or Williams fell to us at that position.

  30. JimmyJack Says:

    LB is the biggest need in FA. We have one legitimate LB on the roster currently. Bucs should be looking for LBs now, in the draft, during the post-draft cuts & during TC during roster cuts.

    We are in desperate shape at that position.

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules ……Do you think the Bucs should get a MLB in free agency so we are not desperate in the draft? That would be my plan.

    My #1 priority to approaching FA would be to have no desperate needs so that you can get absolute BPA at #5. Right now LB is a pretty desperate need.

  32. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think the way the draft plays out will impact FA. I realize FA season opens first but we can gamble a month to determine what we really need. If one of the big 3 falls to us at 5 we won’t be looking so much for a DL..if we get White at 5 then the LB need diminishes.

    Perhaps the brass has figured out they can get White at 5 then the FA question becomes clearer.

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    JimmyJack … Personally I think our #1 Priority should be MLB. That’s typically the captain of the defense, the signal caller and the central cog in the defense. Kwon was just OK, but he wasn’t the dominating presence like Luke Kuechly has been for the Panthers, or like Ray Lewis was for the Ravens. From all I’ve read about Devin White, he has the potential to be a ‘dominating presence’.

    Among the FAs, CJ Moseley falls into that same category. BUT … he’d cost us around $10 mil or so at least, money that we simply don’t have right now. Assuming that we stay at #5, seems likely that White would be available when we pick (unless Oakland takes him like one mock draft projected). But if that happened, we’d still most likely get either Bosa, Allen or Williams so it’s not like we would’ve ‘lost’. Several other very good MLBs might be available in the 2nd Rnd.

    A key also though that no one seems to be talking about is re-signing Adarius Taylor (he has experience at MLB also). I’d also re-sign Minter (he’s played for Bowles before & is a bonafide MLB) and also Lynch (simply because he’s very good on S/Ts). Bulloughs has shown me nothing, but Cichy (if rehabbed) should be kept. Beckwith is one big question mark IMO, but I wouldn’t count on him at this point.

  34. geno711 Says:

    Kobe not sure why you hated on Carlton Davis. I just checked and he was the 9th cornerback taken last year.

    He seemed as good as quite a few taken in front of him and I am not sure that anyone taken after him was any better. The eye test suggested he had a clue and that was with last years bad coaching.

    I hope with better coaching (I think Bowles has been good with CB’s everywhere) this year we can determine whether he has the potential to be a number 1 corner but if he is a solid number 2 for us for years at where he was drafted then he is a success.

    Jordan Whitehead did not pass as much of the eye test for me as did Davis but again for a 4th round draft choice, how many safeties after him were as good for their team in the 1st year last year. Again with what we considered bad coaching.

    That said, I clearly think we need 3rd and 4th safeties to challenge or provide depth Maybe one is Stewart, but he did not pass the eye test to me.

  35. Iamabuc Says:

    Joe, you’re starting to sound like Gruden. You looooove every player..including scrubs…lol