Issue For Hargreaves Not An Issue

September 5th, 2019

Big season.

Vernon Hargreaves is now a target.

With the departure of Noah Spence (who?), Hargreaves, the Bucs’ starting corner, is the lone high-profile name left from that 2016 draft class. (No, Joe doesn’t believe Danny Vitale was a big-name.)

And shockingly, Hargreaves is sort of the senior member of the Bucs’ secondary. Hard to believe, but true. Hargreaves is something of a survivor and a former first-round pick. If the Bucs’ secondary is as fixed as Bucco Bruce Arians claims it is, then Hargreaves will be a big reason why.

For reasons Joe is not sure of, Hargreaves has never been a fan favorite. Those who like to litter the internet with trivial statistical gobbledegook fingered Hargreaves for being targeted so much as a rookie.

Well no s(p)it! On the other side of the field was veteran Brent Grimes, who was still motivated and at the top of his game leading the NFL in passes defensed that season. Gee, Joe could just see an offensive coordinator thinking to himself, “You know, it might be dumb to throw at green rookie. I’m going to throw at a guy who’s played in the last three Pro Bowls. Yeah!”

It went downhill for Hargreaves after that. He was totally misused — and benched — in the rumor of a defense hatched by disgraced former coordinator Mike Smith. Then, on the first day of the season last year, Hargreaves was hurt and lost for the year.

So this season is huge for him, and huge in the eyes of fans who don’t hold Hargreaves in a favorable light.

Yesterday, Arians was asked why he thought Hargreaves will be a key cog in a secondary that Arians claims is fixed?

“First of all, he’s been healthy,” Arians said. “It’s probably the healthiest he’s been in a couple years and he’s really bought into the system.”

Part of that, Arians said, is that the Bucs defense is somewhat like the defense Hargreaves excelled at when he played for the Gators.

“It’s what he did very well at Florida – press man, bail, some quarters – that he’s played before. He’s such a bright guy that he sees why we do things, so he can execute it very well.”

It’s a big contract year for Hargreaves as the season kicks off Sunday as the Bucs host the 49ers at the Den of Depression. Lots of money is on the line as well as a reputation in his hometown.

If the Bucs’ secondary really has been repaired, Hargreaves will have to play lights out. If Hargreaves struggles, then Joe will guess the secondary will still need a visit to the garage.

44 Responses to “Issue For Hargreaves Not An Issue”

  1. Billy_45 Says:

    Saw they restructured Mike Evans contract AGAIN.
    FREED UP 1.6 Million.
    6 million now free.
    Couple that with a Cam Brate trade to the Chargers who actually need a TE and BRING GORDON TO THE BUCS.

    Dang already.
    Give away a first for God’s sake

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

    He was a cat in college…

  3. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Hargreaves was solid at UF. He was a ball hawk and has good hands for a defensive back. He was not used in a way that played to his strengths. I will give him this season to prove if he can be solid and depended on to help turn the defense around.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    I also hope that VHIII plays ‘lights out’ Joe. Not willing to bet the farm on it at this point however. With the the taller and faster rookies SMB & Jamel Dean chomping at the bit, Vernon will need to play lights out just to hold on to his starting gig.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    Yeah he was solid at UF, except when he was playing against soon-to-be NFL caliber receivers… lol

    it’s nothing personal, you just can’t spend a 1st round pick on someone who is both slow AND undersized.

    So prove me wrong VH3!!! Nothing would make me happier! Go Bucs!

  6. donuts Says:

    I think he is not a fan fav because he does not play often or well enough. I expect him to be benched again in favor of one of the new CBs leaning toward Dean based on Arian-speak.

    BTW Bunting looks like another reach in round 2 like Spence.

  7. LordCornelius Says:

    Melvin Gordon averaged 3.5 / 3.9 / 3.9 YPC his first 3 seasons before finally having an efficient average last year.

    Not worth a 1st rounder whatsoever. Maybe a 3rd.

    As for VHIII I hope this is the year.

    Bucs fans weren’t high on him because they wanted Laremy Tunsil or Sheldon Rankins. Tunsil just commanded like 2 1st round picks in what is probably the dumbest trade of the year by Houston.

    Bucs fans also got into a “he’s short and slow” dumbed down narrative early in his career, despite there being other top NFL corners with the same athletic ability:

    VHIII = 5’11, ran 4.50 40, 39″ vert

    Chris Harris Jr – 5’10 ran a 4..48 40 , 34″ vert
    Kyle Fuller – 6’0, ran a 4.49 40, 38.5″ vert
    Tradavius White – 5’11, ran 4.47 40, 38.5″ vert

    Chris harris would be an ideal development in terms of the type of player he could be. Slide inside when the matchup dictates. Stay outside in base defense.

    BO BUCS!

  8. Bob in Valrico Says:

    If VH3 succeeds, his ball hawking skills will have to come into play. Good Luck to him and MJ Stewart in their new roles. This skill is something Jamal Dean can improve on. He juggled the one INT he had a bit. He may still be an option with bigger faster receivers. With his size he may be able to prevent completions. IMO,
    he just needs to build up confidence in his pass catching skills.Let him run some drills with the wide receivers, maybe or pitch and catch with Jameis.

  9. D-Rome Says:

    There will be no sense in giving Hargreaves a big contract next year unless he’s a pro bowler at minimum. There will be other positions of need and if Jameis Winston gets the big money contract I just don’t see the books paying premium dollars for Vernon Hargreaves.

  10. D-Rome Says:

    Bucs, not books.

  11. Anthony Dickson Says:

    I think VH3 will have a good year, provided he stays healthy. I don’t expect him to be the next Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman, but he’s FINALLY in a system that matches his skill set.

  12. Isaac haggins Says:

    FYI Mayock , loves Hardgraves , He is the best corner to enter the draft for quite some time ( from Mayock) . So as much as I wasn’t a fan of the pick or Mayock saying Kevin White was the best rec in the draft . Licht wasn’t alone but I also think this shows why meathead jocks don’t make good Hms , asst to GM maybe but not good GM s . Hey D Brooks was a great player and a nice guy but his run with arena football was NOT GOOD !!

    Hopefully there was something to Licht and Mayock liking to Hardgraves but lacking height and good speed and getting badly beaten by college receivers gets discounted by these meathead GM s for the couple athletic plays !!! Well let’s hope after 5 years Vern will be a top ten corner in the league because that’s where he was drafted .

  13. Tmax is a con Says:

    cant wait to read the insight of the great mind of Tmaxi…

  14. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    @ Billy_45

    While I like were you’re going the reality is likely (1) the Chargers have Hunter Henry at TE, who when healthy is far better than Brate, so likely no need for Brate, and (2) the Chargers are asking a ludicrous amount of draft pick compensation for Gordon. I think it’s likely hope the Bucs run blocking improves and/or hope RoJo can ignite that “rocket up his as$” that failed to launch last season.

  15. 74 Bucs fan Says:

    D Rome: “There will be no sense in giving Hargreaves a big contract next year unless he’s a pro bowler at minimum”

    What is beyond being a Pro Bowler? Call from the Hall of Fame?

  16. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Sorry for further detailing a VHIII thread…it’s just there’s not much to get excited about over a guy who is either hurt or gets toasted on plays. Hopefully he makes me eat crow with a pro bowl season…good for the Bucs and good for Vernon’s bank account.

  17. Dom>Licht Says:

    Well if he does not work out this year we can always draft 5 more DB next year.

  18. BetterBucFan Says:

    VHIII is undersized, but calling him slow is just wrong. He’s quick.

  19. Tony1775 Says:

    Do you think as a fan we have higher expectations for players, but they dont have the same as they are already paid to a level they will never have to work again. Maybe Hargreaves is content with his 8 million signing bonus and 14 mil guaranteed. Lol these players made it regardless of what we hope them to achieve. When will anyone have 14 million lol. Can only help he is greedy and wants more money, but he is set if smart financially now.

  20. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    VHIII was more than solid in college. He was the top CB for almost every NFL scout for the draft 3 years ago.

    I was shocked to see him do so awful the second year. Too bad he was hurt so early last year. Should be an asset this year.

  21. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    D-Rome “There will be no sense in giving Hargreaves a big contract next year unless he’s a pro bowler at minimum.”

    Licht already exercised VHIII fifth-year option. He is due to make 9 million next year. Might sound high but this is average for a starting CB. If he performs above average this year, then 9 million would be worth keeping him.

  22. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    BetterBucsFan “VHIII is undersized, but calling him slow is just wrong. He’s quick.”

    I agree. He is not lightning fast but is quick off the line. His footwork and hips are well above average. He also had one of the best vertical jumps at the NFL combines among DBs, which makes up for his 5’10” height.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    VH3 had a solid rookie year, nothing great, but he wasn’t God awful either. Then the next year for some reason “he decided” to play 15 yards off the LOS (strangely all the other Bucs corners also decided, on their own, to do the same thing – BUT IT WASN’T THE COACHES to be clear!). But anyways VH3 gets hurt early in the year and then is magically out for the season. Then year 3, he has a good camp, comes out in week one and is injured and is out for the year.

    So here we are, year 4, he’s had a good camp – and we all await the coming injury.

    I’m hoping for the best because the last thing this team needs to have Ryan Smith being activated onto the roster and not outright cut after his suspension.

  24. D-Rome Says:

    What is beyond being a Pro Bowler? Call from the Hall of Fame?

    First or second team All Pro.

  25. Lazy Animations (weeb) Says:

    This man at the top really said trade Brate to the chargers off all teams because, ‘they need a TE’. Like they don’t have Hunter Henry. When some of y’all post on here it really shows you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  26. BucAllNight Says:


    I rather give that same package to the Skins for LT Williams. They also need a TE as (Reed is concussed again) and Williams has vowed not to play for them again. We could put Donavan at RG and fix two spots of our line at once and make a serious, serious run in this “WIDE A** Open NFC”

    Go Bucs!!!

  27. bobbo Says:

    His only issue is staying healthy. If he doesn’t get hurt he’s gonna ball out

  28. doctor_berto Says:

    Hargreaves is terrible. He will get burnt as frequently as he did his first few years. Too small and slow to play corner. He will be gone next season.

  29. 813bucboi Says:

    he’s only “not a fan favorite” to noles fans…..

    VHG will be extremely successful in this scheme….he’ll get paid and be a buc for a long time….

    folks talking about dean and SMB need to wake up and get real… this point they’re depth…they are untested and havent proved anything….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    also VHG doesnt have to make the PB in order to be resigned…..he just has to be the best CB on the team which he will be…..

    stop hating!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  31. SenileSenior Says:

    Just as I have renewed expectations for Winston, I have similar thoughts about Hargreaves. I had all but given up on him.

    Now, I have had to rethink my positions on many of last year’s return performers. I really have been impressed by several things that I have seen from Arians and just about all of the new coaching staff. The first few games will answer many of my questions, but some will remain till the end of this year and a few more into the next season.

    I have not seen enough of Hargreaves in the NFL for him to become one of my favorites. Obviously, I did not watch him play a bunch when he was in college at Florida.
    Go Bucs!!!

  32. D1 Says:


    Hargreaves isn’t too slow or too small . He’s league avg height and weight and is one of the faster corners league wise. Not the fastest, but He’s right up there with the best CB’s in the league.

    If you believe that He’s not good, great. But stick with that instead of the Bullspit, that he’s not capable physically of playing the position.

  33. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I think most reasonable buc fans will say Hargreaves was misused. He is a press man corner who was asked to play to soft zone. Literally the opposite skill set. While I do believe that talent should be able to adjust and do what their asked regardless of the scheme. I am willing to see Hargreaves play in a defense that is to his strengths. Not that I have a say, but I’m not gonna call him a bust, yet. He’s got this year to prove his worth moving forward. This is a big year for the future of the Bucs moving forward. Will jameis earn the bag? Will Hargreaves become the first round pick we drafted him to be? Will RoJo be more than a change of pace back relegated to 3 or 4 touches a game? Will JPP come back from his broken neck and help the defense for years to come? Will this highly paid (mostly) veteran o line finally gel and help create a run game? I would have to expect that if certain players don’t step up to the plate, they will not be back for future seasons with the Bucs. And sadly it will take all of these question mark players to have incredible seasons for us to have a successful season. That’s a lot of things that gotta go right. Hopefully this coaching staff lives up to the bill. I’m cautiously optimistic. But I know it is asking a lot out of players with questionable past performances.

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    Mike Smith will never live that down. The year is 2030’ and after 20 straight losing seasons, 15 different head coaches and 10 GM’s, Joe will still be calling Mike Smith a disgraceful bumb and it’s all his fault.

  35. sincethebeginning Says:

    813 and TruBuc have nailed it imho. I would like to add that I think if VH3 had a better haircut and did less silly stuff after plays then more fans would probably have a little more patience with him. That’s a crazy reason to be irritated with a player, but I think it rings true in some players’ cases. For example, another Gator with a goofy hairdo yet to go to the NFL, Feleipe Franks…. can you imagine if he pulls any of that crap that he’s pulling now when he gets to the next level? What a freaking joke.

    VH3 needs to prove he can play, all season long, simple as that. Duh.

  36. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Lots of what money? After JW and his agent gobble up as much as they can steal from the Bucs there won’t be much left. If VH3 balls out this season he’ll probably end up somewhere else next season.

  37. Ndog Says:

    My goodness does EVERY THREAD have to be taken over by the negative nancies????? Freaking give it a rest guys!!

  38. Brandon Says:

    Moron fans- Trade a 1st round pick for a RB and then pay him ABOVE market value!

    Wow, just STFU!

  39. Brandon Says:

    BigMacAttack Says:
    September 5th, 2019 at 5:50 pm
    Mike Smith will never live that down. The year is 2030’ and after 20 straight losing seasons, 15 different head coaches and 10 GM’s, Joe will still be calling Mike Smith a disgraceful bumb and it’s all his fault.


    Yeah, a fricking “bumb” Why isn’t the Stupidity Senser/Censor working, Joes? No, really!
    The Mike Smith mistake was less than a year ago. I’m pretty sure he’s still fair game for criticism.

  40. Brandon Says:

    D1 Says:
    September 5th, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Hargreaves isn’t too slow or too small . He’s league avg height and weight and is one of the faster corners league wise. Not the fastest, but He’s right up there with the best CB’s in the league.

    Sorry, dude. Hargreaves is definitely on the slower smaller side of CBs. Especially for CBs taken in the first half of round 1.

  41. Ptwalk Says:

    Hargreaves had a 40 time of 4.41 at the combine that’s not slow.

  42. Locked In Says:

    Fans might like him better if he stops with the finger wagging after overthrows and incomplete out of bounds.

  43. D1 Says:

    Correct. Jalen Ramsey, Xavier Rhodes aren’t considered slow and they ran the same times. They’re also considered among the best in the NFL.

    Additionally, of the top ten CB’seconds last year, only 2 , are faster. Peterson, Peters.

    So the “He’s too slow” opinions are full of sh#t!

  44. D1 Says:


    Agree with you on that point. He’s, size wise, a zone corner. And the trends are the taller 6ft corners. These taller corners have an advantage in man coverage. Hargreaves is a man coverage player in college , but size wise fits the zone corner profile to see t.