Dangling By A Thread

June 18th, 2019

Slim job security?

Recently, one Bucs beat writer, in trying to project the final-53 come opening day, suggested Cairo Santos would be a surprise cut.

Now, another Bucs beat writer believes, rather than Santos, an offensive lineman will be a surprise casualty. And that would be veteran offensive lineman Evan Smith.

In a piece where each NFL beat writer for the four-letter picks an unexpected cut, Jenna Laine believes Smith is on thin ice, not so much because of his play but his health.

The Bucs’ coaching staff is high on Smith, not only for his ability to play both center and guard, but because of his experience (he’s entering his 10th season). However, he missed the entire offseason program because he has been recovering from torn labrums in both hips.

Torn labrums on both hips sounds painful as heck and also sounds terrible for anyone much less an offensive lineman who has to use those hips a lot.

While Laine’s guess of Smith seems to hold water, Joe hates to type the following. But if there would be a surprise cut, Joe can easily see defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul released.

Right now it appears JPP may make it back in November. But as Joe has pointed out many, many times, just what kind of shape will JPP be in? It’s highly unlikely doctors will let anyone who just fractured a neck to be working out like a demon.

Also, with so much practice time, meeting time and game time lost, just how well and how quickly could JPP learn Todd Bowles’ defense?

23 Responses to “Dangling By A Thread”

  1. Buc believer Says:

    He could learn it faster than Gerald could find a microphone to tell you what a great guy he is and how much he likes ice cream. I have faith in JPP dude has EARNED it!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    At $15 mil…why should JPP miss meetings?

  3. Todd Says:

    Being pragmatic, cut them all. Take the cap savings and go get some damned help on the right side of the OL. Stat!

  4. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Gump have enough money to pay Devin White momma yet?

    She wants her money”

    Kobe Faker

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    IF Evan Smith can’t regain his health 100% by at least season start, then I’d say there’s an excellent chance that Jenna is right: he’ll be cut (kind of a no-brainer actually).

    JPP is a whole ‘nuther matter though Joe. He’s already earned half his salary (say $7.5 mil) by virtue of his contract. He’s NFI-eligible, although I still haven’t heard that the Bucs have officially designated him as such. Bucs could keep him there all season if they want for zero additional cost. As I understand it, they’re under no obligation to pay him the other half of his salary if he’s not officially on the 53-man roster.

    Point being, WHY CUT HIM? JPP, when healthy, is a beast. He’s demonstrated in the past that he can come back from some pretty bad injuries. Personally I don’t expect him to play this season, but I’d like to see us keep him on the Bucs NFI so that IF he does make it back, he’s ours. Wouldn’t cost us anything more, and that additional $7.4 mil could be used to sign our last two remaining rookies AND very possibly sign a FA or 2.

    Bucs still need $6 mil to sign White & Dean, and presently have a tad over $5 mil of that in Cap space. If they ultimately end up cutting Evan Smith, that’s another $2 mil in Cap savings, so they’d have the money they need to sign everyone. Saving $7.4 mil from JPP’s salary this year could be enough to sign a veteran RB & OLineman.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    If healthy (which sounds like a big IF) – Evan Smith is a good insurance policy for only $2M.

  7. Todd Says:

    Defense Rules—

    That makes too much sense (re: JPP). Why do you think we’re even hesitating to put him on NFI?

    Having fractured my neck my junior year in HS football (C7), I can tell you that rehab was the easy part. Since I already had a LOI from the University of Iowa, my mission in life was to come back stronger than ever. Had a new 18-1/2 neck to prove it. As Captain my senior year, I was benched after two games. It wasn’t due to my neck, it was due to my psyche. I was a pu$$y. Absolutely feared tackling…which was kind of an important duty for a Strong Safety.

    I know you’re right. He’s worth the investment if we don’t play him and give him a full year to recover. Next year his salary will be a bargain if we get a non-pu$$y JPP. Which frankly, I’m sure we will.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    JPP is injured, not suspended. He can be at team facilities. Why on earth would he not have learned the defense? Conditioning at that point in time probably would be an issue, but knowledge of the plays shouldn’t.

    Listen, I’m not counting on him for anything this year, but I dont think they’ll just outright cut a guy like that unless they think his career is over. He’s already been paid half of his $15M salary. He’s not going anywhere this offseason.

    Evan Smith and Demar Dotson are both prime candidates for release.

  9. Bird Says:

    Drs ain’t letting him work out his upper body with any weights . The nerves at different levels of the spine correlate with different areas in the body. (Dermatomes). Like when you have an injury at c6/7 level you can have numbness tingling in certain fingers or lose strength in your arm completely. Again those are the nerves in the area so they have not commmented on nerve problems but that Fx site will cause inflammation which could affect those nerves. Not sure which level it was in neck but could correlate with hands. They won’t want to set back his recovery so can’t imagine he does physical rehab. Most likely stretching/ massage/ maybe pool.

    And let’s face it …running on a tread mill puts pressure on the spine so that could even be in question. His cardio would be zero.

    Which means no weights / real cardio for 6-7 months and then he is expected to go up against the most physical behemoths on the planet.
    No way.
    Think he sits entire year if not cut.

    He f he rushes back …he is Just setting up an injury at new location cause soft / out of shape or aggravating the old one.

  10. Todd Says:



  11. Allbuccedup Says:

    Cut both of them like BA said about GMC they are on the wrong side of thirty. You got to be eligible for the playoffs in November for JPP to help. If you are already out of contention you don’t need him anyway. Save 12.5 against 2020s cap.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Excellent info & analysis Bird. I personally don’t think he’ll be back this year. Possibly never … no way to know AT THIS POINT. But it’ll be callous of the Bucs to outright release him BEFORE they know whether or not he can make it back. Of course, it’d also be callous of them to pay him the remaining $7.4 mil for this year if he can’t play. I’m confident JPP would understand that part of the BUSINESS … no play, no pay (especially since he’s already made $7.5 mil for the ‘no play’ part). I’m just hoping that he can come back 100% next season and be productive.

  13. Todd Says:


    I had what I thought was an additive response to Defense Rules that went into moderation. I have zero understanding as to why. Can you please post it? I’m interested in his take as a thoughtful contributor. Thanks.

  14. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Good thing we used the first 4 draft picks on OL & DL….SMF’n Head !!!Licht has been trimming out the house before it is dried in………I kind of got it in the beginning getting Jameis some weapons to throw to…..but it seems the bill collector has run out of patience and the bills are coming do.

  15. Maze Says:

    Santos would only be a surprising cut if you weren’t paying attention

  16. BigHog Says:

    We will add a player or two when training camp cuts begin!!

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Evan would have been cut sooner but he’s good at 1-3 games at center and we had no one better. So far as I can tell, we still don’t, unless the cross-training of Cappa at center has been increased. I mean, Marpet could do it in a pinch, but that would just shift the hole.

  18. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Agree with Todd.

    Anyone on here ever performed barbell squats or deadlifts with so much as a tight or sore hip? Let alone a torn one?

    JPP will be back before Evan Smith. That’s a painful injury and lengthy recovery.

  19. SOEbuc Says:

    Please stack as much money as you can to get a new, good OG. JPP, Evan Smith, Beckwith, VH3. Would hate to see it, but possibly Justin Evans if they feel he will not be starting the regular season.

  20. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I think but I could be wrong that JPP’s injury designation doesn’t count toward the 53 man roster until his return to the lineup.

  21. Jeff Says:

    Gotta cut JPP. Wasting valuable cap space than can be used to facilitate a trade for a pass rusher.

  22. Pryda...sec147 Says:

    Cut these guys sorry JPP sorry Biscuits Smith and sorry Santos. M1k3 just restructured for 3.2 million in savings ………

    GO GET Yannik Ngakoue (from Jax)!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Allbuccedup Says:

    Good thought Pryda, he only makes 2 mil now but wants a hugh raise his market value according to spotrac is 17.9 million for 2020. Would love to have him though hes a difference maker.