Ryan Smith > Vernon Hargreaves?

June 10th, 2019

Job security.

Joe isn’t sure if this means anything or not but it did catch this author’s attention.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report dug up stats that suggest Bucs corner Ryan Smith may not be as bad as we all thought him to be and that Vernon Hargreaves should be concerned.

In a column trying to figure out who the No. 1 corner is for each NFL team, here is what Moton unearthed on the two maligned Bucs corners.

The Buccaneers exercised Hargreaves’ fifth-year option even though he’s tallied only 15 pass breakups and one interception since they drafted him 11th overall in 2016. He hasn’t endeared himself to the new coaching staff, though.

In 2018, Ryan Smith played 40 percent of the defensive snaps and recorded an interception and six pass breakups. He had five pass breakups and two forced fumbles while starting 10 games in 2017, too. He may earn a starting role because of Hargreaves’ inability to escape Arians’ doghouse.

First, Joe was recently chatting with someone who would know. Let’s just say the Bucco Bruce Arians-Hargreaves headbutt might be a tad overblown. But time, of course, will tell.

Now as former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter used to say (often), the NFL is a production league. Produce or move out of the way.

Hargreaves’ development has been lassoed by injuries, and Hargreaves and Smith have had their careers stunted by incompetent coaching. The horror stories Joe is hearing of former Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith are almost too rich to believe but, sadly, we all know from the nightmare of the Bucs defenses the past two seasons the stories are all too real.

Despite the incompetent coaching, Ryan Smith’s production is nearly as good as Hargreaves’. And remember at first, the fools who coached the Bucs’ defense couldn’t figure out how to use Smith. First he was a corner, then a safety, (then a kick returner) and then a corner again. Joe is surprised Smith doesn’t need a shrink as a result.

One could argue Smith has as much job security as Hargreaves. Why does Joe say that when Hargreaves is a former 11th overall pick and Smith was a fourth-round pick?

Well, the Bucs, you may have heard, are in salary cap hell. Hargreaves is set to make $4.5 million this year, per Spotrac.com; Smith is scheduled to pocket $2.1 million. Smith also has been more durable than Hargreaves, not exactly a trivial factor.

If a guy making half as much is getting nearly as much production despite being bounced between positions and has proven he can answer the bell more often, which would you keep if money is a major object?

Also remember the new coaching staff has no connection to inherited players. So to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and company, Hargreaves is just a guy, just like Smith. You can either ball or you can’t.

If the Bucs had any deep faith in Hargreaves (or Smith), would the Bucs have gone out and drafted two corners on Day 2 of the draft?

43 Responses to “Ryan Smith > Vernon Hargreaves?”

  1. DooshLaRue Says:

    That pic of Vernon just screams to me……..

    “What you mean you forgot my fries wit dat order”?

    That’s one pissed off looking chick man.

  2. Bruce Blahak Says:

    and Smith is a core special teamer, leg up on Hargreaves.

  3. Race to 10 Says:

    Neither one of these guys will be starting. VH3 will lose the starting job in the preseason book it

  4. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    I actually thought Ryan Smith showed some decent development last year and kept calling for him to get more playing time.

    That being said, I think Hargreaves talent and raw athleticism will be on better display actually playing in a press cover scheme and will put him well above Smith this year

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    A corpse csn cover better than vh3bust and a corpse doesn’t celebrate overthrows….

    Congrats to gaytor fan… you get to add another murderer to the list of accomplishments for your ghetto program

  6. Bobby M. Says:

    Smith was smart and developed into a great value/role player…..He can play back up CB…possibly some safety and he contributes on special teams. Every team needs guys like that. Hargreaves is one trick pony that wont grow up and hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Hargreaves is the perfect candidate to get axed next to continue to send the message….there are no untouchables, regardless of draft status, team history….You either perform or its next up.

  7. Dapostman Says:

    Ryan Smith is on the Josh Robinson pro football career track.

    I agree with Jolly Bucs Fan’s assessment of Hargreaves.

  8. Ra'Shad Says:

    Ryan has shown some development, People only say he’s trash cause he got scorched by Julio. But that’s Julio. Other than that, I would give him a leg up over VH3. Smith can press at the line as well. I will be looking at the corners this training camp.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Underachiever for a 1st round pick. JL signing him to a 9 plus million option is beyond me. But thats why he is the best GM in the nfl right?

  10. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    I was not a fan of the VH3 pick. I thought he was a talented player with potential, but 11 was too high for him (I had a 2nd round grade on him). That being said, injuries and incompetent coaching stifled his potential. It was getting unlocked for a brief while when he played nickel and was allowed to be more aggressive with press man. I believe this coaching staff can tap into his potential with TB scheming to maximize his abilities. I think this will be a breakout year for VH3 if he stays healthy, which is the big IF. I have not seen much potential in Ryan Smith. He looks like a depth piece, bound to be CB4 or CB5 on this team.

  11. SmoothBayRider Says:

    I may be wrong on this , but I’m pretty sure that since since Hargreavesis still on his rookie contract , if he is cut or traded , we still absorb the cap hit . I hope Joe didn’t overlook this .

  12. Buczilla Says:

    I’d love to hear some of those rich Mike Smith horror stories, but I’m guessing that they were told to you off the record. Maybe some day… 😃

    If one of our new corners from either this year or last can’t beat out broke a$$, crybaby Hargreaves then we are in for a long season of pain. It’s awfully rare for oft injured players with bad attitudes and questionable talent to all of a sudden become even average. My fingers are crossed.

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    Impossible to judge any player on this defense based on horrific coaching.

  14. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    What’chu talkin bout, Willis?

    The line goes so well with that picture.

  15. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    And with the headline. LOL

  16. Darin Says:

    Every corner in the league woulda sucked in that sitbacksmitty d. So I cant wait to see how these corners really are.

  17. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  18. 74 Bucs fan Says:

    How many “press corners” have we drafted to play “zone”? In the last few years, did the right hand not know what the left hand was doing? Did we simply draft press corners because they were the best corners – and plugged them into a zone scheme thinking they could learn zone? I would ask Licht those exact questions, as they are fair questions.

    The good news is that all of our corners were press corners in college – and now we have a press scheme. Hopefully they’ll find their comfort zone and contribute.

  19. csidedave Says:

    The bright side for our secondary last season was they were rarely called for pass interference. The dark side was that was because they were rarely close enough to interfere.

  20. TOM Says:

    Bye Bye Hargreaves.

  21. TexBuc Says:

    Picking up a 5th year option is a safe way to ensure a player who may have a career year be retained the next year. IF player does not excel or progress to coaching staff’s liking then cutting player is also part of the OPTION with no cap hit.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Lots of great comments & rationale … I’ll put my money on Ryan Smith still being here next year & VHIII waving bye-bye. And yes SmoothBayRider, it does look like we’d take a Dead Cap of $4.5 mil (VHIII’s total salary) if we cut him this year. Seriously doubt VHIII will even get the chance to justify the salary that he’d be making next year, thus Bye Bye.

    Ryan Smith’s development on the other hand has been totally stunted by poor coaching. He showed some very good skills in college, but the Bucs wasted his rookie year trying to retrain him as a safety. When he did finally get back to his natural position (CB), he wasn’t as terrible as some have made him out to be. Especially considering that the defense AS A WHOLE stunk it up in 2017 & 2018. Got a hunch that he’ll stick this year (and beyond) and contribute reasonably well.

  23. J Says:

    I believe Smith will outwork Vernon this year. Vernon still has this childish makeup to him.

  24. Diesel Says:

    Smh Joe….drafting corners & a safety on day 2 had more to do with adding talent and building depth in the secondary. Don’t tell me I’m the only one that remembers the injuries mounting and dudes being brought in off the street. How about you wait until TC like the rest of us to watch the cream rise to the top. If it’s VHIII & CD, so be it. If it’s the rookies or Smith, so be it. The team gets better with the competition in the long run. You talk all the time about how the NFCS boasts the likes of DB, MR & CN. Why not add juice to the secondary and actually coordinate a defense that caters to their strengths? Oh, and lay off the meds for any of you thinking VHIII is a goner anytime soon.

  25. wausa Says:

    I think Vernon is a decent talent, but I think most Buc fans felt as though he was drafted way too high where he was picked. He had great production for the Gators but he was an undersized corner with 4.5 speed picked 11th overall.

    I have said many times before when a player is picked high in the first round they need to check off all three of the following:


    Vernon had the production but he did not check off on the size and speed.

  26. m0j0 Says:

    It feels good to have enough depth at CB and Safety that it really doesn’t matter whether either of these players work out or not. Either they will work hard, show their skills, and get on the field, or they will be beat out by some very talented rookies. It’s all about competition and good coaching, both of which they will have this season.

  27. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Went into a St Pete sports store yesterday and
    Jameis Winston gear 50% off
    Vernon Hargreaves jerseys 30% off
    Gerald Mccoy Jerseys Full Price

    How does this make any sense?

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    Smith was a great press corner in college. Going into Bowles defense, he can turn into another good fourth round pick like Kwon and Whitehead. It’s only been underwear football but it was either BA or Bowles that was giving him props. Now he has a few years under his belt in the NFL and could be a perfect fit to learn and play in Bowles defense.

    Unless they start VHIII at nickel, he needs to be cut pronto. Very injury prone and we need all the money we can get. If Ryan Smith can turn into a good outside CB in this scheme, it needs to be him or Dean. Bowles likes big CB and Dean is a 6’1″, fast ballhawk that played opposite Davis at Auburn.

  29. 813bucboi Says:

    lots of folks will be eating crow regarding VHG…..

    his development was hampered just as much as r.smith…..

    this type of man press defense is exactly what he did at UF…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  30. DooshLaRue Says:

    Tbbucs3 Says:
    June 10th, 2019 at 12:03 pm
    Went into a St Pete sports store yesterday and
    Jameis Winston gear 50% off
    Vernon Hargreaves jerseys 30% off
    Gerald Mccoy Jerseys Full Price

    How does this make any sense?


    Was the store owned by a Hawaiian guy by chance?

  31. SOEbuc Says:

    Jeebs the Honey Bear

    “I have not seen much potential in Ryan Smith. He looks like a depth piece, bound to be CB4 or CB5 on this team.”

    CB4 or CB5. lmfao. Have you been watching Javion Elliot play for the past few years? Is that guy still on the roster??? Doesn’t smell like smoke by BA was when he praising VHIII when he first arrived. If Smith doesn’t start, he’ll definently be rotational or CB2 or CB3 depth depending on what they want to do with Bunting and VHIII.

  32. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I hope so man!

    I thought he looked like our best corner in the Saints game before he got hurt, even in the terrible soft scheme.

    I’m going into this season with no expectations of any individual secondary player, or the unit in general, because I believe the coaching of the past has been so bad to where we haven’t been able to evaluate the talent.

    I’m just excited knowing that it’s extremely likely we see the biggest improvement in our secondary vs any other unit on the team.

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    The BEST case scenario for the Bucs is for BOTH of these players to produce. Injuries are going to happen.
    As to their production, I’m not as hopeful with VHIII. Good players can play in ANY scheme. ANY! Now, he’ll get a shot at press/press man. I’m hoping for a turnaround. Key word, “hoping!”

  34. 813bucboi Says:



    before his injury, he was playing very well….forced a much needed fumble and had good coverage down the field…..

    ryan smith has talent….at worst he’ll be a special teams ace….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  35. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans') ***Rhealist, louden annoying, & tminimum are the worst posters ever!!! Says:

    If it came down to keeping Ryan Smith or Hargreaves, I would keep Ryan Smith.

    All day, and twice on Sunday…

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Vernon play well this year.

    I do suspect though that when its all said and done – Hargreaves will be the primary Nickle CB for this team in 2019. And he will play well there if he can stay healthy.

    I dislike the decision to 5th year option Hargreaves. It really paints the team into a corner with this player IMO. VH3 is going to have to turn into Lattimore in one season to justify paying him $10M next year and still feel good about the cost vs value factor…

    So the Bucs either pay Hargreaves $10M next year or they cut him. No in between…

    No chance to offer less per on a longer deal – No comp pick when he signs with another team because we’d have had to cut him first.

    So what happens if/when Vernon plays well in the slot and shows himself to be a valuable asset as a 3rd CB….

    To me – that’s a pretty likely scenario.

    You can’t pay that guy $10M – and he likely won’t negotiate with you either because he now holds all the cards. Vernon either gets paid $10M by the Bucs next year – or he is free to negotiate a long term deal with 31 other teams once cut in early March…

    Is there some part of this 5th year option thing that I’m not seeing?

    How did it benefit the Bucs to exercise Hargreaves 5th year option?

    I don’t get it.

  37. geno711 Says:

    Ryan Smith is the best 3rd day draft choice still on the Buc’s. Better than Benenoch… Better than Gholsten… Better than Whitehead…

    Not much value in those 3rd day guys.

  38. BucFan727 Says:

    J is right. VH3 looks like a rookie still. Ryan Smith has all the physical tools to be a man to man corner. VH3 needs to be more physical. Both of these players should contribute to the turn around on defence this year.

  39. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    I shudder to think of any team having Ryan Smith as their #1 Corner.

  40. catcard202 Says:

    VH3 was reach at 11 & would have been better served getting out of the state of FL for his NFL career…To me, he’s an avg Slot-Corner with a 1st round ego/pay check. Doesn’t have elite speed / length or hips to be out on an island.

  41. BA FAN Says:

    Wausau in his day Grimes was a great CB but was short and no blazing speed so he would never have been drafted under your mantra for drafting CBs and neither would the Bucs ever drafted Rhonde Barber, our best of all time! So don’t count out VHIII until he has a fair shot this year.

  42. adam from ny Says:

    bruce probably came in and gave all these guys a clean slate..and to work from there…time will tell as guys can dirty their slates…and “Big Kangol” will adjust accordingly

  43. cobucfan Says: