Smith’s Suspension A Blessing?

July 11th, 2019

Signed his pink slip?

The old phrase about losing your job — when one door closes another door opens — springs to mind here.

Joe has little sympathy for suspended Bucs corner Ryan Smith. If you ingest a banned substance and are too naive/embarrassed/dumb not to have what you are ingesting checked out first by team officials, that’s on you.

What Joe is bummed out about is Smith is a prime example of the chaos that was the Bucs’ defensive coaches the past three years.

When Smith was drafted in 2016, the Monte Kiffins working on the defensive side of the ball couldn’t figure out where to play him. He was drafted as a corner; then they thought he could be a safety and a top kick returner. Then they thought, “Ya know, maybe he’s a corner after all?”

That could not have been good for the guy’s development.

Last year Smith made enough plays that Joe felt OK about him returning as a backup. And hey, exposed to competent NFL coaching for a change, who knows?

There was no guarantee that Smith would make the team, but remember, the Bucs drafted two corners on the second day of the draft for a reason. And it seems jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times is of the mind the Bucs will be better off from a salary cap point of view to get rid of Smith rather than to keep him, even as a backup on an inexpensive salary.

Bassinger is right. The Bucs, maybe more so next year than ever, are going to really have to find creative ways to find nickels wedged into couch cushions near lost remotes.

Roll over that $2 million to next year and that is likely some eight percent of the possible franchise tag salary for America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

28 Responses to “Smith’s Suspension A Blessing?”

  1. YoungBucs Says:

    let’s not forget it’s been dollars before “sense” for awhile with this team.

  2. Beligerentbuc Says:

    Lol…it’s a blessing for Smith, not the Bucs.

    For $2mil he is a steal for a team. As a 4th rounder a team would get a decent compensatory pick. And we all know most players cut by the Bucs become solid contributors on other teams.

    Plus, he can land a bigger payday else where after one year. Oh and other teams will teach him how to watch film like a pro. Just a Buc’s life?

  3. Jean Lafitte Says:

    He’ll get his wish and will move on to another team and flourish. It’s the same game plan that players use to get out of town when they see their own positions threatened. Nobody wants to be just relegated to backup on one of the most dysfunctional teams in the league. We see this all the time. Players know their is really no punishment for breaking rules except maybe a couple games without a paycheck. More times than not, they usually get released and then picked up by a new club where they secretly knew they could get a fresh start, and usually no drop off in money. Besides moving from team to team, there really is no punishment, especially when they’ve already made a lot of money.

  4. BigHog Says:

    If there is not another veteran QB THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE NOW, then bring R SMITH back because he’s still young and still developing!! GO BUCS GO SUHY FIX IT!!!

  5. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    This can be a good thing for the bucs. It frees up an extra spot. We can keep Smith for the season and use his suspension spot on the 53 roster for the first 4 weeks.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    That’s a rather myopic view by Bassinger IMO. None of us even know all the facts in Ryan Smith’s case. What we do know however is that the Bucs have THREE years invested in Smith’s development. We also know that BA & company thought enough of Smith’s POTENTIAL to single him out for praise earlier this year. And oh ya, that he’ll be making $2 mil this year (minus 25% for the ‘hassle’ that he’s created).

    Experienced CBs take time to grow, especially when your GM & coaches have no idea whether you’re a corner, a safety, a S/Ts guy or the waterboy. $2 mil is chickenfeed in the big scheme of things. Evan Smith is being paid $2 mil & has yet to practice. JPP has already been paid $7.5 mil & could make $7.4 mil more and he could miss the whole year. Heck Mitch Unrein cost us $3 mil last year & is costing us $1 mil this year and he’s not even on the team (and never played a game for us).

    Bucs RIGHT NOW (according to Spotrac) have $8.3 mil in salary Cap space (Top-51) with White ($5.3 mil), Dean ($0.7 mil) and LeRibeus ($??? mil) yet to sign. Even if those 3 ate up the whole $8.3 mil, three others will drop off the list once they sign, saving at least $2 mil (probably more). More $$$ can be freed up as a result of JPP’s & Evan Smith’s injuries if need be, so we could easily have $10 mil to spend on adding FAs. It’s ridiculous to release Ryan Smith right now over a measly $2 mil. Let Todd Bowles work with him in preseason and let’s see what we’ve got.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Roll over that $2 million to next year and that is likely some eight percent of the possible franchise tag salary for America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.”

    Totally missed that little innuendo Joe (too early I guess). So using Bassinger’s logic, we should release Jameis now. After all, he was suspended before so that warrants his release to save $$$ for paying other next year salaries.

    Assuming that Jameis would make $30 mil if franchise-tagged, that’s enough to pay ALL the salaries for the top-salaried 5 LBs, 5 CBs & 5 safeties on our team ($29 mil estimate). Or looked at another way, if we cut Jameis we could almost afford to pay all the CBs that Jason Licht will draft next year.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    For me, losing Smith for 4 games is a mixed bag…….you do lose Smith’s services for 4 games……let’s call that a slight negative…..but you pick up $500K….
    You free up a roster spot for 4 games to develop or retain an additional player…perhaps an OG or a DE…..maybe a UFDA WR or RB…..that’s a good thing.
    I don’t know if cutting Smith after his suspension will save us the additional $1.5 in cap space or if we are obligated to pay him.
    I think we should keep him because he is improving as a player and has proven to be a serviceable backup and very good ST player. He’s still young and cheap and this incident will cost him on a contract renewal.

  9. Magadude Says:

    If the Bucs save or clear $1, it’s not worth keeping a guy around will just gum up the works for the other guys. If the Bucs start off badly, their season goes south quickly…the guys here need all the reps, all the focus they can without a distraction. My fear is if they don’t cut him, they are worried about someone else who is a starter being in the same boat and they don’t want to appear to apply double standards. But hey, it’s $2M, makes it easier. That will pay a #1 draft pick QB salary for a good bit. With the money saved on Winston’s moving on (no guarantee he’s fixed), they can rebuild under a new GM the right way.

  10. BucEmUp Says:

    And hey, exposed to competent NFL coaching for a change, who knows?

    EXACTLY!!!! That goes for EVERYONE!!!

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    Just from a human perspective, I’m interested to see the comments on this.

    I’m not a Smith fan but we saw what happens when you lack depth at that position.

  12. Bird Says:

    Morris Claiborne knows todd Bowles system.
    He is adequate enough replacement.

    He must have some issue like Bowles doesn’t like his attitude or something cause this would be a no brainer. He is same but probably a little better then Ryan Smith.

  13. Todd Says:

    Rumor has it injuries happen in both preseason and the first four games of the season. Can’t validate that for certain…just a rumor.

    Keep Smith as a $1.5 million policy.

  14. Dreghost Says:

    Let’s go ahead and give Claiborne a chance please Mr. Licht! If not that then let’s trade Duke Johnson or heck add another pass rusher but let’s be smart and cut this guy (R. Smith) he’s done nothing but be a practice dummy for Julio Jones

  15. BuccoBruceJR Says:

    Yep cut him and bring in claiborne. Easy answer.

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    this is why we drafted 2 CB’s….for depth in case of injury or suspension…..

    imo, we should keep him….great ST player and under this staff, he could develop into a decent CB….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  17. Brandon Says:

    Surprised how many people don’t see this as all positive. This is basically a 4 game roster exemption for a decent CB. When his 4 games are up, there will likely be injuries to someone that he can be plugged in and ready to go right away.

  18. adam from ny Says:

    in a couple years, on a good team, a guy like this becomes a “glue guy” (as koetter would say)…and it’s true…try to hang onto smith if you can…imho

  19. adam from ny Says:

    smith is literally hanging by a ball hair right now…

    hang on tight my duuude

  20. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Joe, referring to the previous coaching staff as the Monte Kiffins is the most disrespectful crap you have ever written. What an insult to one of the best coaches in the franchise’s history. You should retract that spit immediately.

  21. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Joe can certainly defend himself as he does here daily. But really…there is a difference between literal and sarcastic.

    It was a JOKE! And he chose Monte because of that respect you have…that was supposed to make it obvious it was a JOKE.

  22. Race to 10 Says:

    Dude played safety and corner in college there is way too much made of not playing him in the right spot. It’s really a ploy to exaggerate problems on the roster as if we are only one of a few teams with question Mark’s and no one else has any. Carolina and Atlanta drafted a couple rookie linemen, does that mean they are plug and play stars or something? Dude should be cut for being dumb but he was no worse off than anyone else in mike smith defense.

  23. jjbucfan Says:

    Amazing how people forget that special teams is actually still part of the game. He is our single best special teamer. On an otherwise sh!tty unit, he was our lone bright spot. Now that is gone for 4 games. SMDH with these guys. This was his opportunity to really show what he is about and now he has this stigma that will follow him around the rest of his career however short or long it may be.

  24. gilhealy Says:

    Magawhatever, you’ve got to let your wet dream of Winston leaving go. It’s not gonna happen. He’s here for as long as he wants. He may decide to leave in free agency, but he’s in no danger of being dealt. Move on, little fella.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Ryan Smith has shown NOTHING in his career and is literally the worst corner I’ve ever seen at any level. If you made a highlight reel of all the times he was burned, it would go on for hours. He’s awful and shouldn’t be on the team (same thing I said last year, same thing I said the year before that).

    As for him being a victim… He was a 4th round draft pick. They never turn into anything the majority of the time. I’m not going to blame coaching or blame anyone, it’s just too much to expect any GM to be drafting starters in the 4th round in every draft.

  26. Buc4evr Says:

    Claiborne or Scandrick and find a way to bring in Wilkerson at DE and we are set on the defense. Smith needs to be cut and perhaps JPP?

  27. Bucsfan3 Says:

    @Joe are you working for CNN these days trying to drum up attention by making outlandish comments. Ryan Smith has been a bright spot and developing. Why invest so much in a young player and give up on them right when a new coaching staff arrives because of a substance occurrence. Go write another D-Jax supporting article. I will never forget how much you were beating the D-Jax drum before he was fully exposed as the fraud he is. Less BS, more accuracy.

  28. TOM Says:

    I say about Ryan Smith, put a fork in him he’s done.